BALTIMORE—UMBC sophomore forward Andrew Bulls (McDonogh) scored on a free kick in the 44th minute and freshman netminder Phil Saunders (Perry Hall) made three outstanding saves in the final two minutes as UMBC (8-0-0) edged Loyola (3-3-2), 1-0, before 1,505 fans at UMBC Stadium. Bulls, the nation’s leading scorer entering play this week, tallied his 10th goal of the year, while Saunders finished with six saves.
Bulls, whose free kick in the 39th minute was the difference in last Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Towson, found himself in a similar position against the Greyhounds. He drew a foul and had a free kick opportunity from 24 yards out. Against the Tigers, his low liner found the right corner of the net, but his low skipping shot on this occasion was just out of the reach of Greyhound netminder Kyle Wittman into the left corner of the cage.
Each team lost a man in the second half, as UMBC freshman Mark Lubetkin (Livingston, N.J) picked up his second yellow card in the 78th minute and Loyola’s Danny Ankrah drew a straight red card in the 80th minute.
Loyola applied tremendous pressure in the closing moments as the teams played 10-on-10. But Saunders, the reigning America East Rookie of the Week, made three game-saving stops in the final 1:55 to preserve the win. He trapped Eddie Dines’ header to the ground with 17 seconds left to end Loyola’s hopes of sending the game to extra time.
Loyola outshot UMBC, 11-9, including 7-3 in the final 45 minutes.
Saunders has registered three consecutive shutouts and now has four in his initial campaign.
The Retrievers’ 8-0-0 start is the best in the school’s Division I history and the longest winning streak since 1999, when the NCAA-bound team won 13 straight contests.
UMBC plays its first road contest of the season on Saturday, when they visit La Salle at 1:00 p.m.
Notes: It was UMBC’s first-ever win over Loyola on home turf… The Greyhounds lead the series, 18-2-2, with the Retrievers’ previous win occurring at Towson in 2003…UMBC was just 1-8-2 in its last 11 night contests entering the game, but is now 38-9-14 in its last 60 home games… The Retrievers have not allowed a goal in the last 345 minutes of play.