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UMBC Women’s Soccer Ties Lafayette in Season-Opener, 0-0
BALTIMORE – The UMBC women’s soccer team picked up a tie in a scoreless double-overtime affair against Lafayette on Friday night at the Retriever Soccer Park. The contest, which lasted three hours and 22 minutes, marked the first game for UMBC under first-year head coach Leslie Wray.
“We stepped up and played a hard game against a good team,” Wray said of the Retrievers’ effort. “The first half we started a little bit flat, but then the heart and the pride came out and we fought hard.”
The Leopards (0-0-1) notched three of the first four shots of the contest, including a blast from forward Laura Zito that nailed the crossbar and bounced back to Retriever senior back Aly Gazarek (Aldie, Va./Freedom/South Florida), who cleared the threat to keep the game scoreless with 19:50 remaining in the first half.
UMBC (0-0-1) responded with an opportunity of its own 1:22 later, but was unable to capitalize, as 5-9 freshman Bria Bass (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) out jumped a Lafayette defender to put a head on the ball, sailing a shot just wide of the right post. Bass saw another chance shortly after, drilling a shot from the edge of the 18-yard box, but Leopards’ defender Nicole Brownell stepped in front for the deflection.
Following a one hour and seven minute weather delay prior to the start of the second half, the contest turned into a seesaw battle, with neither team able to capitalize on its scoring chances.
“The second half was back and forth,” said Wray. “They put some pressure on us and then we came around and put some pressure on them, we had some good chances.”
UMBC continued to put the pressure on the Leopards in the overtime periods. Senior forward Rachel McKee (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) gathered a loose ball in the first overtime and looked to slot the ball inside the far post, but missed just inches wide.
Junior forward Jessy Brown (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) also had her chance to break the tie, diving to get a head on the ball just in front of the net during the second overtime, but Smedley picked up one of her seven stops on the night.
The teams played evenly throughout the contest, with UMBC holding a 6-5 corner kick advantage and Lafayette outshooting the Retrievers 14-12.
Bass and McKee each tallied a team-best three shots.
UMBC goalkeeper Lauren Kadet (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) finished the night with six saves.
The Retrievers return to action on Sunday, Aug. 19 when they travel to the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.