BALTIMORE – UMBC won its third consecutive game as the Retrievers defeated Howard, 2-1, in driving rain at Retriever Soccer Park on Tuesday evening.
UMBC improved to 6-2-1 on the campaign and won for the 100th time at their home field. The Retrievers are 100-22-25 (.765) since the facility opened in 1998. Howard fell to 0-9-1 on the season.
The Retrievers attempted a season-high 22 shots but got the game-winner on an own goal. It occurred in the 66th minute, when senior midfielder Michael Scott (Fife, Scotland) served a ball into the box, where a Bison defender, standing nine yards from goal, headed it beyond the reach of keeper Sam Howard and into the upper right corner of the net.
UMBC threatened throughout the first half, but could not finish inside the box. Finally, in the 42nd minute, sophomore midfielder Cormac Noel came deep down the left side, and attempted two shots, the first was saved by Howard and the follow-up was rejected by a Howard defender. He recaptured the ball and headed it across the goal, where senior forward Darius Madison (Philadelphia, Pa.) re-directed it to junior midfielder Michael Burgos (Huntingtown, Md.), who drilled it just under the crossbar from six yards out on the right side.
The goal was Burgos' first of the season.
UMBC took a 1-0 lead to intermission, but HU would draw even in the 53rd minute. Bison midfielder Xavier Rajpaul took had a free kick from 50 yards from goal. The attempt ticked off the closest UMBC defender to the ball, but the spin fooled UMBC junior netminder Billy Heavner (Landisville, Pa.), who was unable to keep the ball out of the goal.
UMBC outshot HU, 22-5, and Heavner only had to make one save overall to improve his mark to 6-1-1 on the campaign. Bison goalkeeper Sam Howard was credited with eight saves and the team amassed nine in all.
The Retrievers improved to 12-2-2 in 16 meetings versus Howard and have won four straight in the series.
UMBC opens America East play this weekend, when they take on Hartford in West Hartford, Conn., on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7:00 p.m. The Retrievers and Hawks have met in the last two AE title games, with UMBC coming out on top and the programs were co-favorites in the 2015 preseason coaches' poll.