Oct. 10, 2009

Courtesy of UMBC

Baltimore, Md.—The UMBC men’s soccer team suffered its first home loss and first shutout of the season as visiting New Hampshire blanked the Retrievers, 2-0, before 835 fans at UMBC Soccer Stadium.

The Wildcats (5-5-1, 2-0-0 America East) upset a nationally-ranked team on its home turf for the second time in four days. UMBC (10-2-0, 1-2-0 America East) lost for the second time in the last three outings.

New Hampshire’s Chris Banks and Charlie Roche scored in a ten-minute span midway through the second half to give the visitors a 3-0-1 mark over UMBC since 2006.

The Retrievers could not take advantage of the wind and a sagging Wildcat defense in the first half and sent scoreless for the first time in the first 45 minutes this season. Neither goalkeeper was tested as UMBC outshot UNH, 4-3, in the first stanza.

It was UMBC which took the initiative early in the second half, recording the first four shots of the frame. Wildcat junior goalkeeper Colin O’Donnell made a solid save on Andrew Bulls’ (McDonogh) drive from 16 yards away on the left wing in the 55th minute.

But the game turned quickly thereafter, as Banks got loose on a semi-breakaway down the left side in the 59th minute and missed wide right. Two minutes later, UNH freshman striker Jordan Thomas tackled a ball away from a UMBC defender and it ricocheted ahead to Banks all alone down the right wing.  The all-conference striker did not miss this time, hitting a shot from 14 yards out past UMBC goalkeeper Phil Saunders (Perry Hall) into the far left corner.

UMBC pressed to get the tying goal, but got caught with one defender back as UNH forward Dylan George send a ball over the top to Roche in the 70th minute. Retriever freshman defender Liam Paddock (Worcesterchire, Eng.) tried to draw Roche offsides, but the play continued and the freshman midfielder broke in and beat Saunders inside the far left post from a similar spot to Banks’ score.

The Retrievers outshot the Wildcats, 11-8, but failed to muster any dangerous opportunities in the final 20 minutes. Saunders made three saves for the hosts, while O’Donnell stopped four.

UMBC has the week off before hosting non-conference foe Longwood in the Homecoming 2009 contest on Saturday, Oct. 17.