Fairfax, Va. – Despite outshooting host George Mason, 13-10, the UMBC men's soccer team lost by more than one goal for the first time in over two years as the 20th-ranked Patriots prevailed, 3-0, at George Mason Stadium.
UMBC slipped to 3-4-2 on the season, while GMU improved to 7-0-1.
George Mason has posted seven shutouts in eight contests.
The Retrievers created some outstanding scoring opportunities in the first half, but could not cash in. In the tenth minute, senior midfielder Geaton Caltabiano (Lothian, Md./Mount St. Joseph) struck a 35-yard free kick on goal, which was mishandled by keeper Steffan Kraus, but senior midfielder Stephen Ho (North Potomac, Md./Wootton) could not finish from close range.
Mason scored the game's first goal on quick counter, as Daniel Hoffman finished a cross from Henning Dirks from close range in the 13th minute.
Caltabiano, who recorded five shots and four on goal, had a pair of great chances late in the half. His unguarded header from seven yards out sailed over the net in the 35' and moments later, a 10-yard effort rolled just wide left of the cage.
UMBC outshot GMU, 7-6, in the first 45 minutes and forced Steffan to deal with five shots on goal.
The Patriots got two second-half insurance goals. Hoffman played a ball over top and Dierks beat UMBC red-shirt freshman netminder Phil Breno (Mount Airy, Md./South Carroll) to the ball and scored in the 52nd minute. Leading scorer Timi Mulgrew added his seventh of the year on a perfectly placed 25-yarder 15 minutes later.
Breno made three saves in 76 minutes, before giving way to sophomore Billy Heavner (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield), who made his collegiate debut and played the final 14 minutes.
Kraus was forced to make nine saves in the Mason net.
With the victory, George Mason took a narrow 7-6-1 lead in the series and improved to 5-0-0 versus the Retrievers in Fairfax. UMBC won last year's encounter, 1-0, at Retriever Soccer Park.
UMBC travels to No. 23 Delaware to take on the Blue Hens on Tuesday evening.