On Saturday night, UMBC’s men soccer team came out for a tough game at Retriever Soccer Park against New Hampshire. The Retrievers were coming off a 3-0 loss at Vermont, ending a winning streak in the America East Conference. Despite coming out with early hunger, their trepidation showed.
The Retrievers surrendered a goal off of a deflected shot by the Wildcats in the opening five minutes as junior goalie Billy Heavner failed to adjust for a very intense deflection. The scene was tense in Retriever Soccer Park as the Retrievers and fans could feel the tension following the Vermont rousing earlier in the week.
Shortly after, the Retrievers gave life to the game when junior forward Michael Scott sent out an ambitious strike from outside, curling the keeper from 30 yards out from the left, and hitting off the far post before bouncing in.
With renewed energy, the Retrievers proceeded to put continual pressure on New Hampshire goalie Andrew Pesci on a number of early corners and free kicks from different angles. Despite the substantial number of opportunities, the Retrievers failed to find the net.
As the first half drew to a close, the UMBC attack settled down and New Hampshire began to stand more firmly. The second half was much more difficult for both sides, with a lot of pressure from both teams.
In the 60th minute of play, the Wildcats earned a corner and created a lot of danger in passes being played right in the face of Billy Heavner, but UMBC ultimately assuaged the pressure and turned the opportunity into a counter attack that was nearly converted by junior Michael Burgos.
As the second half drew to a close and the night grew colder, both teams had to find revitalized energy for overtime. Yet after 20 minutes of added time, neither team could dig deep enough to find a way to score another and the game ended a dull 1-1 draw.
The Retrievers are now 7-3-3 on the season, and will continue their 2015 campaign on October 20 at home against the United States Naval Academy.