Offense goes silent late for UMBC men’s lacrosse in 11-10 double overtime loss to Drexel

For all the things UMBC men’s lacrosse did right in Friday night’s season opener, the ending might linger for a while.

The Retrievers could not protect a three-goal lead with less than 10 minutes left in regulation, and visiting Drexel scored the game’s last four goals to escape with an 11-10 double overtime win Friday night before an announced 1,021 at UMBC Stadium in Catonsville.

After UMBC coughed up possession on a shot clock violation with 1:20 left in the second extra session, redshirt freshman attackman Witt Crawford cut to the net, collected a centering pass from senior midfielder Zach Augustine and scored his only goal of the game with 35.5 seconds remaining to send the Dragons (1-0) to their first season-opening victory since March 6, 2021.

Senior attackman Mike Doughty, a Glenelg native and graduate, had four assists, and senior attackman Mateo Brown, an Ellicott City native and Mt. Hebron graduate, compiled three points on two goals and one assist, but UMBC (0-1) dropped its first season opener since Feb. 15, 2020, when that squad lost to Georgetown, 14-8.

“It’s always disappointing when you lose, especially in a close game like that, and you let the defense down,” Doughty said. “They held them to 10 goals in regulation, and we can’t get over 10. It’s a bummer.”

The Retrievers had rallied from a 6-3 deficit in the second quarter by scoring six unanswered goals bridging the last three quarters and owned a 10-7 advantage after Doughty found junior midfielder Jordan Galloway for his second goal of the night with 9:48 left in the final period. But that’s when the well ran dry for the offense.

Coach Ryan Moran pointed out that all three starting attackmen began cramping in the fourth quarter, disrupting the offense’s chemistry.

“We were doing a lot of mixing and matching and putting some parts in positions that we really haven’t practiced,” he said. “That kind of really slowed us down in terms of being able to produce, but I still thought we generated some good shots. Their goalie had 15 saves. So their shooting percentage was better than ours, and their goalie made six more saves than ours.”

UMBC did not find the net for the final 17:12 of the game despite outshooting Drexel, 49-34, overall and 18-9 in the fourth quarter and two overtime periods. Dragons junior goalkeeper Drew McGill made eight of his game-high 15 saves in the second half.

The Retrievers got scoring from some unexpected sources. Senior defenseman Ethan Robinson, a Randallstown native and McDonogh, gave the team a 1-0 lead off of a caused turnover and fastbreak goal just 52 seconds into the first quarter.

After finishing last season with three goals and two assists in 12 games, sophomore midfielder Nick Gutierrez, a Crofton native and Archbishop Spalding graduate, scored the last goal of the third quarter. And freshman midfielder Corey Meyers, a Catonsville native and Mount Saint Joseph graduate, scored twice. But Doughty rued the offense’s missed chances when the team needed them.

“It definitely got dry in the end,” he said of the lack of punch. “One guy got hurt, and we were changing up guys on attack, and we couldn’t put the ball in the net. We had plenty of opportunities, but didn’t finish.”

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Trailing 10-7, Drexel got a pair of unassisted goals from sophomore attackman Conor Hooley, who scored a game-high four goals. Then graduate student midfielder Tate Kienzle’s goal off a pass from freshman midfielder Nate Bradley tied the score at 10 with 3:58 left in regulation.

“We’ve been preaching all year stickwork stuff, and that kind of bit us. But we feel like when we play clean, we’re pretty good,” Dragons coach Brian Voelker said. “We knew we were going to win some faceoffs to give us a chance. Nobody was panicking. The guys kind of stuck with the game plan and put some pieces back together. We got some big saves, and Drew had a great game in the goal. We got a bunch of stops when they hit that 10th goal.”

In the first overtime, Doughty dodged the right alley and appeared to beat McGill for the game-winning goal with 27 seconds remaining. But officials ruled that Doughty still had the ball in his stick when the shot clock expired.

“I thought I got the shot off, but you never know,” Doughty said. “The refs see what the refs see, and that’s what happens. It was a bummer.”

In the second overtime, Crawford, who had missed on his first three shots, made his fourth attempt count.

“All game, I was working inside, and they were doing a good job of blocking me off down there and taking away everything,” he said of the Retrievers defense. “I think we just stayed patient on offense and got a good matchup on the backside, and I just thought to cut hard because they were all kind of staring at the ball. I ended up being wide open, and Zach Augustine hit me, and I just finished.”

UMBC at Mount St. Mary’s

Saturday, noon