Fri11242017

Last updateWed, 22 Nov 2017 8am

Sports

Men’s Soccer Falls to UMBC in Overtime

M Soccer 09.13.17In their fifth match of the new season, Monmouth men’s soccer was defeated by UMBC, 2-1, in heartbreaking fashion just two minutes into overtime at Hesse Field on the Great Lawn on Saturday night.

“I thought that tonight UMBC deserved to get something out of the game for sure,” said Monmouth head coach Robert McCourt. “They were really hungry and competitive and we knew they were a good team coming in.”

Redshirt senior midfielder and captain Colin Stripling said, “We’ve got to be better in a sense of taking positives out of everything. We moved the ball well at times and the goalkeeping and back four was great.”

The match saw its first action fifteen minutes in when a looping header put Retrievers sophomore forward Tre Pulliam through on goal, but his shot was saved by Monmouth junior goalkeeper Bobby Edwards. The resulting corner kick saw Pulliam fire a header at Edwards from point-blank range, but once again the keeper stood tall and parried the shot away from danger.

The Hawks replied to the early pressure from UMBC when sophomore midfielder John Antunes picked up the ball in midfield, danced past a couple of defenders, and fired a shot that forced freshman goalkeeper Ciaran O’Loughlin into a diving save.

Moments later, Pulliam won the ball in the air and rushed down the left wing before sending a cross into the box on the ground. Senior midfielder Cormac Noel’s first time shot went wide as he stretched to get a foot on the ball.

Edwards was forced to make yet another save when senior midfielder Gregg Hauck fired a header on goal from a UMBC corner kick. The Hawks immediately burst down the other end of the pitch and had a shot on goal themselves, but it was saved by O’Loughlin.

As both sides looked to grab a goal before halftime, Monmouth sophomore midfielder Geoffrey Schaefer cut the ball back onto his left foot and ripped a shot from outside of the box that flew over the crossbar. The Retrievers had another shot at Monmouth’s goal when senior midfielder Sammy Kahsai found space inside the box for a shot, but it was an easy save for Edwards.

Just minutes into the second half, Monmouth broke the deadlock through senior midfielder Jake Areman. Antunes split two defenders with a dazzling backheel pass to sophomore defender Andy Martinez, who dragged the ball back across the box to Areman. The midfielder scored his first goal of the season when he curled a shot into the bottom left corner of the net.

UMBC heavily pursued an equalizer, forcing Edwards to make a pair of saves off headers. “He [Edwards] was the one that kept us in the game and he was fantastic tonight,” said McCourt.

Finally, the Retrievers leveled the score when Noel fired a ball across goal that deflected off a defender and flew into the far corner, leaving Edwards with no chance to get a hand on it.

Both sides exchanged a few chances, but the score remained 1-1 after ninety minutes. Less than two minutes into overtime, UMBC ended the match when Hauck found space inside the box and buried the ball past Edwards to win the game. With the win, the Retrievers improved to 3-1-0 on the season.

Prior to Saturday’s loss, the Hawks began the new campaign with a pair of wins, a loss, and a scoreless draw away to #14 ranked West Virginia. “I think the group is in a little bit of a transition at the moment. We had a successful start to the season,” said McCourt.

“What we can take out of it is that every game matters and that we can’t let our guard down for a second,” said McCourt on the loss to UMBC. “We’ll continue to learn lessons as we move forward.”

The Hawks continue action against 25th ranked UMass-Lowell next Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

PHOTO COURTESY of Mark BrownJunior

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