UMBC burst into its first NCAA Division I tournament with a late-season sense of urgency. But with the season on the line yesterday, the Retrievers flinched.
Misfiring on its final seven shots, No. 8 UMBC failed to score in the last nine minutes, falling to unseeded Georgetown, 9-8, yesterday before 2,325 in a first-round game at Homewood Field. It's the first NCAA tournament victory for the Hoyas (10-4), who advance to play top-seeded Loyola in the quarterfinals at College Park on Sunday.
"We ask a whole lot out of a few guys and we're disappointed in the outcome," Retrievers coach Don Zimmerman said. "We had a shot at the end to tie it, but today was their day."
Yet before that fourth-quarter drought, UMBC (9-5) matched Georgetown goal for goal. The game featured seven ties with neither team leading by more than a single goal in the final 2 1/2 quarters.
The Retrievers actually appeared in control when Dan Marohl converted a left-handed shot from 11 yards out to put them ahead 8-7 just six minutes into the fourth quarter. But UMBC wouldn't score again as Hoyas goalkeeper Brian Hole shut out the Retrievers by making five of his 18 saves in the last 8: 12.
"I think we did get a lot of good shots off," said attackman Chris Turner, who led UMBC with three goals.
"We didn't get the luck of a bounce on a few of them and the goalie made some exceptional saves on the rest. I think we worked our way in and should have capitalized on a few more of our shots."
Georgetown tied the game at 8 with 7: 03 remaining when Mike Corry scored just his fifth goal of the season. With 4: 52 left, Tyler Gamble took a pass from Andy Flick and skipped the game-winner into the lower left corner of the goal.
"I saw it but I just didn't get to it," said UMBC goalkeeper Andrew Hampson, who finished with 13 saves.
The winning goal was set up by attackman Scott Urick, the son of Georgetown coach Dave Urick, who forced a failed UMBC clear to give the Hoyas possession with five minutes left.
"Neither one of us thought to get anything for Mother's Day," Dave Urick said. "So that's from both of us. It took a lot of pressure off of me."
And the Hoyas continually kept pressure on the Retrievers.
Georgetown won 15 of 19 faceoffs and held a 34-29 ground-ball advantage to continually keep UMBC playing defense. However, the Retrievers compounded those statistics by not capitalizing on the few chances they got.
On its last four extra-man opportunities, UMBC only got off three shots and was shut out. The Retrievers finished with only one goal in seven man-up situations.
"I think a game like this boils down to ground balls and faceoffs and goalkeeping," said Zimmerman, who made his head coaching return to Homewood, where he directed Johns Hopkins from 1984-90. "I felt that faceoffs hurt us today. When you have 11 less possessions and have an opportunity at the end to tie the game, your guys are playing hard."
Only a week ago, the Retrievers scored four goals in the final 3 1/2 minutes to upset Maryland. And yesterday, UMBC had close-range chances to make a similar run.
Jeff Ratcliffe, the Retrievers' top goal scorer, had a shot on the crease with 2 1/2 minutes left in the game. But Ratcliffe tipped his hand early by leaping, and Hole stuffed his high shot attempt.
With less than a minute remaining, UMBC regained possession and called a timeout. John McDonnell, who had just two goals on 10 shots, went low on the Retrievers' final shot but Hole once again made another save.
"At that point, we just try to go to the goal and either beat our man, draw a slide and dump," Zimmerman said. "There wasn't a specific play in that situation. I think our guys are better at just playing and that's what you kind of go to when the season is on the line."
Yesterday's first round
Maryland 18, Butler 10 Georgetown 9, UMBC 8
Saturday's quarterfinals At Hempstead, N.Y.
B6 Duke vs. Princeton, noon Virginia vs. Syracuse, 3*
Sunday's quarterfinals At College Park
A5 Georgetown vs. Loyola, 1 Maryland vs. Hopkins, 3*
All times p.m.
Pub Date: 5/11/98