By Nathan Grube
The UMBC women’s soccer team came up with two huge wins this weekend over University of Hartford and University of Massachusetts-Lowell to move back into a strong position for a the number one seed in the America East conference.
Going into their matchup with UMass Lowell, the Retrievers were tied for third in the conference with one win, one loss and two ties. After their two wins, they are now half a game out of first place with a tie breaking win over Hartford. The Retrievers tied for first place last year in the regular season, and received the number one seed due to a tiebreaker.
Against UMass Lowell, neither team was able to score in the first half, but UMBC came out strong in the second half scoring three goals and only allowing one. The Riverhawks were the first team to score, putting one in at 51’. The Retrievers responded strongly with three goals in fifteen minutes to take a three to one lead and eventually win the game.
Junior Amira Walcott had the first of the three with her first goal of the season, then senior Jessy Brown picked up her sixth goal of the season, tying her with senior forward Lilly Rydon for most goals on the team this season. Senior Paige Preston finished off the scoring with her second goal of the season. Junior goalkeeper Jen Nance had another solid performance in the game with five saves of the Riverhawk’s six shots on goal.
The match against Hartford proved to be more nail biting, with both teams putting forth a strong defensive effort. The Retrievers were outshot eight to four in the first, but came out strong in the second half and outshot the Hawks nine to three. Despite the attack from the Hawks in the first half, Nance was able to record three of her five saves and keep the ball out of the net.
At 71’, UMBC was able to get in their first and only goal of the game when freshman Virginia Moyer recorded her first career goal. Moyer has not started a game this season, yet she was able to record one of the biggest goals of the season for UMBC against the first place Hartford Hawks.
With only two games left before the conference tournament starts, the Retrievers have set themselves up for another exciting end to the season. They are just one win behind the Hawks with one road game and one home game left.
Their next challenge will be the University at Albany. UMBC will travel to New York, Thursday Oct. 23 to take on the Great Danes, who are currently tied with the Retrievers for second place. The winner will not only set themselves up for a chance to win the conference, but they could clinch a place in the top two.