After missing the America East tournament for two years in a row, the UMBC men’s lacrosse team returned to the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. It marked a somewhat remarkable reversal for a program under a first-year coach in Ryan Moran.
But the Retrievers were unceremoniously bounced from the tournament, 9-4, by Binghamton — an opponent they had beaten, 7-6, earlier in the season — in the semifinal round, and Moran said that loss and a 6-8 overall record tempered the team’s 4-2 mark in the league.
“We were a team that for the most part exceeded some expectations, and we want to continue to hit those standards and do a good job,” he began.
“I want us to maintain the same mindset that we’ve had in terms of just trying to get better. I don’t think they have to handle too much because I don’t think we hit anything out of the park either. We were 4-2 in the league, which was good but not great, not amazing. So there’s still obviously some room for improvement there, and we’ve got handled in the first round of the America East tournament. So there was some improvement in terms of other people’s standards, but it’s still nothing that we want to try to aspire to be at.”
That’s why Moran is taking a wait-and-see approach to his projected starting lineup.
He said junior Billy Nolan (18 goals, six assists in 2017) is the only player who has cemented a spot on the first midfield and freshman Trevor Patschorke (Severna Park) is competing to join junior Jack Andrews (12 G, 11 A) and sophomore Ryan Frawley (18 G, 3 A) as starting attackmen.
The point Moran is trying to get across to the players is that there is room for improvement on individual and team levels.
“We still need to get better,” he said. “We were only 6-8 and No. 2 in the league and out pretty early in the tournament. So if we kind of just stay where we’re at, there’s no guarantee that we’ll even be able to reach those benchmarks.
“It’s good to have experience, but then it’s about making sure that you’re properly motivating and creating an atmosphere of competition every day at practice to have those experienced guys continue to keep that competitive edge and then improve as well.”