By Nathan Grube
The Retrievers’ women’s soccer team headed into their fifth game of the season undefeated, but they could not keep the streak alive as they lost to Saint Joseph’s University one to nothing.
The game got off to a slow start for both teams, but Saint Joseph’s attacked the UMBC goal early to no avail. The Retrievers shook off their early rust and started to mount some offense of their own, but they too failed to score in the first half as the two teams went into the half in a scoreless game.
The Retrievers recorded three shots on goal, two of them coming from sophomore midfielder Meg Kowalski. They took nine shots total, but could not score in either half. The lone goal of the game was put in on a fast break by sophomore forward Emily Gingrich. With the win the Hawks improved to two and three on the season.
Junior goalkeeper Jen Nance had a strong game by saving three of the four shots on goal that Saint Joseph’s took. That adds to an impressive start of the season where she has allowed only four goals in five games, with two of those games being shut outs.
This loss marks the first time the Retrievers failed to score a goal this season and continues a streak of five matches decided by one goal. Through the first five games of the season, the Retrievers have scored seven goals, which is about one and a half per game.
Coach Leslie Wray wants to build on the experience of this game and help the team learn from their mistakes to come out stronger next time.
“We learn from each game, we learned from our last game with Bucknell that we need to flank more. I thought in the first half we had some series with that and in the second half we were better,” Wray said.
The Retrievers are now enjoying a week off after Friday’s game. They will not play until Friday, Sept. 12 when they play Mount Saint Mary’s University at Loyola. That game will kick off a two game series known as the Battle of Baltimore, with the second game coming against Towson University at the Tiger Soccer Complex.
“We know we have a week, so we are going to do a recovery tomorrow and starting on Monday we are going to have some good training days. We want to continue to build our fitness base and continue to work on our pace and movement off the ball,” Wray said.
After the two games away from UMBC, the Retrievers return home for back to back non-conference games against Delaware State University and American University which will be their final two homes games before the conference season begins.
UMBC hopes this game is just a blip on the radar of a strong non-conference season that will help them build towards their second straight conference championship. With a 4-1 start under their belts they, have shown they can continue the excellent play of last season.