NCAA Team Reviews: UMBC Retrievers

Photo credit to UMBC Athletics
Photo credit to Gail Burton, UMBC Athletics

For the better part of four months, many of us watched some exciting college lacrosse, whether it was on TV, online, or in person.  There were good games, which included all of Championship Weekend, and there were bad games, such as low scoring affairs and of course, the horrendous winter weather.  I take a look back at all 69 Division I teams and how they fared this season and what to look forward to in 2016.

Check out previous recaps: NJIT Highlanders, UMass Lowell River Hawks, VMI Keydets, Manhattan Jaspers, Canisius Golden Griffins, Robert Morris Colonials, St. John’s Red Storm, Wagner Seahawks, Binghamton Bearcats, Bellarmine Knights, Jacksonville Dolphins, Furman Paladins, Lafayette Leopards, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers, Siena Saints, Delaware Blue Hens


2014 Record 8-7
2014 Conference Record 3-2 (3rd in American East)
2014 Scoring Offense 12.20 Goals Per Game (9th in DI)
2014 Scoring Defense 11.93 Goals Against Per Game (59th in DI)
2014 Goals Leader #22 Matt Gregoire – Senior (48 Gs)
2014 Assists Leader #5 Max Maxwell – Freshman (26 As)
2014 Points Leader #22 Matt Gergoire – Senior (57 Pts)
2014 Goaltending Leader #14 Connor Gordon – R-Freshman (.508 SV %)
2014 Face-Off Leader #33 Phil Poe – Senior (.668 FO %)
2014 Ground Balls Leader #33 Phil Poe – Senior (140 GBs)
2014 Caused Turnovers Leader #50 Zach Esser – Sophomore (18 CTs)
2014 Quality Wins Mercer (15-6), Stony Brook (12-11)
2014 Bad Losses High Point (17-15), Binghamton (13-7)


2015 Record 5-8
2015 Conference Record 1-5 (5th in American East)
2015 Scoring Offense 8.54 Goals Per Game (56th in DI)
2015 Scoring Defense 10.08 Goals Against Per Game (31st in DI)
2015 Goals Leader #45 Nate Lewnes – Junior (31 Gs)
2015 Assists Leader #5 Max Maxwell – Sophomore (10 As)
2015 Points Leader #45 Nate Lewnes – Junior (33 Pts)
2015 Goaltending Leader #13 Ruston Souder – Sophomore (.524 SV %)
2015 Face-Off Leader #19 Nathan Klein – Senior (.446 FO %)
2015 Ground Balls Leader #19 Nathan Klein – Senior (37 GBs)
2015 Caused Turnovers Leader #50 Zach Esser – Junior (16 CTs)
2015 Quality Wins Richmond (9-5), Mount St. Mary’s (11-8)
2015 Bad Losses Binghamton (13-4), Hartford (9-8 OT)



UMBC had a down season after being 8-7 a year ago along with having a top ten offense statistically. In 2015, the Retrievers ranked 56th in offense, scoring nearly less than four goals on average than 2014, but the defense slightly improved to giving up just over 10 goals a game on average. The loss of Matt Gregoire on offense could be a cause of the decreased output of the offense, but on the other side of the ball, Zach Esser can be a cause to the increase in defense on the team.

The Terriers started the season with two losses against Johns Hopkins and Penn, before beating Monmouth and Richmond to get back to .500. The Terriers then had three straight losses against Towson and against American East foes Binghamton and Stony Brook, before getting back to their winning ways against Mount St. Mary’s and Lafayette. Then, they had another two-game losing streak against Hartford in overtime and another one goal loss against Vermont. The season concluded with a win against UMass Lowell and a blowout loss to Albany.

To make the season worse, UMBC won’t have Pat Young with them in 2016, as he decided to transfer nearby to the University of Maryland. Young was one of the top contributors on the Retriever offense and was named the American East’s Rookie of the Year in 2013. Junior Nate Lewnes will have to take the reigns next season after leading the team in goals and points in 2015. Ruston Souder and Connor Gordon will either split time in the cage or fight for the starting position next season, after both goalies starting half of the season and putting up similar numbers.


Luke Ciccarone Midfield Calvert Hall (MD)
Tomas Rodriguez LSM Yorktown/Trinity-Pawling (NY)
Gunnar Schimoler Attack/Midfield South River (MD)
Jason Brewster Defense Valley Center (CA)
Pat Brennan Attack Chesapeake-AA (MD)
Jack Andrews Midfield St. Mary’s (MD)
James Nagro Midfield/Attack Westview (CA)
Patrick Clipp Midfield Marriotts Ridge (MD)
Cooper Cuje Defense Rumson-Fair Haven (NJ)
Ian Junge Defense Sachem North (NY)
Billy Nolan Midfield Arundel (MD)
Blake McDermott Attack/Midfield South Carroll (MD)
Ryan Baker Midfield Yorktown (NY)
Kennedy Solomon Defense J.Serra (CA)

The Terriers will bring in 14 players to replace ten departing players, nine of which are seniors. One of their top players will be Ryan Baker, who was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, recording 51 points, won 61.8% of face-offs and recorded a team-high 89 ground balls for Yorktown. Baker might be able to replace the spot that Pat Young will leave at UMBC. Half of the recruits are from inside of Maryland, while the other half come from New York, New Jersey, or California. One of the incoming Maryland kids has a familiar last name, Luke Ciccarone. While at Johns Hopkins, Coach Don Zimmerman played under Luke’s grandfather, Henry Sr., and later coached his father, Henry Jr., at the Hop. But besides the last name, Ciccarone was a two-way midfielder and was also a wingman on face-offs for the Cardinals.