Despite senior goalkeeper, Garrett Conaway’s, exemplary performance in the cage with 10 saves, the Hawks could not catch the UMBC Retrievers on Saturday, Feb. 21. The final score of the game was 4-2 in the Retrievers favor.
The loss aside, the confidence Conaway has in his team is unmatched. “The defense played a phenomenal game, they gave me shots I could really save. To hold a team like UMBC, who has been consistently good over the years, to only four goals is an achievement in itself.”
The Hawks began their 2013-2014 inaugural season in similar fashion as they suffered a 10-8 loss against UMBC. Unlike last season, the Hawks have a much more experienced squad and a very talented freshmen class.
In an interview earlier this month, senior co-captain Ryan Horsch said, “We have a lot of young guys that are maturing and getting older. On top of that, we have a good group of freshmen that came in and I think a bunch of them will actually see time and give us some depth we didn’t have last year.”
Horsch had three groundballs and caused a turnover during the contest.
In untypical lacrosse fashion, the contest provided hardly any scoring. In such a low scoring game, possession often determines the winner. Unfortunately for MU, their 13 first half turnovers gave UMBC too many opportunities.
“As a team, when you hold a team to four goals you should be running it. A couple less mistakes on offense and it could have very easily gone the other way,” Head Coach Brian Fisher said.
In a pretty equal matchup, it was no surprise that the first period ended with the teams knotted at zero. However, UMBC’s Nate Lewnes was able to capitalize on a pass from Kevin McDonough to put the Retrievers up 1-0 heading into half.
The second half was showcased by the younger members of MU’s roster.
During the third quarter, freshman attackman Bryce Wasserman registered his first career goal which brought the game to a tie. Unfortunately for the Hawks, Lewnes was able to find the goal once again and gave UMBC their second lead. Sophomore midfielder Eric Berger answered Lewnes’ goal during the fourth quarter with the assist coming from sophomore midfielder Zack Schleicher.
With the game tied at two a piece, the Retrievers broke out of their cage. UMBC went on a scoring run towards the end of the fourth quarter as they added two more goals to seal the victory.
MU matched UMBC’s 24 shots on cage during the game, but a lot of the Hawks’ chances seemed to just miss the net or ricocheted off the pipe.
“We didn’t keep our composure on the offensive side of the field and we had some soft turnovers, but it’s nothing we can’t fix. We will improve from the mistakes and work to get ready for our game next week,” Fisher said.
The team will take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights Saturday in their first away game for the 2015 season.
The last time these two teams faced off, MU lost a staggering 20-4. Rutgers is currently on a two game losing streak with an overall record of 1-2.
PHOTO COURTESY of Taylor Jackson