Baltimore, Md.—Freshman forward Andrew Gillis (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) scored a pair of goals and UMBC tied a season-high with five goals in a 5-2 win over visiting Hartford in the Retrievers’ final game of the 2006 season.
UMBC (5-9-3, 2-4-2) supplants Hartford (4-8-4, 2-6-0) in seventh place in the league standings, but the top six teams move into next weekend’s America East Championships. The Hawks needed a win and a loss by sixth-place Stony Brook to make it to the tournament.
But the Retrievers denied Hartford’s efforts, scoring four first half goals and staving off a late Hawk rally. Red-shirt freshman Matt Ward (Glen Arm, Md./Archbishop Curley) scored his first career goal at the 10:01 mark, driving home a shot off the left crossbar from a the right wing. Hartford tested UMBC sophomore netminder Steve King, who made five first half saves, several times at the midpoint of the first half, but were repelled each time. UMBC then struck again, as sophomore defender Jovan Petrovic (Belgrade, Serbia) also scored his first career goal. Petrovic’s score came off a corner kick, as he skimmed in David Feazell’s low drive from ten yards away in the 30th minute.
Less than two minutes later, Gillis scored the eventual game-winning goal, winning a loose ball in close and poking the ball past starting Hawk netminder Matt Glaeser. Sophomore midfielder Kevin Gnatiko closed the first half scoring at 42:21 as his second effort at the right goalpost was tucked just inside the far left post.
Hartford’s Kenniel Martin tried to rally the visitors. He was fouled by King inside the box and converted the ensuing penalty kick at 54:13. The senior midfielder cut he deficit to 4-2 when he scored on a lead pass by Vernon Perincheif with 9:36 remaining.
But UMBC countered late in the final minute as Gillis won a long ball from Petrovic, outfought two Hawk defenders and beat reserve netminder Cole Davidson from nine yards away inside the far left post.
The Retrievers had opened the season with a 5-1 win over St. Joseph’s, but had only scored as many as three goals in a game once, a 3-1 triumph over Howard.
Seniors Kevin Mezzadra, David Feazell, Bobby Woods and Brian Pink all started for UMBC after being honored in pre-game ceremonies. Mezzadra and Feazell posted assists in the game. King wound up tying a season and career high nine saves.
UMBC is now 4-0-1 in five meetings with Hartford, including 4-0-0 in four league meetings.