BALTIMORE – UMBC men's soccer outshot La Salle, 16-6, but a goal in the 69th minute from the Explorers proved to be the difference as La Salle defeated the Retrievers, 1-0, in non-conference action on Saturday night at Retriever Soccer Park.
UMBC proved to be aggressive throughout, but struggled to put the pressure on La Salle goalkeeper Mike Kirk, with the Retrievers placing just two of their 16 shots on net. The Explorers placed three of their six shots on net, with the game-winner coming off a failed clear from the Retrievers. La Salle's sophomore forward Joe Hansen knocked down an attempt by a UMBC defender to clear the ball out of the box. Hansen struck a shot off the bounce past the diving finger tips of UMBC goalkeeper Phil Breno (Mount Airy, Md./South Carroll)
La Salle picks up its third straight victory to improve to 4-3-0 on the season, while the Retrievers fall for the second consecutive contest to drop to 3-2-1.
The Retrievers showed their aggressiveness right out of the gate, with both senior forward Darius Madison (Philadelphia, Pa./LaSalle College HS) and senior midfielder Joseph Pratt (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) drilling shots in the opening 1:11 of the contest. Senior forward Michael Scott (Fife, Scotland/Inverkeithing) added an opportunity of his own after a slotted pass from Pratt put Scott out in front of the pack, but a rough angle resulted with a shot wide of the net for the Retrievers.
La Salle added a chance of its own before the half as junior forward Conor Nichols ripped a shot from the top of the box that required a diving save from Breno to keep the contest scoreless with 6:05 remaining in the opening half.
The Retrievers continued to threaten throughout the second half with nine shot attempts coming in the final 45 minutes. All three of UMBC's second-half corner kicks came in the final 18 minutes of the contest, but the Retrievers were unable to convert any of the attempts into shots.
Breno and Kirk finished with two saves apiece in net.
UMBC returns to action on Tuesday, Sept. 22 when the Retrievers travel for a 3 p.m. contest at George Washington.