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Saunders' Seven-Save Effort Paces Men's Soccer's Scoreless Draw in Home Opener vs. Radford
BALTIMORE- UMBC junior goalkeeper Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) tied a career high with seven saves, as the host Retrievers battled Radford to a scoreless draw in double overtime in the opener for both teams at Retriever Soccer Park.
Saunders, who had not seen action for UMBC since Sept. 26, 2010, made three saves in each half and one in the first overtime period to record his eighth career shutout. His other seven-save effort ironically occurred in the aforementioned contest at FDU.
The Highlanders outshot UMBC, 16-7, overall, although the Retrievers earned six corner kick opportunities to four awarded to the visitors.
Junior Kadeem Dacres (Rosedale, N.Y.) had UMBC’s lone good scoring opportunity in the first half, putting a shot from just inside the box on goal in the 42nd minute.
Radford junior midfielder Luis Grande had the best chance of the contest in the 52nd minute, but his redirection from close range went over the crossbar. Grande and freshman back Michael Hutcheon each led all players with four shots apiece.
Grande nearly won the game for the visitors with 1:20 remaining, but sent a shot from just inside the box over the frame.
Radford senior goalkeeper Ryan Taylor made three saves to get the shutout for his side.
The tenth meeting between the two teams resulted in the first draw, as RU now holds a narrow 5-4-1 series edge. The Retrievers and Highlanders had not met since the 2000 season.
Five Retrievers made their first career starts and a sixth- sophomore Michael DiCesare (Westerville, Ohio) made his first appearance as a right fullback.
UMBC returns to action on Thurs., Aug. 30 when they entertain VCU.