The UMBC men’s lacrosse team completed a miraculous comeback and edged Albany, 14-13, to capture the 2008 America East Conference championship. The Retrievers will earn their third consecutive bid to the NCAA Championships and will learn of their placement on Sunday evening.
The Retrievers trailed 11-2 with 6:41 remaining in the second quarter. They would outscore the Great Danes, 10-2 in the second half to capture the improbable victory. The Retrievers still trailed, 13-11 before sophomore attackman Matt Latham brought UMBC to within a goal, converting an inside feed from Terry Kimener with 4:21 remaining. Junior midfielder Alex Hopmann would bring UMBC all the way back to even as he drove inside and scored an unassisted score with 3:01 to play.
After Taylor Marino won the ensuing face-off, sophomore midfielder Maxx Davis found Jamie Kimbles up top and the freshman midfielder blast from 14 yards out found the back of the net with 2:12 remaining.
The Great Danes got a final opportunity, but Brian Caufield’s shot with seven seconds left went wide and Albany never got another another shot underway.
“I am so proud of this team and I have been all year long,” Head Coach Don Zimmerman said. “We’ve handled adversity incredibly well and showed what our team is capable of doing.”
Latham led the goal scorers with four goals and he added an assist, while Davis had a career-best five point effort with a goal and four helpers. Hopmann scored a season best five points, scoring two goals and adding three assists. Sophomore midfielder Kyle Wimer scored three goals and added an assist, while Marino garnered a career high 19 face off wins and 13 ground balls.
Senior midfielder Terry Kimener was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and Marino, Wimer and junior defender Bobby Atwell were UMBC’s representatives to the all-tournament team.
Albany (8-8) was led by Joe Pompo, who scored four goals, while Caufield scored three goals and added an assist.
UMBC posted its school Division I record 12th win and has won a school record 11 in a row. They have now reached the NCAA Tournament three straight years for the first time in school history.
The evening started on a sour note, as UMBC leading goal scorer Ryan Smith suffered a knee injury 1:16 into the game and did not return. The Great Danes jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Wimer scored UMBC’s first goal with 1:35 remaining in the first quarter. Pompo scored two goals in the final nine seconds of the quarter to give Albany a 7-1 lead after 15 minutes.
Pompo scored twice in the second quarter as Albany built the advantage to 11-2 with 8:19 remaining in the second quarter. Latham and Kimener scored to bring UMBC within seven goals at 11-4 at halftime.
UMBC scored four goals in the first 3:31 of the fourth quarter to whip the crowd of 2,080 into a frenzy and bring the nation’s seventh-ranked team to within 11-8 on Latham’s second goal of the quarter.
Notes: UMBC is now 14-2 in games decided by three goals or less since the beginning of the 2007 season and have won nine of their last 11 one-goal decisions.
|Matt Latham||(4, 1)|
|Alex Hopmann||(2, 3)|
|Maxx Davis||(1, 4)|
|Kyle Wimer||(3, 1)|
|Terry Kimener||(1, 1)|
|Jamie Kimbles||(1, 0)|
|Dominic Scalzo||(1, 0)|
|Chris Jones||(1, 0)|
|Jeremy Blevins||4 (0.235)|