Men's Soccer Drops OT Heartbreaker, 4-3, to No. 1 Maryland Before Record Crowd at Retriever Soccer Park

Baltimore- Before a record, exuberant crowd of 2,513 and a television audience, the UMBC men's soccer team put forth a tremendous effort before falling, 4-3, in double overtime to the top-ranked team in the nation, the Maryland Terrapins, in an intrastate battle played at Retriever Soccer Park.   

Maryland improved to 6-0-0 with the victory, while UMBC (2-1-2) saw its unbeaten streak halted at 12, dating back to Oct. 15 of the 2010 campaign.

UMBC senior back Sean Rothe (Dundalk, Md./Archbishop Curley) had a brilliant game, scoring two goals in 71 seconds to even the game at 3-3 with 6:17 to play.

Maryland senior forward Casey Townsend score the visitor's first three goals of the contest.

With 30 seconds left in the first overtime period, Maryland was awarded a penalty kick, but Retriever netminder Dan Louisignau (Wilmington, Del.) made the save on John Stertzer's attempt.

In the second overtime frame, UMBC had a golden opportunity to pull off the upset, as freshman midfielder Michael DiCesare (Westerville, Ohio) hit a shot from the left wing and the it deflected off a Maryland defender to  Retriever senior forward Kingsley Onwuka (Baltimore, Md./Kenwood/CCBC-Essex)  in front of the cage. But Onwuka's right-footed effort was saved by Terrapin goalkeeper Will Swaim in the 102nd minute.

Just 81 seconds later, Stertzer redeemed himself and and gave the Terrapins the win when he headed in Taylor Kemp's free kick from 10 yards away.

The loss did not dampen the spirit of the evening and it was not lost on Head Coach Pete Caringi. "The fans were great- it was one of the best atmospheres I've ever been to. The players were just feeding off that energy.  I'm really proud of the crowd- it was an amazing event tonight."

Maryland came into the game with 16 goals in five games, including a 4-0 victory over No. 8 Boston College on Friday. But UMBC, playing without stalwart sophomore central defenderDaniel Welsh (Fife, Scotland) held the Terrapins off the board in the first 45 minutes.

But Townsend struck just 23 seconds into the second half, booting in a Sunny Jane cross from eight yards out.

The Retrievers would tie the game with a highlight-reel passing play in the 52nd minute. UMBC strung together five connections, culminating in senior Andrew Bulls (Millersville, Md./McDonogh) sending the ball across the goal, where sophomore forward Pete Caringi III(Perry Hall, Md./Calvert Hall) hit a diving header into the goal from six yards out.

Townsend capatalized on two headers off corner kicks to build a 3-1 lead for the visitors. His first came in the 57th minute from the middle of the box area, and the insurance marker occurred in the 81st minute, when he headed one in on a corner sent to the far post.

But Rothe, who missed last season with a knee injury and was playing in the back in place of Welsh in the game, scored one of the best goals in the 14-year history of the UMBC's playing facility. DiCesare squared a ball to him at the 27-yard line and his rising blast from the right side hit the underside of the crossbar and settled in behind Swaim with 7:28 remaining.

With the crowd in a frenzy, Rothe struck again, gathering in a pass from senior back Andy Streilein (Rockville, Md./Wootton) in the box, wheeling and beating Swaim with a 13 yard shot inside the far left post.

Rothe added an assist on the first Retriever goal to post a five-point game. He had eight points in his first 61 games in a Retriever uniform.

Louisignau, who entered the game third in the nation in with a .957 save percentage, set a career high with 10 saves and now has 28 stops in his last three outings.

The Retrievers were outshot, 27-11, and the Terrapins had 13 corners to three for UMBC in the contest.

UMBC had won the previous meeting between the two schools in College Park in 2000. The Terrapins now lead the all-time series, 12-2-1.

The Retrievers lost for the first time at home in the month of September since 2007. In their 100th game at Retriever Soccer Park, the record now stands at 66-16-18 (750).

UMBC has eight days off before playing the first road game of the season, at Loyola on Sept. 21.