UMBC used disappointment of OT loss to Hartford to overpower Vermont

UMBC’s 13-goal thumping of Vermont last Saturday had a plethora of motivations, but the disappointment of a 15-14 overtime loss to Hartford on March 30 fueled the team. The Retrievers had a one-goal lead until the Hawks scored with 11 seconds in regulation and then 54 seconds into the extra frame in the season-opening America East contest for both sides.

Coach Don Zimmerman wasn’t shy about admitting that the setback to Hartford inspired UMBC’s effort against the Catamounts.

“I think it was a combination of things,” he said Tuesday morning. “We had the lead and let it slip away against Hartford, and we didn’t want to go 0-2 in the conference. I think all those things factored into our outlook and our performance.”

While the mood after the loss to the Hawks was understandably darker, the Retrievers (4-6 overall and 1-1 in the conference) are feeling much better after moving into a four-way tie with Stony Brook, Binghamton and Hartford in the league.

“I think the mood is always a little brighter after a win,” Zimmerman said. “I think the guys had a good week of practice last week. They were disappointed after the Hartford loss, came back to Baltimore and had a real good week, and really put forth our best effort and our most complete game against Vermont last Saturday.”

The 19 goals the team scored were a season high and the most since 2007 when that squad walloped the Catamounts, 20-11. Did Zimmerman wish he could pump the brakes on UMBC’s outburst?

“We were playing well and most of our guys were scoring goals, and I didn’t want to inhibit that at all,” he said. “I think our guys needed to have some success and feel good about the way we were playing. I don’t like to take it past 19 goals. I think it was the right approach. We didn’t want to go too hard, but we wanted our guys to feel good about their performance.”

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