BALTIMORE – UMBC senior forward Kay Banjo (Upper Marlboro, Md./Largo/Towson U.) broke a 1-1 tie with a brilliant strike in the 75', leading the Retrievers to a 2-1 win over visiting UMass Lowell in the America East opener for both teams.
UMBC has now won two straight to improve to 5-4-2 overall, while UML slips to 3-8-0.
On the game-winner, junior Michael Scott (Fife, Scotland) made a crafty move on the left side, avoiding a River Hawk defender and sliding a pass to Banjo in the middle of the field. Banjo took two strides to clear his defender and struck a shot from 16 yards out which beat UML freshman goalkeeper Austin Kroll and tucked into the right side of the net.
For Banjo, it was his team-leading fifth goal of the season, his second-game winning score and the 20th goal of his collegiate career.
The River Hawks had a pair of good chances in a final 14 minutes, but a Federico Ferre header went wide in the 76' and Wuilito Fernandes' free kick from 23 yards went wide left in the 87'.
The game was scoreless at the half, but the teams traded goals in a span of 160 seconds. Banjo was taken down in the box in the 61' and UMBC senior midfielder Mamadou Kansaye (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) converted the penalty kick. But UML would equalize as the visitors were awarded a penalty kick in the 64'. UMBC sophomore goalkeeper Billy Heavner (Landisville, Pa.) made the initial save of Carlos Ruiz attempt, but Ruiz pounced on the rebound and converted to knot the score.
UMBC is now unbeaten in its last 13 America East contests (11-0-2) and is 6-3-3 in 12 America East opening games.
The Retrievers outshot the River Hawks, 14-11, for the game, after only a 4-3 margin in the first 45 minutes. UMBC junior midfielder Malcolm Harris (Damascus, Md./McDonogh) recorded half of UMBC's shots, hitting the crossbar in the 9' and just missing the upper right corner in the 68'.
Heavner improved to 2-0-0 with a six-save effort, while Kroll recorded four saves for the visitors.
UMBC has the week off before hosting Hartford on Saturday, Oct. 11. It will be an afternoon affair (2:30 p.m.) as part of Homecoming, '14.