COLLEGE PARK, MD – In Canadian box lacrosse, the playing surface is smaller, the impact of speed diminished and the importance of working well in tight spaces increased.
It’s a game that demands a skill set UMBC attackman Scott Jones grew up perfecting in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. After a three-goal performance Friday night versus No. 7 Maryland, Jones should be afforded more opportunities to show off those skills.
The sophomore started this season as a midfielder for the Retrievers (1-4), a position that depends more on a player’s field speed and ability to dodge—talents Jones said he doesn’t really possess.
When UMBC coach Don Zimmerman asked Jones before practice last week which position he’d like to play, the decision wasn’t tough. At attack, Jones said he can rely more on the skills that made him an All Star in Canada.
“I’m a lot more comfortable” at attack, Jones said. “I’m used to catching in tight spaces … used to the indoor game.”
Canadian box lacrosse is a sport much different than the field lacrosse played at colleges in the United States.
Only six players are on the field for each team in the Canadian game, which is played indoors and usually on an ice hockey rink, minus the ice.
The playing space is tighter, somewhat negating the impact of a player’s speed and instead forcing forward—called the attack unit in field lacrosse—to be precise with their passing in tight spots.
As a midfielder, Jones wasn’t spending much time in front of the goal, where he’s most comfortable.
“It was a tough role,” Jones said. “I’m more of an inside guy. I’m not really a quick guy, so I’m not a big dodger.”
Against the Terrapins, the sophomore showed his ability to catch, turn open and shoot accurately. Zimmerman took note.
“That’s his position, and I think that was a good move for us,” he said. “He’s a good off-ball guy.”
Zimmerman said Jones would stay at attack for now, noting he would not change a player’s position after a three-goal breakout performance—the type of performance the coach will need more of as his team struggles through a tough non-conference schedule.
Now, to this week’s list:
Quote of the Week: “The Hopkins game, I don’t think we played well at all. This game, we ended on a pretty good note. We’ve just got to build off of that. We can’t keep our heads down. We’re only halfway through the season, and we’ve got to finish strong here.” —UMBC attack Scott Jones, after losing to No. 13 and No. 7 on consecutive weekends by a combined 31-11.
Line of the Week: 3 goals, 3 shots, 3 assists —UMBC lacrosse attack Emily Coady in the Retrievers’ 15-8 win over Mount St. Mary’s.
Top Tweet: “Lost a tough one at univ of florida tnite. we were up 8 in 2nd half so proud of our effort.” – @UMBCwbb, Retrievers women’s basketball coach Phil Stern after losing to Florida in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, 59-47.
For the Record: At 6-2, the UMBC women’s lacrosse team is off to its best start since the 1992 season.
Player to Watch: UMBC women’s lacrosse senior attack Amanda Pappas added four more goals against Mount St. Mary’s and is tied for the team lead with 17 scores, while shooting a team-leading 58.6 percent.
Game to Watch: The UMBC women’s lacrosse team plays Loyola at UMBC Stadium on Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m.
Sports Editor’s Note: I’ll be on vacation this week, but check back at the end of the month for more college sports news and analysis.