By Everett Burris
Assistant Sports Editor
Resilient. Consistent. Hungry. All accurate adjectives that can be used to describe this season’s UMBC women’s soccer team.
With a 4-0 start, this year’s team seamlessly picked up from where they left off last year and, although they dropped one to St. Josephs University, these Retrievers are taking no time to dwell on what is a minor blip on an otherwise impressive start.
After opening up the season defeating Navy, a very solid opponent, the Retrievers came home to take on the Loyola Greyhounds in a much-anticipated home match.
The last time the two teams met it resulted in a double-overtime tie. The Retrievers did what they needed to do to get the victory, and they did it in dramatic fashion as they overcame a two-goal deficit in the second half to defeat the Greyhounds 3-2.
“Going down by two, we know that a two nothing lead is difficult, but we settled down and we just kept pushing. It was nice to get that first goal because, after that, we knew we could be successful,” said head coach Leslie Wray.
The key in that game — as well as going forward — for this team is “responding positive, even when down such a positive response” said Coach Wray.
The Lady Retrievers then went on the road to take on Howard University and Bucknell University, defeating both opponents. They first took down the Howard Bisons 1-0, and then traveled to Bucknell to defeat them 2-1. Those two wins gave UMBC their best start to a season since 1999.
A major theme that has emerged so far is elder leadership. Throughout the first five games junior goalie Jen Nance has played at an All-Conference level as well as juniors Alex Quaranta and Amira Walcott.
Seniors Jesse Brown and Morgan Taylor have been anchors for this team adding stellar plays and demonstrating resilience in each match of the season so far.
The future looks bright not only for this season but for the years to come after that considering freshman Lisa Nanov has started all five contests so far and contributed heavily to each match including two goals in the thrilling comeback against Loyola, which earned her America East rookie of the week honors following that game.
It is no doubt that the UMBC women’s soccer team is on a mission this year to get back to the NCAA tournament, after taking home their first America East Conference Championship last year and earning an automatic qualifier.
The Lady Retrievers’ next match is on Sept. 12 against Mount St. Marys in their first of two Battle of Baltimore matches of the weekend.