For the second time in 2015, the UMBC men's soccer team rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a result, as they came back from 2-0 behind to edge host George Washington, 3-2, on Tuesday in the nation's capital. The win snapped a two-game winless and goal-less streak from UMBC (4-2-1). The task is no easier on Saturday, Sept. 26 as UMBC faces a tough George Mason (4-4-0) squad at Retreiver Soccer Park. The opening kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. The game will be streamed on the www.umbcretrievers.tv, with Brandon Wright on the call and live stats will be provided on www.umbcretrievers.com.
The come-from-behind win over GW marked the second time in the young season that the Retrievers have rallied from two scores down to earn a result. In the opener, UMBC fell behind Fairfield, 2-0, before tying the game up at 2-all. The last time that a UMBC men's soccer team rallied from two goals down to win occurred in October of 1997, when they erased a 3-1 deficit to defeat Coastal Carolina, 4-3.
GW scored in the 20th and 32nd minutes and looked like they would take a comfortable cushion to the break. With time winding down, reserve forward Kennedy O'Shea served a ball into the box and Madison broke a UMBC scoring drought of nearly 253 minutes by heading it home into the left portion of the net.
The Retrievers tied the score early in the second half off a corner kick. Senior Michael Scott took the corner and sent it to the middle of the box, where freshman Riley Collins got a head on it and got it beyond the GW netminder. O'Shea completed the play by heading it the last yard into the goal and knotting the score in the 54th minute.
UMBC completed the comeback, when junior forward Shawn Geary drew a foul driving to the goal just inside the right end line. Madison took the attempt and recorded UMBC's first penalty kick of the season to give the visitors the advantage.
The Retrievers were outshot for just the second time in 2015, taking seven shots and allowing eight.
Madison, who leads UMBC and America East with five goals on the season, recorded his first two-goal game of the season and the third of his career. The others occurred versus Notre Dame and James Madison when he competed for the Virginia Cavaliers. O'Shea recorded his first collegiate multiple-point game with a goal and a helper and now has three scores and two helpers in seven games off the bench.
George Mason has won back-to-back games entering the contest against the Retrievers. The Patriots recorded a 1-0 double overtime win over visiting High Point on Sept. 19 and then blanked Longwood, 1-0, on the road on Tuesday.
Sophomore Matt Tucker's first goal of the season in the 56th minute led Mason to the 1-0 victory over Longwood. Starting in goal, junior Michael Butts came away with three saves on the evening to earn the win. Longwood outshot Mason, 15-10, but the Patriots had six of 11 corners in the match.
Freshman striker Henning Dirks scored with only 1:11 remaining to give GMU a 1-0 double overtime win over High Point a week ago. Dirks is one of four Patriots to have two goals recorded on the campaign. He leads the team with five total points and 24 shots.
Mason has been outscored, 6-2, in the first half this season, but the Patriots have turned the tables and outscored their foes, 9-4 after halftime.
The UMBC men's soccer program was ranked No. 12 in the 2015 National Soccer College Association of America Division I preseason rankings. The No. 12 ranking is the top preseason mark for the Retriever program. Last season, Pete Caringi's squad, coming off back-to-back America East titles, was tabbed at No. 19 in the August poll.
A season ago, UMBC became the first team in NCAA tournament history to win four consecutive road games and to post shutouts in four consecutive games to reach the College Cup.
With four America East tournament titles (in 12 years), UMBC trails only Boston University, with seven total America East championships. The Retrievers became the second team in league history to win regular season and tournament titles in back-to-back years. Boston U. achieved that feat in 1993-94.
The three-time defending league champions will welcome back 16 letterwinners and three starters from last year's 14-6-5 squad. In the first four games of the season, UMBC started three freshmen (Riley Collins, Kyle Saunderson and Tyler Ward) and a transfer (Bill Kerr) along the backline.
Head Coach Pete Caringi, Jr., is celebrating his 25th season at the helm of the Retrievers. In 24 campaigns, under Caringi, UMBC is 158-48-31 (.734) at home and the Retrievers are 98-22-25 (.766) in 145 games on the Bermuda turf of Retriever Soccer Park. The Retriever mentor has an overall record of 264-152-60 (.617) during his tenure on Hilltop Circle and in 32 years as a head coach, he is 434-179-68 (.688).
All-Time Series: Mason snapped a series tie and took a 7-6-1 lead with a 3-0 victory over UMBC in Fairfax last season. The loss would drop UMBC to 3-4-2 on the season, but the Retrievers would drop only one more game (at Navy) before falling in the national semifinals.
Mason has won three of the last four meetings versus UMBC and is 5-2-0 against the Retrievers in NCAA Division I meetings. But UMBC has captured both meetings at Retriever Soccer Park in that span, including a 1-0 victory in 2013.
Notable: UMBC is undefeated in season openers since a 3-0 loss to Georgia Southern in 2005… The Retrievers are 9-0-1 in the span… The Retrievers did not allow two or more goals in a game in the final 16 games of the 2014 season… UMBC is 0-2-6 in its last eight overtime contests.
With five goals scored vs. Central Arkansas, UMBC matched its season high of 2014, a 5-1 victory over Vermont on Nov. 1… UMBC's last shutout of five goals or more occurred in game No. 3 of the 2009 season, a 6-0 triumph over St. Joseph's… The seven goals scored in two games are the most since UMBC tallied seven in 2010.
Even great programs have difficulty rallying from two-goal (or more) deficits to earn draws or victories, as UMBC did in its 2-2 draw versus Fairfield… The last time UMBC made that style comeback occurred way back in 1997, as they rallied from a 3-1 hole to defeat Coastal Carolina, 4-3, in overtime on Oct. 11, 1997.
O'Shea posted his first career goal, the game-tying goal versus Fairfield… Malcolm Harris' missed penalty kick versus Fairfield was the first misfire by a Retriever since Daniel Welsh was unsuccessful vs. Albany on Oct. 1, 2011. The Retrievers had converted 10 in a row between misses.
The home loss to La Salle snapped a ten-game (9-0-1) unbeaten streak by UMBC at Retriever Soccer Park. UMBC is 16-2-4 in its last 22 games at home and 27-3-5 in its last 35 contests at the park.
UP NEXT: UMBC welcomes Howard to Retriever Soccer Park on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 7:00 p.m. Then, the Retrievers open their 13 th season of America East play at rival Hartford on Saturday, Oct.3.