March 21, 2009

Baltimore--UMBC senior midfielder Alex Hopmann's (Annpolis, Md.) fourth goal of the game, 1:16 into overtime, gave the seventh-ranked Retrievers a 9-8 victory over Ohio State in another chapter in a classic series.

Games between the Retrievers and Buckeyes have gone to overtime in four of the last five years, and UMBC has prevailed three times (2004, 2008, 2009). The Retrievers have won seven consecutive overtime decisions and are 13-4 in head coach Don Zimmerman's 16th season at UMBC.

Senior midfielder Matt Curtin (Ellicott City, Md.), inserted into the game in the fourth quarter, won the draw to start overtime. Junior middie Kyle Wimer (Lancaster, Pa.) worked inside off the right wing and drew a defensive slide. He then fed the trailing midfielder, Hopmann, whose 11-yard shot beat netminder Brandon Freeman high to the off-stick side.

UMBC jumped out to a 4-0 first quarter lead. Junior attackman Matt Latham (Eldersburg, Md.) scored just 1:04 into the game, and Hopmann added two goals in the 4-0 run. But the Buckeyes countered with a 3-0 run in the second quarter, before Latham converted a Wimer feed to give the hosts a 5-3 lead at intermission.

The Buckeyes, however, tied the game with a pair of third quarter scores and took their first lead of the game when attackman Jeff Ryan scored off the opening draw (0:14) of the fourth quarter. Hopmann got the equalizer just 36 seconds later, starting a 3-0 Retriever surge as senior midfielder Peet Poillon (Cranberry Township, Pa.) and Latham scored at the 8:26 and 8:00-minute marks respectively.

But OSU midfielder James Green scored an extra-man goal at the 6:42 mark and junior attackman Mario Ventiquattro tied it at 8-8 on a slick inside feed from linemate Jeff Dalgarno with 3:13 remaining.

The Buckeyes had the final possession in regulation, but Ryan was unable to beat UMBC junior defensive midfielder Jordan Pierce (Glen Burnie, Md.) and Pierce snagged the loose ball as time expired.

Latham added three goals for UMBC, while Wimer recorded a goal and two helpers. Dalgarno had a three-point game for the visitors with a goal and two assists, while Green and Ryan each had a pair of goals.

Buckeye junior netminder was brilliant, with 14 saves, as UMBC outshot OSU, 40-22. UMBC senior netminder Jeremy Blevins (Cockeysville, Md.) had six saves for UMBC. Curtin won four of the last six draws in the game.

The Retrievers won the 2004 overtime decision, 8-7, at UMBC Stadium in two extra frames and Latham's goal in the second extra period was the game-winner in the 12-11 victory in Columbus. UMBC, which leads the overall series, 6-2, fell, 10-9, in 2005, when the two teams met at Johns Hopkins University.

The win was the 200th (2001-191) in UMBC's 28th year of Division I lacrosse. The Retrievers open America East Conference play on March 28 at Stony Brook.