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America East Conference men’s soccer quarter finals decided on penalties

In a soccer game that decides whether a team moves on to the finals or just heads back to class, the Retrievers pulled out all the stops in an effort to advance to the finals. In the first half, both the Retrievers and the Vermont Catamounts had good chances but were unable to convert. Vermont was in control during the first 15 minutes, but had shots saved by UMBC freshman-goalie Quantrell Jones. The Catamounts had 10 shots and 5 corner kicks in the first half, but narrow misses and defensive interventions from senior-defender David Harris kept UMBC in the game.

However, UMBC built up a rhythm offensively in the following 30 minutes and Vermont goalie Clay Thomas had to make three saves to keep his team in the game. Sophomore-midfielder Matt Bailey and sophomore-forward Cesare Marconi had shots saved as the half ended goalless.

In the second half, Vermont continued to attack and scored in minute 50 to take the lead. Geo Alves of Vermont swung in a corner kick and teammate Jonathan Bryant beat sophomore-defender Dylan Poetzel to score on a header. UMBC responded seven minutes later, when Bailey’s line drive found the back of the net following an assist from junior-forward Jordan Dove to tie the game at one.

The teams began overtime drenched, and exhausted after playing 90 minutes in pouring rain. Faced with a golden goal scenario, each team was desperately seeking the back of the net in order to avoid a premature end to their season. Vermont spent most of the two overtime periods in UMBC territory, sending a barrage of shots in the direction of Jones, but they were unsuccessful. After a plethora of corner kicks for Vermont, the overtime period would end in a tie, and the teams would head to penalty kicks in order to decide their fates.

UMBC started the penalty shootout with a miss, and after both teams made four penalties each, sophomore-goalie Cieran O’Loughlin saved a kick from Vermont’s Geo Alves. The UMBC goalie had earlier shown incredible composure to take and score a penalty when a miss would have resulted in a UMBC loss.

The game then went to sudden-death penalty kicks, which started off with a miss by senior-midfielder Marshal Maccartney. O’Laughlin then blocked a kick to send the game into another sudden death frame. Freshman-forward Jackson Becher then scored a goal for UMBC, and O’Loughlin saved another shot by Vermont, sending UMBC to the America East quarterfinals against Stony Brook on Wednesday night.