The snow began falling lightly 10 minutes into warmups, but that did not keep the UMBC men’s lacrosse team from playing their game at the Naval Academy on Saturday, Feb. 17. Playing in front of 1229 people, the Retrievers prepared to take on Navy, coming off a victory over previously ranked Richmond. Navy came into the game 0-2, but Retrievers Head Coach Ryan Moran knew not to take that for granted. Moran was the head coach of the Navy Prep School for a year in 2005, and was an assistant at the Academy from ’06-’08. Moran said “Since 2000 to now, I have played Navy all but two years…I know that you can never underestimate them.” This included Moran’s playing career at the University of Maryland.
Freshman Tommy Lingner earned his first start in goal, after he came in 10 minutes into the game against Richmond and stopped 13 of 15 shots. Lingner was named the America East Defensive Player of the Week, and was also named to the USILA Team of the Week. Lingner was also awarded the Inside Lacrosse Alpha Lacrosse Player of the Week by a fan vote. Lingner saw action early, making 4 saves in the first quarter.
The first goal came after intense end to end action by both teams. UMBC held an extended possession which gave them time to find the right play. Sophomore attack-man Ryan Frawley came around the back end of the goal, beat his defender, and scored on a 1 on 1 with the Navy goalie. The first quarter ended 1-0 to UMBC, with the tough weather conditions seeming to be a factor.
Navy’s offense found their rhythm in the second quarter, scoring two goals in 10 seconds before UMBC could respond. The Retrievers scored once more in the first half, when junior economics major Gunnar Schimoler beat his defender and took a shot from distance to score. Navy would score two more goals in the second quarter, to go into halftime up 4-2.
Halftime brought heavier snow, making the conditions even more difficult for both teams, especially when it came to seeing the white lacrosse ball. As the second half began, a player wound up to take a shot, and the entire stick slipped out of his hands. As the third quarter went on, the Retrievers’ offense got going, scoring two goals in just over three minutes. Anne Arundel County local, freshman attack-man Trevor Patschorke shot from distance to score his first goal, and scored his second after picking up a rebound the Navy goalie couldn’t hold onto. Patschorke finished with two goals and one assist on the day. When asked what it was like to play at the Naval Academy, a place so close to where he grew up, Patschorke said “It was an awesome experience.”
After scoring their fourth goal, UMBC’s offense stalled, going on a goalless drought that lasted 15 minutes and 49 seconds, just over a full quarter of play. Navy scored three more after that, going up 7-4 before junior political science major Billy Nolan scored a long-range shot, giving UMBC some hope with time left. Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t score again, and UMBC lost 7-5 to the Naval Academy.
The statistics for the game were mixed, with UMBC outshooting Navy 35-30, which should have lead to more goals for the Retrievers, but the Retrievers did not have luck with face-offs, only winning three of the 15 oppurtunities. Losing the face-offs meant that the team was unable to gain possession easily, making the defense work harder to get the ball back. The defense played well, and cleared the ball from their end to the offense successfully 80 percent of the time. Lingner made 7 saves, including multiple point-blank stops.
In a post-game interview, Moran said, “It was a great opportunity to get our young kids a lot of real experience.” UMBC started six underclassmen out of 10 possible starters. This will work in their favor in the long run, playing against a team like Navy who is very physical. “I thought we played well defensively, but should’ve gotten more than five [goals].”
UMBC moves to 1-1 on the year and will go up against local rivals Towson on Saturday, March 3 after Mt. St. Mary’s on Feb. 23.