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The UMBC men's soccer team celebrated their annual homecoming game with a win against the Albany Great Danes on Saturday, Oct. 14. This brings the Retrievers to a 2-1-1 America East Conference record for the 2017 season. Photo by Ian Feldmann.

Men’s soccer redeems in impressive conference bout

The UMBC Men’s soccer team put on an entertaining performance for the homecoming crowd on Saturday night. The Retrievers dominated Albany throughout the entire 90 minutes leading to a 3-1 victory. The win improved UMBC’s record to 7-3-3, and 2-1-1 in the conference.

Early in the game both teams were trading punches trying to control the lead, establishing a strategy.

“We wanted to put pressure on their back line. They only play three in the back, so we knew we could create a ton of opportunities,” said junior midfielder James Gielen.

The scoring started when an Albany foul led to a penalty shot for the Retrievers. Coach Caringi chose Senior midfielder, Sammy Kahsai, to take the shot and he buried it in the bottom of the net. The 1-0 score held out for the final fifteen minutes of the first half, and the Retrievers went into the locker room with all of the momentum.

After halftime, UMBC came out in full attack. It only took three minutes for the Retrievers to add another goal, and increase the score to 2-0. The score came from a close finish by Gielen. Senior midfielder Cormac Noel ripped a shot from right outside the box that the Albany keeper was able to knock down, however he punched the ball right back to Gielen who handled it with ease and ripped it right into the back of the goal.

Albany answered roughly ten minutes after with a goal of their own from senior Alfonso Pinheiro. The forward cut the UMBC lead to 2-1 with just about twenty five minutes left in the contest. The Great Danes went on the attack, trying to manufacture any sort of opportunity to tie the game. Their aggressiveness got the best of them, as sophomore forward Tre Pulliam, was able to break through the slacking defense and score a breakaway goal to make it 3-1. This goal sealed the game, and moved the Retrievers up to third in the America East Conference standings.

“We want to win our last three conference games and secure home field advantage for the America East playoffs. It is a tough goal, but one we absolutely believe we can accomplish.”

The Retrievers’ next match will be against the Delaware Blue Hens on Oct. 17 in the Retriever Soccer Park.