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2019 Men’s College Lacrosse Year In Review: #16 UMBC Retrievers

UMBC was the fourth seed in the America East Tournament and surprisingly won the entire thing.

John McCreary

With the 2019 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to look back at how all 73 teams did during the season, along with an early look at each squad for 2020.

Note: These are not end of season rankings.

Here’s our last five Year In Review posts we’ve done:

To see all of our posts, check out the 2019 Year In Review section on the site.

Let’s continue our 2019 Year In Review with the teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament!

#16 UMBC Retrievers

Conference: America East
2019 Record: 7-9 (2-4 in America East)
Postseason: Defeated Stony Brook and Vermont for America East Championship, defeated Marist in NCAA Opening Round, lost to Penn State in NCAA First Round
Head coach: Ryan Moran (3rd Season)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Ryan Frawley (46)
Assists: Billy Nolan (21)
Points: Ryan Frawley (54)
Faceoffs: Brandon Galloway (92-of-211; 43.6%)
Ground balls: Brandon Galloway (49)
Caused turnovers: Colin Kasner (31)
Goals against average: Tommy Lingner (12.75)
Save percentage: Tommy Lingner (40.7%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: M Josh Jordan (24 Gs, 6 As, 7 GBs), M Billy Nolan (9 Gs, 21 As, 16 GBs, 4 CTs), D Gunnar Schimoler (10 CTs, 28 GBs, 1 G), M Jack Andrews (8 As, 6 GBs, 1 CT)
Senior scoring departing: 71 of 283 points (25.1%)
Senior starts lost: 41 of 160 (25.6%)

Season Summary

The winner of this year’s America East Tournament wasn’t Albany. Nor was it Vermont or even tournament host Stony Brook. Instead, it was UMBC, a team that finished below .500 and made it past the Opening Round of the NCAA Tournament against Marist. Simply put, the Retrievers got hot at the right time.

UMBC began the season with two losses against Navy and Richmond but rebounded for their first win of the season against Mount St. Mary’s. The Retrievers went on a 5-0 run after the two teams exchanged goals in the first quarter as the defense held off a Mountaineer rally in the second half.

March was not so kind for UMBC, losing their first four games of the month, two of them coming in overtime. Against Brown, the Retrievers gave up five straight goals to the Bears in the third quarter before responding with a 4-0 run to force overtime. But Brown was able to get the game-winner on a tally from Ryan Aughavin. After a blowout loss to High Point, UMBC had a 10-4 lead against Vermont entering the fourth quarter of their America East conference opener. But the Catamounts clawed back with seven goals in the fourth, including five in a span of 3:06, before winning the game in double overtime. The Retrievers were doubled up against Stony Brook before they won their next two games against Lafayette and Binghamton.

UMBC then fell to Albany after the Great Danes jumped out to an early 6-1 lead in the first quarter. A fourth quarter rally just wasn’t enough. And then came what many thought was a win or go home game against UMass Lowell. In a back-and-forth affair for the entire game, Trevor Patschorke scored the tying goal with two seconds left in regulation to force overtime. But after the Retrievers got the ball after a failed UMass Lowell chance, they went wide on three shots before the River Hawks got the ball back and won it in overtime.

After the loss, coach Ryan Moran pretty much thanked the seniors and the rest of the team team for their efforts during the year as they thought that eliminated them from postseason contention. But all of a sudden, Binghamton, a team who was 0-11 to start the season, defeated Hartford later in the day for their first win of the season and kept UMBC alive. They were still alive when Binghamton defeated UMass Lowell prior to the team’s regular season finale against Hartford, the team’s first road win in six tries. The Retrievers held on for a two-goal win and the fourth seed in the America East Tournament. That was the start of five straight “elimination” games in a 16-day span.

In the America East Tournament, UMBC went off for eight goals against Stony Brook and held the Seawolves to a lone tally in the first of their semifinal showdown to advance and face Vermont in the conference title game. Down 5-2 late in the first quarter, Moran wanted official to check Vermont FOGO Alex Semler’s stick. They found it was illegal, resulting in a three-minute non-releasable penalty. UMBC took the lead with a 4-0 run, with the first two goals on that long man-up. The teams went back-and-forth for the rest of the game before Patschorke netted home the winning goal with 1:06 left in the game to give the Retrievers their first America East title since 2009. That was also the team’s first win when trailing after any quarter during the season.

UMBC then recorded their first tournament win since 2007 with a 14-8 win over Marist in the Opening Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Retrievers potted home nine goals in the second half despite only winning eight total faceoffs. Their season did come to an end in a 25-10 loss to top-seeded Penn State.

In 2018, UMBC had the best defense in the country, but one of the worst offenses in school history with a 6.85 goals per game average due to injuries to Patschorke and Ryan Frawley. But those two, along with Brett McIntyre, each registered at least 30 goals on the season, becoming the first trio of Retrievers to do that since 2007. Steven Zichelli also saw some time at attack. Up top, seniors Josh Jordan and Billy Nolan led the way with 30 points each. Michael Zichelli, Jack Andrews, and Taylor Bohanan also were notable contributors up top. Altogether, the offense was up nearly 74% and was 28th in the country with an 11.9 goals per game average.

In 2019, injuries affected the close defense unit before the regular season began. Jason Brewster and Nick Griffin each suffered season-ending injuries. In comes junior Colin Kasner, sophomore Corey Gaines, and senior Gunnar Schimoler, who started at attack and midfield before moving to short stick defensive midfield. Danny Isaac was a short stick defender for most of the season but also saw time when Gaines and Kasner went down during the season. Nick Doyle, Justin Barragan, and James Nagro were LSMs, while Pat Clipp, Zach Kalas, Keith Dukes, and Blake McDermott were the other shorties. Brandon Galloway and P.J. Argiros were both freshman FOGOs that split time taking draws, but neither of them reached 50%. Sophomore Tommy Lingner started 11 games during the year, but freshman Jack Morton started in the other five, including UMBC’s first four “elimination” games.

Looking Ahead

If all goes well, UMBC’s close defense should be really good with Brewster and Griffin returning. Kasner and Gaines are also back and one could be moved down to be a long stick midfielder. There’s position battles at the faceoff X and in goal, as neither one look to have a top guy.

On offense, the entire attack returns, but the team’s top two midfielders graduate. Michael Zichelli is the team’s top returning midfielder with 16 points, with the team also looking for Bohanan to take a larger role as well.

The Retrievers got hot at the right time to end 2019. Can they show that they’re one of the best teams in the America East throughout 2020 as well?


How many wins will UMBC get in 2020?

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  • 8%
    (8 votes)
  • 9%
    (9 votes)
  • 31%
    (29 votes)
  • 49%
    (45 votes)
91 votes total Vote Now