BALTIMORE- Sophomore midfielder Kristen Bilney (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) scored a career-high three goals and freshman goalkeeper Anna Barnett (Midland, Texas) made nine stops in her first career start as UMBC upset 13th-ranked Albany, 8-5, in the America East Conference opener at rain-soaked UMBC Stadium
The Retrievers improved to 4-5 overall, while Albany slipped to 6- 3.
"It's one of the biggest games of the season every year," head coach Kelly Berger said. "Albany is a rival, they're in conference and they are a great team. I expected two great teams to show up and I think they both did today."
Both goalies earned America East Player of the Game awards for their respective teams.Albany sophomore Anna Berman stopped nine shots in the Great Dane cage, while UMBC's Barnett stopped four of five UA free position shots amongst her nine saves.
"(Barnett) came ready to play, (and) she made adjustments when she needed to make adjustments," Berger said. "She was calm, composed and didn't play like a freshman whatsoever. It was good to see."
UMBC never trailed, but quickly relinquished a 4-2 halftime advantage as Albany scored twice in the first 3:24 of the second half. Bilney regained the advantage for UMBC, bouncing a shot from the left wing past Berman at the 12:57 mark of the half and increased the Retriever advantage to 6-4 by converting a free position shot 100 seconds later.
Retriever junior midfielder and leading scorer Linsday Cox (High Bridge, N.J.) extended the margin to 7-4 with a dodge from up top and goal at the 16:53 mark. The Great Danes had a reply for that goal, as attacker Rachael Burek tallied 43 seconds later, but Cox finalized the scoring on an unassisted tally with 10:33 to play.
Barnett turned aside two free position attempts in the final 3:31 to preserve the victory and square the all-time series at 6-6.
Cox finished with two goals and one assist, while senior midfielder Alicia Krause (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) had a goal, a helper and three ground balls.
Albany junior attacker Jess Alselmi led the visitors with two goals and an assist, while Burek had pair of scores.
The Retrievers bolted out to a 3-0 lead on goals by Krause, sophomore midfielder Taeler Errington (Valley Lee, Md./Leonardtown) and Bilney in the first 13:27 of the contest. Alsemi brought UA to within 3-2 on a free position shot with 2:22 to play in the half, but Retriever freshman Abby Wilson (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) scored from the right side of the crease on a Krause feed with 30 seconds to play.
UMBC outshot the Great Danes, 25-17 and controlled nine of 15 draws. The Retrievers only committed seven turnovers in the contest.
The nine saves by Barnett is a season high for UMBC goalkeepers on the season.
UMBC hosts another America East power, when they welcome Boston U. to UMBC Stadium on Sat., March 31 at noon.