UPDATED: Men's Lacrosse Clinches Playoff Berth With 10-9 Triumph Over Binghamton, Will Face Hartford in AEC Semis
Wes DiRito made 12 saves to key the win over Binghamton.
BALTIMORE- UMBC freshman midfielder Pat Young scored his fourth goal with 1:18 remaining and the host Retrievers outlasted Binghamton, 10-9, to clinch a berth in the America East Tournament for the tenth consecutive year.
UMBC (6-7, 3-2 America East) has participated in the four-team championship in all ten of its league campaigns. The Bearcats were eliminated from tournament play and finish the season at 5-9, 1-4.
The 2013 America East Championship will open at LaValle Stadium in Stony Brook, N.Y. UMBC will be the No. 3 seed and face No. 2 Hartford in the first semifinal game at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 2.
Young, who led the Retrievers with four scores, scored his third game-winning goal of the season. He also recorded the game-winner with less than three minutes remaining in a 13-12 win at Stony Brook on April 13.
"It was a typical America East game-for our conference to have five teams still in the hunt on the last week of the regular season is pretty special," said head coach Don Zimmerman. "It's Senior Day, it's emotional. It's always a little bit of a struggle on Senior Day, but I am very proud of the team, the way they hung in there, came back from several deficits and came back in the end."
The game was tied on eight occasions, as the Retrievers trailed by one goal six times and 8-6 late in the third quarter. The Bearcats took the lone two-goal advantage of the game on a goal by attackman Matt Springer with 18 seconds to play in the third stanza. But UMBC snatched momentum back as senior attackman/midfielder Joe Lustgarten (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) netted a desperation shot with less than one second remaining in the stanza.
Young knotted the game at 8-all 2:42 into the final quarter, beating BU netminder Max Schefler low from 11 yards away. UMBC would then take its first lead of the game, as senior middie Dave Brown (Coopersburg, Pa./The Hill School) found Matt Gregoire (Crofton, Md./South River) inside and the senior attackman converted from close range with 8:55 remaining.
Binghamton's Emmett O'Hara brought his side back to even, tallying with 3:29 remaining and the Bearcats won the ensuing draw. But BU hit the side-netting on a shot with 1:52 to play and the Retrievers cleared and called a time-out. Junior midfielder Conor Finch (Westminster, Md./Boys' Latin) drove down the right alley and dumped a pass back to Young, who stepped into a 10-yard shot and it ticked the stick of Schefler before hitting the back of the net.
UMBC won the next face-off and never allowed the Bearcats to possess the ball in the final minute of play.
The Retrievers, now 39-13 in ten years of America East Conference play, have never lost back-to-back conference contests. UMBC improved to 22-4 at UMBC Stadium vs. AEC foes during the regular year and to 8-0 vs. Binghamton on the friendly turf in Baltimore.
Young and Springer each scored four times for their respective teams. Lustgarten added two goals and an assist for UMBC, while Gregoire recorded a pair of goals and now has 15 in league play in 2013.
Both goalkeepers excelled in the contest. UMBC sophomore Wes DiRito (Odenton, Md./DeMatha) turned away 12 Binghamton shots, while Schefler also recorded 12 saves. The Retrievers outshot the Bearcats, 35-27.