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A strong second half propels UMBC men’s soccer to the win

While the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retriever men’s soccer team has their sights on the 2019 America East Conference title after making it to the finals in 2018, the team came into their game on Sept. 8 against the St. Peter’s University Peacocks with ground to cover to reach that goal. The Retrievers lost their first two games at home to the Incarnate Word University Cardinals and the Hofstra University Pride, leaving their record at 0-2. With the Peacocks’ record of 1-0 and their determination to win their first two away games, the Retrievers had work to do.

The Retrievers had a defensive first half. By 15 minutes, the Peacocks made a dangerous cross into the box and attempted to score. Sophomore goalkeeper Quantrell Jones made a sprawling fingertip save off the goal line to keep the game scoreless.

With less than one minute to play in the first half, the Peacocks converted their scoring opportunities into a goal. With a header goal by freshman forward Dominic Laws, his first goal of the season, from a corner kick, the Peacocks brought the game to 1-0.

The second half marked the Retriever’s comeback as they applied immediate pressure to the Peacocks. In the 57th minute, senior defender Trey Vinson passed a well-placed ball to a sprinting sophomore midfielder Alejandro Arbelaez. With a cross into the box from Arbelaez, senior forward Tre Pulliam striked the ball into the back of the net, making the game 1-1.

Four minutes later, after a wild melee for the ball in the 6-yard box due to the Peacock’s goalie being unable to control the ball, freshman midfielder Ryan Becher scored his first collegiate goal to give the Retrievers the first lead they have had all season with a score of 2-0.

The Retriever’s defense stepped up with numerous great plays to prevent the Peacocks from tying the game and to keep Jones clean for the last 30 minutes of the game. In addition, the team’s defense created many scoring opportunities to keep the pressure on the Peacocks, passing the ball up the field to generate an additional six shots on goal.

The Retrievers outnumbered the Peacocks in shots on goal and corner kicks with Becher responsible for six shots made on goal throughout the game.

After a shaky 0-2 start to the season, the Retrievers have bounced back with this win to improve to 1-2 while the Peacocks fall to 1-1 on their campaign. With the Retrievers having wrapped up the UMBC-Navy Classic against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies on Sunday, the team looks to play three more games before heading into their conference matches starting Sept. 28.