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Jack Gannon's return to the midfield worked out for the UMBC men's lacrosse team.

The junior recorded a game-high four points and paced the host Retrievers with three goals en route to an 11-8 victory over Mount St. Mary's at UMBC Stadium Tuesday night.

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After making his past three starts at attack, Gannon shifted back to midfield where he joined junior Pat Young and senior Ty Kashur. That trio composed the starting midfield for much of last season.

Gannon posted two goals and one assist in the first quarter and completed his hat trick in the third to help the Retrievers improve to 3-5 and snap a three-game losing skid. Young scored twice, and Kashur chipped in an assist.

Gannon acknowledged feeling a certain level of comfort returning to the midfield with Young and Kashur.

"The chemistry was never gone," he said. "Once we got back, we just got back into what we were doing last year. It was great being back with them."

Coach Don Zimmerman said it became apparent in practice this week that the coaches needed to move Gannon, who had 18 goals and 23 assists last year.

"We just felt like Jack really is a midfielder," Zimmerman said. "He's played it his whole life, and we had three guys who played together last year. So let's put them back together and see how they do. I would say that yesterday, we ran them in some half-field [sets], and I just felt like that midfield had nice flow about it and got comfortable again in a hurry."

The offense also scored 10 goals in a game for the first time this season, moving them out of a group that included Canisius, Manhattan and VMI.

The third quarter proved pivotal for both teams. With the score tied at 4-4 at halftime, UMBC scored all four of the period's goals.

"You want to come out and set the tone right from the start of the second half," said redshirt senior Conor Finch, a Boys' Latin graduate who registered a goal and an assist in his first start of the year at attack. "They made a nice comeback to tie it up at 4-4, and we knew we were going to have to score goals to win this game. So to put a couple on the board right away was a big confidence boost for the whole team and especially for our offense."

Mount St. Mary's rallied to trim the score to 8-6 on goals from junior midfielder Justin Gosnell with 11:37 left in the fourth quarter and redshirt sophomore attackman Bubba Johnson 56 seconds later.

But UMBC scored three of the game's last five goals to put the contest out of reach and improve to 22-0 against the Mountaineers.

Junior attackman Nate Lewnes, a St. Mary's graduate, finished with two goals. Sophomore goalie Ruston Souder made a game-best 11 saves in just his second start of the season.

"I think I was comfortable from starting the last game at Stony Brook," said Souder, a Chesapeake-AA graduate. "It really comes down to having a better defense in front of me. Those guys are always talking to me, and I was talking to them. They really made it easy for me to come out and get the same thing going again."

Gosnell, a Havre de Grace graduate, led Mount St. Mary's (2-6) with three goals. Johnson added three points on one goal and two assists, and junior midfielder Evan Gormley scored twice.

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But coach Tom Gravante said the team failed to match the Retrievers' pace in the second half in dropping its third consecutive game.

"It was going to be a game of nerves and about which team could stay in there and maintain itself," he said. "I think UMBC accomplished that over us tonight."

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