Matt Gregoire isn't accustomed to being shut out. A redshirt senior attackman who was the leading scorer for UMBC last season, Gregoire was held off the score sheet during the Retrievers' 14-3 season-opening loss to Maryland Feb. 15. He wasted little time in rediscovering his lethality.
Gregoire posted the first of his four goals less than three minutes into UMBC's 10-8 victory against Monmouth Feb. 22. As he and his teammates prepared for the March 1 tilt against Richmond, Gregoire -- a South River alum -- spoke with the Lacrosse Report about hitting the net, head coach Don Zimmerman and how UMBC can get back to the NCAA tournament.
Lacrosse Report: How did it feel to notch that first goal against Monmouth?
Matt Gregoire: Scoring the first goal against Monmouth was great. It's always nice to score the first goal at home and get the team going. Pat [Young] made a great dodge and found me open inside, and all I had to do was find the net.
LR: What was the mood like after surrendering your lead during the third quarter, and how impressed were you with the team's resiliency?
MG: Monmouth did a great job capitalizing on their opportunities to fight back in the game in the second and third quarter. After slipping in the second quarter, we gathered ourselves and kept battling until the final whistle. It's nice to see our team play a tight game like that and come out on top.
LR: Share your best coach Don Zimmerman story.
MG: My favorite coach Zim story would definitely be from halftime of our game against Maryland two years ago. We were down, 5-2, and Coach came in and told us that this was our game to take. He really got the team fired up, and in the second half, we came back and beat Maryland, 8-7. Seeing the confidence from coach Zim really played a huge role in our team confidence for the second half of that game.
LR: How could this extended home stand help define the season?
MG: This is a very important stretch for us with four home games in a row. We get a natural advantage playing at home this next stretch, and it's important that we pick up as many wins as possible and continue to get better each game.
LR: What does UMBC have to do to get back in the NCAA tournament?
MG: In order for us to get back into the NCAA tournament, I think it's important for us to get better each game and play our best lacrosse as we head into our conference tournament. We also need to be a very tough, scrappy lacrosse team that can battle it out to win a conference championship against very good opponents.