After playing – but not starting – in UMBC’s 7-6 win over America East Conference foe Binghamton on Saturday night at UMBC Stadium in Catonsville, senior attackman Max Maxwell is improving.
Maxwell missed four straight days of practice last week for the Retrievers (5-6, 3-1) because of what coach Ryan Moran called a stomach flu. Freshman Brett McIntyre started in Maxwell’s place, but Maxwell appeared midway through the first quarter and later assisted on freshman attackman Ryan Frawley’s first of two goals against the Bearcats (9-2, 3-1).
On Tuesday, Moran said he anticipated Maxwell, who leads the offense in goals (15) and assists (18), practicing fully.
“He’s doing better,” Moran said. “The stomach bug seems to leaving. We were very light yesterday anyway, so we were going to keep him out no matter what.”
Moran acknowledged that fatigue was a problem for Maxwell, who could only manage to digest some rice and liquids last week.
“We took him out every quarter for a couple minutes,” Moran said. “We put him in the game plan without having to carry as much. So I think with the training staff and our communication with him, we played him about as much as we should and not put him in harm’s way. … But he wanted to play. He’s a senior, and it was a night game, and he didn’t want to lose that opportunity. But I do think that not eating for most of the week and just being a little bit sick kept him down for a little bit.”
McIntyre, making his first career start, did not score on his one shot but he did pick up a ground ball and did not commit a turnover.
“He’s a kid that has good skills,” Moran said of McIntyre. “I thought he came in and did his job. He didn’t turn the ball over, which is huge for an attackman. He didn’t try to force things. I think being put in that position at an early age isn’t easy. I thought he held his own really well.”
McIntyre could make his second straight start Saturday at Hartford (4-7, 1-3). But Moran said he is optimistic that Maxwell will be healthy enough to return.
“If he has a good week, yeah,” Moran said when asked if Maxwell could start against the Hawks. “We’ll see how it goes. You know how viruses are. We’re hoping to get him to practice [Tuesday], but it’s still not out of his system. But he’s better than he was on Saturday night, and he’s improved over the last few days.”