Tuesday night's 10-8 setback to No. 20 Towson put UMBC in review mode as the team addresses losing back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Retrievers, who are 3-4, dropped back-to-back contests in the third week of the 2013 campaign, but coach Don Zimmerman said he hasn't really harped on the recent slide.
"I don't really have to tell them a whole lot except for the fact that as a team, we have to come together and work on putting a complete game on the field," he said on Friday morning. "Against High Point [a 17-15 loss on Saturday], I thought our offense played well. Defensively, we struggled and weren't real effective in the goal. Facing off, we weren't where we needed to be. High Point is a good team, and we came away with a tough road loss. Against Towson, I thought the guys bounced back and were excited to play Towson. We went out and were up by one at the half, but then in the third quarter, our offense went to sleep. We turned the ball over and then we came back. With eight-and-a-half [minutes] to go in the fourth, the score is tied and then we made some costly, simple mistakes in the course of about two minutes that really put us back by three."
Striking a consistent balance between the offense, defense and special teams can be an arduous task, but Zimmerman said that is the objective before UMBC opens play in the America East against Stony Brook on March 28.
"I just think as a team, we have to continue to work on finding a way to cut out the mistakes and put together a complete game," he said. "… They're all things that are correctable. At this point in the season, the team needs to take ownership and step up and establish expectations and results, and I'm confident this team will do that."
The Retrievers will play Mount St. Mary's in their final nonconference game on Saturday at noon at Waldron Family Stadium in Emmitsburg. The Mountaineers are searching for their first win after dropping seven straight contests, but Zimmerman said their record should not be a consideration for UMBC.
"You can't get all wrapped up in Mount St. Mary's record," he said. "They have played one of the toughest schedules in Division I. Maryland, Georgetown, Delaware, Virginia, Towson, Drexel and Manhattan – there's not an easy game in there. So we can't say, 'Hey, we're going up there and we're playing a 0-7 team.' We're going up to Mount St. Mary's, where they're always tough at home and it really is about this team taking ownership. At this point in the season, we know what to expect. Every team's good, every team is going to come out and give us their best shot. We have to do the same and be ready to play a tough 60-minute lacrosse game."