Becker's Late Goal Preserves Men's Soccer Season-Opening Win Streak, Retrievers Prevail Over Navy, 3-2 in Overtime
BALTIMORE- The 21st-ranked UMBC men's soccer team survived a scare from a determined Navy side, but junior back Jordan Becker's (Pocomoke, Md./Pocomoke) unlikely goal with 7:57 remaining in the second overtime period gave the host Retrievers a 3-2 victory over the Midshipmen.
UMBC (6-0-0) extended its season-opening winning streak to six, while the tough-luck Midshipmen slipped to 1-3-2. The Retrievers also extended their unbeaten skein to 15 games (12-0-3), dating back to October of 2012.
Becker received a cross-field pass and penetrated fairly deep toward the left corner, before driving a ball towards the back post. Navy netminder Aaron Dupere leaped, but the perfectly struck ball just eluded him and curled into the right side netting. The dramatic score was the third of Becker's career and all three have been game-winning goals.
"I can't say enough about how well (Navy) played," said UMBC head coach Pete Caringi, Jr.. "To our credit, we found a way to win and that's what good teams do."
UMBC conceded the first goal of the game for the first time in 2013, as Catonsville native Jamie Dubyoski took advantage of a Retriever defensive miscue and scored exactly nine minutes into the contest.
But the Retrievers struck back for a pair of goals in a span of 8:05 just past the midpoint of the half. In the 19th minute, senior forward Pete Caringi III (Perry Hall, Md./Calvert Hall), the nation's points per game leader, outfought a Navy defender just inside the left-side goal line and cut the ball back to junior midfielder Geaton Caltabiano (Lothian, Md./Mount St. Joseph). Caltabiano, the nation's assist leader entering play, knocked in Caringi's feed from four yards away into the unguarded right side of the net.
Caltabiano initiated UMBC's next score, taking a free kick from 23 yards out on the left side. His serve was headed off the crossbar by junior back Oumar Ballo (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) and junior back Marquez Fernandez (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) dove and headed the ball in past Dupere from point-blank range.
The Retrievers took the 2-1 lead into the break, but, once again, Navy struck in the early stages of the half as the Mids' Dave Arnold punched in a rebound off a long distance header exactly four minutes into the second stanza.
UMBC senior netminder Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) made a season-high seven saves in the game and his best occurred just after Navy tied the score when he make a leaping save to thwart Dubyoski in the 52nd minute.
The Retrievers had the only two shots of the first overtime period, before Becker's heroics ended the proceedings.
UMBC had a slight edge in shots, 15-14, and Dupere made four saves for the visitors.
The Retrievers continue a series of contests against local rivals as they travel to face a red-hot Loyola (Md.) squad on Saturday evening.
Notes: Caltabiano was UMBC's lone multiple-point scorer with a goal and an assist on the night… Caringi kept his point-scoring streak alive with points in all six games… He now has 80 points and has moved into a tie for sixth place on UMBC's all-time points list… Fernandez' goal was his first collegiate score… Becker now has three career goals, one each season, and all have been game-winning goals… UMBC has won six straight games for the ninth time in its NCAA Division I (1986) history… After compiling a five-game unbeaten streak versus Navy, UMBC has won two straight… USNA still leads the all-time series, 16-5-4.