This time, UMBC refused to be denied.
Chris Turner slammed in the game-winner with four minutes remaining and Andrew Hampson secured the victory by saving a close-range shot in the final seconds as the Retrievers upset No. 13 Towson State, 11-10, last night at UMBC Stadium.
As soon as the game ended, the Retrievers mobbed the center of the field, throwing their sticks, gloves and helmets into the air.
"This is the biggest win since I've been here," said UMBC coach Don Zimmerman, trying to catch his breath. "Our guys have been in this situation twice this year. They weren't going to be denied tonight."
Turner and John McDonnell each had three goals and one assist for UMBC. The Tigers were led by Matt Clune, who had two goals and two assists.
It was a monumental win in many aspects for the Retrievers, who have clinched their first winning season in five years.
UMBC (7-2) beat Towson for the first time since 1983, ending a 12-game losing streak in the series. And besides Mount St. Mary's, the Retrievers hadn't defeated a state school in six years.
"We've had difficulty with state teams, but I think the jinx is up," Turner said. "This was like a playoff game for us. We needed this to continue our postseason chances."
The game was extremely tight in the second half, with four ties and four lead changes. Neither team had more than a one-goal lead for the final 25 minutes.
Down three goals, Towson (3-4) reeled off four straight goals. Kevin Travis' extra-man goal gave the Tigers their first lead at 8-7 with 1: 07 left in the third.
UMBC reclaimed the lead at 9-8, but Towson scored twice in less than a minute to go back ahead 10-9 midway through the fourth quarter.
The Retrievers tied the game at 10 with 4: 48 left, and the Tigers gave UMBC another opportunity with a holding penalty less than a minute later. Just as the extra-man opportunity ended, Turner took a feed from John McDonnell right on the crease and rammed in a shot from the left side of the crease for the game-winner.
The Tigers had chances to tie, but they hit their sixth pipe of the game on a man-up situation. Their last shot -- by Spencer Ford -- was stopped by Hampson.
"It shows our young guys that we can play," Zimmerman said. "We needed to know how to though. Now we know what it takes to win as a team."
No. 10 Loyola 14, Lehigh 10: Mark Frye (Severna Park) scored four goals -- tying his career-high for a second time in a week -- to power visiting Loyola (6-2) past Lehigh (7-3). The Greyhounds have won five of their past six games.
St. Mary's 11, Goucher 10: Terrence Buckley and C.J. Lauer each scored twice to lead host St. Mary's (4-7) past Goucher in the Capital Athletic Conference.
Drexel 9, Mount St. Mary's 8: Dave Coldwell scored three goals to rally Drexel (7-2) from a three-goal, fourth-quarter deficit against host Mount St. Mary's (6-5).
Washington College 17, Swarthmore 0: Senior George Atterbury had three goals and an assist for the host Shoremen (10-2).
Pub Date: 4/17/97