Rachel McKee scored her first career goal against Hartford.
BALTIMORE—UMBC freshman forward Rachel McKee (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) scored her first career goal and sophomore goalkeeper Mo Van Vlerah (Ijamsville, Md./Northwest) recorded her first career shutout, as the UMBC women’s soccer team (2-10-1, 1-3-0 AE) picked up its first America East Conference victory of the season, defeating Hartford (4-8-2, 0-3-1 AE) by a score of 1-0 Sunday afternoon at UMBC Soccer Stadium.
“It was a tough, hard-fought match,” UMBC head coach Alyssa Radu said. “We did a good job organizing ourselves, being patient and playing together. Our defensive unit really grew together.”
The Hawks outshot the Retrievers, 10-5, in the first half, but found themselves trailing, 1-0, when UMBC junior midfielder Sandra Vacarino (Mantua, N.J./Clearview Regional) sent McKee a pass from midfield that split the defense, and McKee beat Hartford goalie Lauren Brodeur one-on-one inside the box at the 31:59 mark.
Hartford controlled the ball for most of the second stanza, and UMBC’s defense withstood a barrage of shots, as the visitors took 13 shots to the Retrievers’ two. A pair of those shots hit off the crossbar early in the period, and the Hawks put Van Vlerah to work at the end of the half, as five of her seven saves in the game came in the final 23 minutes.
It was the first shutout for the Retrievers since a 1-0 win over Maine on Sept. 28, 2008.
Hartford held a 23-7 shot advantage for the game and a 10-1 edge in corner kicks. Brodeur made three saves for the Hawks.
The Retrievers return to action on Thursday, Oct. 15, when they host America East rival Albany at 3:30 p.m. at UMBC Soccer Stadium.