After a gutty win at the University of Vermont on Saturday, which ended after a thrilling save by sophomore-goalie Ciaran O’laughlin during penalty kicks, the Retrievers traveled to Stony Brook on Wednesday to take on the Seawolves in the America East quarterfinals. The Retrievers returned to New York after coming back from down 2-0 to tie Stony Brook 2-2 in the final game of the regular season just a week ago.
Though the Retrievers had fallen short of their regular season goals and entered the playoffs as a five seed, they were prepared to make a run at an America East title, even with the odds against them.
The game started with Stony Brook in control during the first ten minutes, registering a shot that sailed over the goal, and a corner kick. But, momentum shifted in UMBC’s favor as senior-midfielder Patrick Jean-Gilles and junior-forward Tre Pullium both sent shots towards the net, which were blocked by Stony Brook’s keeper. The Seawolves would then regain control with a corner kick, and would take the next four shots of the contest with three misses, and one save by freshman-goalie Quantrell Jones. UMBC would then have two consecutive shots blocked. To end the half, UMBC and Stony Brook would trade shots that sailed high and wide respectively. The game would head into halftime with no score.
In the second half, Stony Brook quickly sent a shot towards the goal, which went through the field goal posts at the Seawolves stadium. In minute 50′, junior-midfielder Collin Weyent tried to score through a crowd of players but would have two consecutive shots blocked within seconds of each other. In minute 59′ Weyent launched a corner kick, which a Stony Brook defender tried to head towards their goalie, but the ball sailed over him and went straight to UMBC’s junior-forward Jordan Dove who poked the ball into the net to give UMBC a 1-0 lead.
Stony Brook tried furiously to tie the game up in the remainder of the second half, but to no avail. The Seawolves controlled the ball in Retriever territory for much of the remainder of the game, but were unable to register a shot on goal. UMBC continued to clear the ball as much as possible, and as time wound down, Stony Brook raced towards the goal and delivered one final shot toward the goal. But, the shot went high just as the clock wound down to 0:00, and the game was over. The Retrievers had advanced to the America East championship.
The Retrievers will take on the New Hampshire Wildcats for the championship on Sunday with the time listed as TBD. The Retrievers lost to the Wildcats earlier this season 1-0.