Record RSP Crowd Witnesses Men's Soccer's Rally in 2-2 Draw Versus Fairfield

Record RSP Crowd Witnesses Men's Soccer's Rally in 2-2 Draw Versus Fairfield

BALTIMORE – The two story lines for UMBC men's soccer on Friday evening occurred before kick-off and then late in regulation.

The Retrievers celebrated their 2014 College Cup appearance with trophy presentation and banner unveiling before the game, which drew a Retriever Soccer Park record 2,874 enthusiastic fans.

On the field, the 12th-ranked 2015 version of the Retrievers produced a furious second-half rally and ended with a 2-2 double overtime draw versus Fairfield in the season opener for both men's soccer squads.

Reserve junior forward Kennedy O'Shea (South Riding, Va.) capped the comeback, by heading in a shot from just outside the goal line after senior linemate Darius Madison (Philadelphia, Pa.) put the ball in perfect position for the finish with only 3:06 remaining in regulation.

The pace slowed in overtime, as the two squads both showed signs of fatigue. Madison had the best chance in the final 20 minutes to win the game, but his 22-yard blast skimmed off the top of the crossbar with six seconds to play in the first extra session.

UMBC came out with great energy early in the contest, but Fairfield withstood the pressure and scored the game's first goal as junior midfielder Dominic Marshall buried a beautiful shot from just inside the box into the upper right corner in the 36th minute.

Fairfield led, 1-0, after 45 mintues, but the Retrievers caught a break when FU was called for a hand ball in the box just 43 seconds into the second half. But UMBC senior Malcolm Harris' (Damascus, Md./McDonogh) shot was denied by Stag netminder Matt Turner, who dove to his right to block the attempt.  

UMBC fell behind, 2-0, after Marshall converted a penalty kick in the 60th minute.  But just over eight minutes later, senior Joseph Pratt (Gaithersburg, Md.) took advantage of a Turner mishandled serve into the box and scored an unassisted tally to cut the deficit in half.

The Retrievers poured on the pressure and outshot Fairfield, 13-2, in the second half.

For the contest, UMBC outshot Fairfield, 20-7, and took seven of eight corners.  Madison, a transfer from Virginia making his debut, and Marshall each had four shots for their squads.

Turner was credited with 11 saves for the visitors, while UMBC junior Billy Heavner (Landisville, Pal.) collected two stops for the hosts.

UMBC, which graduated seven senior starters from the 2014 squad, started an entirely new backline, including three freshmen – Riley Collins (Parkville, Md./Loyola-Blakefield), Kyle Saunderson (Columbia, Md./Reservoir) and Tyler Ward (Buford, Ga.).

UMBC hosts Central Arkansas in the finale of the Hampton Inn BWI Kick-Off Classic on Sunday, August 30 at 7:00 p.m.  Delaware edged UCA, 1-0, in the other game of the tournament in Newark, Del.