Billy Nolan had a goal and two assists in the UMBC men’s lacrosse team’s 8-3 America East win over Hartford on Saturday, his ninth multi-point performance in 12 games this season. The junior midfielder has equaled his total of 11 assists through the first two years of his career and has a career-high 28 points. The Crofton resident and Arundel graduate shared his thoughts on his play on Saturday, his role as the team’s leading scorer and his ability to avoid injury in 40 career games.
Billy, you finished with one goal and two assists today in the win against Hartford. What was the key to your performance today?
Really just sticking to the game plan. We came in this week, and Coach drew up a good game plan. We knew our sets to run, and we just as an offense have to do our job. That’s what we’ve done all week, and we know the defense is going to take care of business on that end. So when we wear them down with long possessions, eventually we’ll get good looks on-cage, and that’s what happened tonight.
As a team, you created some separation in that third quarter. What was the key to fueling that run?
We always talk about one-stops – getting the ball and clearing it the first time and then like I said, just long possessions. You saw at the end there, we were man-up and just spinning the ball around and really just taking the time down. Once the clock is winding down, it’s tough for them to score on such a tough defense.
You’ve been the leading scorer this season. How does it feel to be the offensive leader?
I never really looked at it like that. I know I’m the vocal leader on offense and everything, but it’s six guys all doing their job at one time, and that’s how you have success. At points this year, we’ve had some success, and at points, we haven’t. Really, just chalk it up to practice. We haven’t had a good season on offense up until the last couple weeks, and we’ve just been working hard every day. Thanks to [assistant] coach Hutch [Neil Hutchinson] and [head] coach [Ryan] Moran, they’re great.
A lot of the younger guys are looking up to you. Does that put a lot of pressure on your shoulders?
I wouldn’t say pressure. It makes me feel a lot – I don’t know how to put it – just better about myself. I have to lead them and just show them the right thing to do. That’s really what I look at it as – just being a leader.
You’ve never missed a game in your career. What do you chalk that up to?
A little bit of luck. And we’ve got a great sports staff – [strength coach] Brian [Amenta] and [trainer] Ryan Fries – and just keeping me healthy all these years. But definitely luck plays a role in it, for sure.