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Men's Soccer Advances to America East Title Game With 2-1 Win at New Hampshire
Durham, N.H.—Freshmen Mark Lubetkin (Livingston, N.J.) and Milo Kapor (Woodbridge, Ont.) scored first half goals and fifth-seeded UMBC (14-5-0) defeated top-seeded and host New Hampshire (9-7-2), 2-1, in the America East Tournament semifinals. UMBC will advance to its first America East title game and will take on Stony Brook in Stony Brook, N.Y. at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15.
The win was the 200th for Head Coach Pete Caringi (200-125-37) at UMBC. It was also the first win for the Retrievers in Durham as they entered the game at 0-3-0 at UNH.
For the second straight tournament game, Lubetkin gave UMBC the lead. In the ninth minute, he took a square feed from Levi Houapeu (Germantown, Md./Watkins Mill) and struck a perfectly-placed hooking left-footed shot just inside the right post from 23 yards away.
UMBC had another great scoring chance in the 25th minute, as freshman Dave Vaeth’s (Dundalk, Md.) header off a corner kick hit the crossbar. The Wildcats controlled the pace for the next 15 minutes, but UMBC struck suddenly in the 41st minute. Sophomore Andrew Bulls’ (Millersville, Md./McDonogh) played a corner kick to the top of the box, where Kapor ripped a left-footed volley into the upper corner of the net.
It was Kapor’s second goal of the season and his first since Sept. 10 vs. St. Francis (Pa.).
The Retrievers took a 2-0 lead into intermission and Bulls nearly made it 3-0 as his tight angle shot from the left side just hooked outside the far post. The Wildcats cut the lead in half in the 56th minute, as First-Team All-Conference forward Chris Banks scored after an Alex Russell free kick.
But the Retrievers, playing without a senior, did not wilt. They outshot UNH, 10-6, in the second half and had most of the play in Wildcat territory down the stretch. UNH’s Charlie Roche hit a header wide in the 88th minute, which was the final scoring threat for the hosts in the contest.
UMBC outshot UNH, 19-12, and freshman netminder Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) recorded four saves.
UMBC last played in a tournament title game in 2000, when they fell at Fairleigh Dickinson in the Northeast Conference title game. The Retrievers won the NEC crown a year earlier and competed in their lone NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship.