xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Youth-driven UMBC men's lacrosse showed its age in Saturday's loss vs. Richmond

UMBC lacrosse coach Don Zimmerman is dealing with a lot of youth on the field early in the season.
UMBC lacrosse coach Don Zimmerman is dealing with a lot of youth on the field early in the season. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

For a team not shy about relying on a plethora of younger players for the upcoming season, UMBC showed its age in Saturday's season-opening 7-5 loss against Richmond.

The Retrievers, who started three freshmen and one sophomore against the Spiders (2-0), were plagued by an ineffective offense (just 24 shots) and an alarming number of turnovers (20 for the entire game and 15 in the second half), and coach Don Zimmerman said the team's lack of experience was evident.

Advertisement

"I just think a lot of different areas," Zimmerman said Monday morning when asked where the players' youth showed. "Turnovers, maybe some guys trying to do too much. Richmond has a really good ride, and you can practice that and be ready for it, but until you see something like that, you're really not ready for it. I thought we did some good things, and we did some things we obviously need to improve on.

"And I will say this as well, it wasn't just our freshmen. We have some sophomores who are really seeing their first action. They were basically practice players for us last year, and now they've stepped into a different, more vital role. So they learned a lot playing in the game as well. And some of our older guys need to pick things up. I just felt like we didn't play as well as we had hoped we could, but I saw a lot of good things we can build on."

Advertisement
Advertisement

One of those positive aspects was the play of a defense that returned just one starter in senior defenseman Zach Esser (Fallston) and started a goalkeeper in redshirt junior Connor Gordon who had been leapfrogged by junior Ruston Souder last spring.

"I thought they played great," Zimmerman said of the defense. "If you can hold your opponent to seven goals, you'd like to think that's going to win you a lacrosse game. But when you only put up five, we just didn't get the job done offensively. We played a lot of defense. I thought our goalkeeper, Connor Gordon, played well. And I like what we did on defense. It was more between the lines and on the offensive end where we didn't get the production we wanted."

Like the defense, the offense opened the game with just one starter in senior attackman Nate Lewnes and started three freshmen. The unit managed just six shots in the second half, and Zimmerman said first-game jitters were a significant factor.

"We started a freshman on attack in Pat Brennan," Zimmerman said. "I think he forced the issue a couple times. Richmond's got a terrific defense, and their goalie played well. I think we had some opportunities, and whether we didn't connect because of execution or they did a good job of preventing the ball from going into the cage, it was probably a combination."

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement