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David Pisanic used time wisely while waiting for chance to start again for UMBC men’s lacrosse

Losing a starting job can be demoralizing for some athletes. David Pisanic used it as motivation.

The senior goalkeeper for the UMBC men’s lacrosse team opened the season as the starter against Richmond on Feb. 10. But after giving up four goals in 9:10, Pisanic was pulled for freshman Tommy Lingner, who started the next five games.

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While biding his time behind Lingner, Pisanic, a Towson resident and Boys’ Latin graduate, continued to hone his game and help his teammates.

Junior attackman Patrick Spencer tied a school record for points in a game with 12 to lead No. 8 Loyola to a 15-9 victory over Navy.

“I just tried to keep my head up and keep battling in practice,” he said. “Nothing good comes out of a senior goalie putting his head down and just pouting about it. I just wanted to get other guys ready as a scout goalie and just do whatever I can to make the offensive players better for the week.”

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Pisanic’s patience was rewarded Sunday when he started against America East foe Stony Brook. Even though the Retrievers lost, 7-6, he fared decently, making five saves, including smothering a shot by Seawolves sophomore attackman Tom Haun and giving the ball back to the offense for a chance to tie the score in the final minute.

“I thought David did a great job,” UMBC coach Ryan Moran said while declining to elaborate on the decision to go with Pisanic (10.45 goals-against average, .364 save percentage) over Lingner (8.30 GAA, .500 save percentage. “David and Tommy have been battling in practice, and the margin between their performances has been very minute.”

Six of the UMBC men’s lacrosse team’s first eight possessions ended in turnovers, and the man-up offense whiffed on two six-on-four advantages. Those miscues contributed to Sunday’s 7-6 loss to Stony Brook.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Pisanic was a bit more self-critical of his play.

“I thought I started off a little slow, and I just wanted to put my team in the best possible position,” he said. “I wasn’t really making the stick saves. So I just tried to put my body in front of everything possible.”

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Moran said deciding who to start in the net will be a “week-by-week” process, but Pisanic made a favorable impression with Stony Brook coach Jim Nagle.

“He did a nice job,” Nagle said of Pisanic. “He got a couple of key saves sprawling down. The one at the end there was kind of big. He’s a little bit of a sprawler, dropping to his knees, but they were big saves, for sure.”

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