The UMBC men's lacrosse team's offense sputtered throughout the first half of Saturday's game against visiting Binghamton. But the Retrievers came alive in the second half and rallied for a win that put them into the America East tournament.
Freshman Pat Young scored all four of his goals in the second half, the final one a tie-breaker with 1:18 left, giving UMBC a 10-9 comeback victory.
The Retrievers UMBC (6-7, 3-2 America East) will be either the No. 3 or 4 seed in the four-team conference tournament, which begins Thursday at Stony Brook.
"I'm very, very proud of this team in the way we hung in there, came back from several deficits and then came back at the end," UMBC coach Don Zimmerman said. "We're just very pleased to come away with a win and be advancing into the tournament."
UMBC still could have gotten in without a win, but the Retrievers would have needed some help.
The offense's awakening in the second half played a big role in this win. Young had some trouble finding space in the first half, as Binghamton kept watch of him. But he kept working and led the way as UMBC scored seven of its 10 goals in the final two quarters.
"I was starting out slow, but my teammates had the courage in me to keep giving me the ball because eventually I would hit it," Young said. "I didn't have the best first half, but as the game kept going, I started to heat up."
Young, who now leads the team in points (34), scored the game-winner after Conor Finch drove towards the cage and then turned back to make a nice pass to him.
Young was all alone and scored on a 10-yard shot. Joe Lustgarten (two goals, one assist) and Matt Gregoire (two goals) helped spark the offense, and goalie Wes DiRito made 12 saves, including a number of tough stops in the first half.
Binghamton (5-9, 1-4) scored the game's first goal, and the teams kept alternating goals with the Bearcats taking the lead each time.
Late in the third quarter, Binghamton got consecutive goals from Michael Antinozzi and Matt Springer to take an 8-6 lead with 18 seconds left in the period.
UMBC's next goal seemed to turn the game around, and it came when Lustgarten beat Binghamton goalie Max Schefler on a rocket from just inside the restraining line with a half second left in the third quarter.
Young and Gregoire scored the next two goals, the latter giving the Retrievers a 9-8 lead with 8:55 left. Binghamton tied it on a goal by Emmett O'Hara goal with 3:29 left, setting up Young's game-winner.
"They did a great job at the end, and we didn't," Binghamton coach Scott Nelson said. "We had our chances. They managed the end of the game better than we did."