Baltimore, Md.—UMBC’s Kevin Gnatiko (Montgomery Village, Md./Watkins Mill) and Andrew Gillis (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) each scored in the first 7:01 of the contest as the Retrievers blanked visiting Maine, 3-0 in America East Conference men’s soccer action.
UMBC has won three of its last four games and improved to 6-4-2 overall and 2-1-0 in league play, while Maine is winless in its last four and dropped to 2-9-1, 0-2-1.
At the 3:04 mark, senior midfielder Bryan Moffa (Baltimore, Md./Eastern Tech) sent Gnatiko in down the right wing. The junior midfielder cut towards the goal and slid the ball past Black Bear netminder Nemanja Kostic and just inside the left post from a sharp angle at the six-yard line. Then, at 7:01, the Retrievers put together a picture-perfect passing play, as freshman forward B.J. Quigley (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) angled a pass from the midfield stripe to junior midfielder Shondell Busby (Toronto, Ont.). Busby one-touched a pass to a streaking Gillis, who got in behind the left side of the Maine defense and beat Kostic inside the far right post.
It was Gillis’ team-leading fifth goal of the season.
The Retrievers finalized the scoring at the 38:00-minute mark, when freshman midfielder Levi Houapeu (Germantown, Md./Watkins Mill) drove the ball down the center of the field and slotted a ball to classmate Sean Rothe (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley). Rothe tucked the ball in from nearly the exact same spot as Gillis did for the his first career goal.
The Retrievers scored on three of four first half shots. A re-energized Maine team outshot UMBC, 9-5 in the second half (11-9 for the game) but could not best Retriever netminder Steve King (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley). King made four saves and posted his seventh shutout of the season.
Kostic made three saves in going the route for Maine. Junior forward Dimitri Anastasiou led all players with four shots.
UMBC has now defeated Maine four straight times and holds a 4-1 series advantage. The Retrievers are now 12-2-4 at home vs. America East Conference foes. UMBC will travel to Burlington, Vt. to take on Vermont on Wednesday before returning home for the Homecoming contest vs. Albany on Saturday, Oct. 20.
UMBC 3, Maine 0
Scoring: UM-Kevin Gnatiko (Bryan Moffa) 4’; UM-Andrew Gillis (Shondell Busby, B.J. Quigley) 8’; UM-Sean Rothe (Levi Houapeu) 38’. Saves: M-Nemanja Kostic 3 (3ga, 90 min.); UM-Steve King 4 (0ga, 90 min.) Shots: M-11, UM-9. Corners: M-4, UM-1. Fouls: M-10, UM-11. Offsides: M-0, UM-2. Att: 347.