UMBC's McCullough to make second straight start
Much like his predecessor, Brian McCullough will get another chance to cement his status as UMBC’s starting goalie.
The sophomore, who started in the No. 19 Retrievers’ 16-10 loss to No. 7 Johns Hopkins Tuesday night, will start in the net Saturday when UMBC (1-3) travels to New Jersey to tangle with No. 5 Princeton, coach Don Zimmerman confirmed Thursday morning.
"We’re going to go with Brian McCullough again," Zimmerman said. "I think he gave us a good solid game, and we want to give him another opportunity."
McCullough, who finished with eight saves in his first career start, gets the unenviable task of trying to stop a Tigers squad that has scored 28 goals in wins against then-No. 8 Hofstra and then-No. 5 Johns Hopkins.
Blue Jays coach Dave Pietramala compared Princeton’s offense to a box lacrosse-style hybrid that emphasizes two-man games and off-ball movement. That strategy would seem to be a lot for a goaltender, who played just 3 minutes, 44 seconds as a backup to Jeremy Blevins last season, but Zimmerman said McCullough is ready.
"That’s a goalkeeper’s job," Zimmerman said. "The goalkeeper’s job is to step between the pipes, stop the ball, help quarterback the defense, and be a goalkeeper. Brian’s a sophomore, he’s been around. He played at Garden City, a very good program on Long Island. So it’s not a lot to throw at him."
One bit of good news involves the possible return of sophomore face-off specialist Justin Radebaugh. The Lutherville native and Boys’ Latin graduate has not played this season because of a concussion.
"He’s been cleared by the doctor, and he was practicing for us last night," Zimmerman said. "It’s good to have him back."
But Zimmerman said that Radebaugh, who won 119 of 257 face-offs (.463) last year, will back up junior J.D. Harkey, who has won 41-of-82 face-offs (.500) thus far.
"Right now, J.D. Harkey is our No. 1 face-off man, and he’s earned that," Zimmerman said. "He’s played well. So we’ll go with him and if need be, we’ll make adjustments."