The True Underdog: UMBC Lacrosse


NIck Lorensen, Staff

(As of May 12th, UMBC lost to Penn State 25-10)

UMBC and #1 seeds are a tale as old as time. The Retrievers have beaten five #1 seeds in the past 13 months and will look to make it a sixth on Sunday against Penn State in the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament.  

UMBC is known for their 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament victory over #1 seed Virginia. Before that game, #16 seeds were 0-135 in the tournament all time. The same could be said of lacrosse where 16 seeds are 0-16 all time in the current lacrosse formatbut there have been games where they have played #1 seeds close these past couple years. The last 16 seed to win was Hofstra over #8 Virginia in 2001.  

UMBC came into the America East tournament struggling, with a record of 3-8. But with a win against Hartford in the season finale, they got to a winning percentage of .250 and clinched a spot into the America East tournament. To make the NCAA Tournament, they had to beat regular season champ and tournament host #1 Stony Brook. The Seawolves received votes in the Top 20 the week before and looked nothing like one of those teams against UMBC.  

The Retrievers defense dominated defensively in the first half holding an 8-1 scorefinishing out the game with a final of 14-8. They would get ready to play a familiar America East Final foe, #2 seed Vermont on Saturday.  

Nationally televised on ESPNU, the Retrievers had a very poor first half down 9-6 at the break. They would cut it to 10-9 at the end of the 3rd setting up for a great last quarter. In a back and forth 4th, Trevor Patschorke scored the game winner with 1:06 left, sending the Retrievers to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009. 

On Sunday night the Retrievers received their expected fate, a trip to Poughkeepsie New York for Wednesday’s play in game. 

Going into this game, Ryan Frawley (41 goals) and Trevor Patschorke (35) were gaining national attention for their great offense, but the Retrievers defense is what really led this postseason push.  

After a struggle to start the season, UMBC went with a goalie by committee. Tommy Lingler started most of the season but sat out the final game of the regular season and the America East Tournament. This set up Jack Morton for a postseason run. In the semifinal, he saved 50% of the shots and in the finals did pretty well as well. He was the key to UMBC making it back to the tournament. 

On Wednesday night, UMBC played their first NCAA Tournament game in 10 years and were searching for their first win since 2007. The Retrievers struggled early on, playing from behind for the first half. They were down 6-5 at half, but in the 2nd half, they played with a purpose. In the 3rd, they shutout the Red Foxes 4-0 and then in the 4th killed them 5-2.  

This win clinched the Retrievers a trip to Happy Valley and another 16 vs 1 matchup on Sunday. Penn State has never won a NCAA Lacrosse Tournament game, but this is their best team of all time. Mac O’Keefe scored in every game this season for the Nittany Lions and the defense only gave up more than 15 goals once (Conference Championship). Penn State also has Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Chris Sabia and All First team member Grant Ament.  

The game on Sunday is at Noon and it will be broadcast on ESPNU. It will take place at Penn State’s lacrosse stadium. UMBC will try to be the ultimate 16 seed.