Freshman forward Derek McElligott continued his brilliant season, scoring twice in the first half as UMBC (8-3-1, 5-2 NEC) held off Long Island University (5-4-4, 3-1-3), 2-1, on a blustery day at UMBC Soccer Stadium.
McElligott now has 12 goals in his first 12 intercollegiate contests and 8 in his last 7 outings. He opened the scoring just 4:08 into the game, heading in a perfect cross from senior Ricky Brown.
Then, at 31:26 he just managed to get a head on James Hamilton's arching corner kick, slipping it just inside the far left post. But LIU, which entered the game without a loss in league play, got the wind in the second half, and cut the lead in half just 5:32 into the frame. After UMBC had turned away a free kick, the ball deflected out to fullback Jonas Stigh, who knocked a shot just past a diving Brian Rowland from 13 yards away.
The Blackbirds mounted sporadic offensive thrusts over the final 30 minutes, but were unable to tie the score. Stigh had another chance with 16 seconds left, but his header off a free kick missed the mark.
The win vaults UMBC into sole possession of second place in the NEC. Robert Morris was 5-1 in the NEC before facing Central Connecticut on Sunday. UMBC is now 29-3 in its last 32 home games, and 18-2 at home vs. NEC competition.