Baltimore, Md.--The UMBC men's soccer team posted its sixth shutout in the last seven games as the Retrievers edged America East rival New Hampshire, 2-0, in summer-like conditions at UMBC Soccer Stadium.
UMBC, which halted a brief two-game winless streak, improved to 7-4-3 overall, and 4-1-0 in America East Conference play. The Wildcats fell to 8-4-2 and 1-4-1. UMBC extended its unbeaten streak at home to 27 straight (19-0-9), dating back to 2002. They are also 8-0-2 against America East foes at home and have outscored league opponents, 23-6 overall.
Freshman netminder Steve King (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) also posted his sixth shutout in seven collegiate starts and lowered his goals against average to 0.52. King only needed to make two saves as the UMBC defense allowed just four Wildcat shots.
"We beat a very good, well-coached team which was desperate for a win," said UMBC Head Coach Pete Caringi. "I knew it would be a battle, and we were fortunate to win."
Neither team could mount much offense before UMBC struck suddenly just before halftime. Sophomore defender Bryan Moffa (Baltimore, Md./Eastern Tech) took a free kick from just inside the midfield stripe and senior linemate Marcus Gross (Barnstaple, England) headed it toward the goal. The shot hit UNH netminder Brian Levey from close range and bounded to junior midfielder Kevin Mezzadra (Fallston, Md./Loyola-Blakefield). Mezzadra's follow-up shot from six yards away from a sharp left angle bounced just inside the far right post to give UMBC a 1-0 lead.
It was Mezzadra's team-leading sixth goal of the year and snapped a six-game scoreless streak. The goal snapped a streak of 243 minutes without a goal for UMBC.
The Retrievers got an insurance marker at the 76:47 mark. UNH's Derek Bragg had a goal waved off on an offsides call and UMBC quickly counterattacked. Sophomore midfielder Matt Watson drove in from the midfield stripe, beat a defender, and cut in toward the net. His short cross was run onto by freshman forward Manuel Mariel, who beat Levey inside the far left post from seven yards out.
UMBC outshot UNH, 10-4, and allowed only one Wildcat shot in the second half. Levey made five saves for the Wildcats. UMBC returns to action on Saturday, when they entertain conference rival Maine on Homecoming.