Scott Jones hitting his stride for UMBC

Scott Jones scored a career-best six goals to propel UMBC to a 19-6 thrashing of Vermont last Saturday, marking the sixth consecutive game in which the senior attackman has scored at least two goals in a contest.

Jones – who became the 30th player in school history to amass 100 career points (86 goals and 18 assists) – has been shut out just once this season and limited to just one goal, which also happened last season.

Coach Don Zimmerman said Jones is expanding his game in his final year of eligibility with the Retrievers (4-6 overall and 1-1 in the America East).

“I’m starting see Scott really hit his stride this year as a senior,” Zimmerman said Tuesday. “Last year, he had a terrific year for us and towards the end of the year, I think teams had us scouted and shut him off and tried to take him away. We didn’t adjust real well to that. Going into this year, we knew that was going to be a strong possibility. So we tweaked our offense a little bit and now Scott’s in full gear as far as understanding what his role is. He’s going to get games where he has multiple goals, and he’s going to get games where he’s setting up his teammates.”

A year after pacing the offense in goals (36) and points (40), Jones is doing the same thing this spring. He leads UMBC in goals with 25 and points with 29 and is getting free from opposing defenses by using picks in the interior to find room along the wings.

Because of Jones’ reputation as a finisher, opposing defenses tend to pay a lot of attention to him. It’s a mixed blessing for Jones, Zimmerman said.

“If you’re the focal point, it means you’re having success, and I think good players like that,” he said. “Good players like to know that they’re on the other team’s mind. But at the same time, you’ve got to understand that your job is probably going to be tougher, and when teams key on you, you’re going to have to work that much harder to be productive.”