On a chilly Monday evening, UMBC looked to defeat Towson in a game that had to be moved to the Lacrosse Stadium due to bad field conditions on the soccer field. UMBC, looking for their first win of the season, came out of the gates strong with an aggressive defensive approach allowing only four shots on goal. This first half saw plenty of back and forth action as no side had clear control of the game.
UMBC’s sophomore-goalie Jade Wilkins saw plenty of action during the course of this half as she hustled to collect the ball while gathering a save on three shots on goal. First-year head coach Vanessa Mann applauded her goalie on her effort throughout the evening. “Jade stepped up and did the job that we asked her to do today … when you go in you have the full support of the staff, everything is strategically played based on what the match-up looks like,” said Mann. Wilkins would finish the night with four saves.
In an effort to break this scoreless tie, the Retrievers pushed the ball up the field with reckless abandonment and were able to finally get a score off the foot of freshman-midfielder Danielle Fuentes, who scored her first career goal as a Retriever. The ball came in hot off a cross pass from freshman-midfielder Olivia Paolucci that landed into a crowd of players only to knocked into the net from the skillful play of Fuentes.
The score came in the 28th minute of play. Towson would not go down so easily as they were able to respond with a score from a free kick only three minutes later.
The half ended with a 1-1 tie. The second half proceeded to be more of the same with back and forth struggles offensively until the 53rd minute where Towson gained the lead 2-1. Playing catch-up has not been UMBC’s strong suit as they have struggled to put the ball in the net all season having yet to score multiple goals in a game. This streak would continue for the Retriever’s as their offense was nonexistent being held to only two shots the entire second half.
Towson’s Tigers would out-shoot the Retrievers 10-6 as the defensive prowess of Towson was on full display. No matter how hard UMBC tried, it struggled to get the ball near the net only having two shots on goal. UMBC was unable to overcome the Tigers, falling to 0-6 on the season.
Coach Mann believes this team can regroup and play better as the players still get acclimated to her system. “Year one is about revolving on culturally what it is we wanna do … right now we’re just working on relationships and how you want to be remembered. We’re just making sure that we can delve into the core of relationships so they can actually start relying on each other,” said Mann.
There is still plenty of optimism left on this team as they get closer and closer to conference play, with only two games left this women’s soccer team looks to regain their footing and find that first win for not only the team but for their head coach who believes these women have the heart and talent to get the job done.