Baltimore, Md.— UMBC men's soccer started the America East season on the right foot, picking up a big 1-0 victory against #12 New Hampshire on Saturday. Senior Sammy Kahsai (Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern) scored the game winner in the eighth minute to move UMBC to 6-2-2, 1-0 AE.
The Retrievers are now 4-0-3 in their last seven games against the Wildcats in games played in Baltimore.
The Retrievers got up early on the Wildcats, thanks to Kahsai in the eighth minute. The senior midfielder found the ball at his feet after Kyle Saunderson (Laurel, Md./Reservoir) headed a corner kick from Cormac Noel (Todmorden, England) that beat Andrew Pesci. Saunderson and Noel picked up assists on the play.
The goal was the first given up by Pesci since September 9, and only the second all year.
Sophomore forward Tre Pulliam (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) had a golden chance just minutes later. Pulliam had a header from Colin Weyant (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall), but it sailed just over the bar.
New Hampshire had majority of the run of play late in the half, getting a chance of their own but Robin Schmidt had his shot go just wide, as UMBC took a 1-0 lead into the break. Just minutes later, Ciaran O'Loughlin (Birkenhead, England) had to make a spectacular save, as Willis Griffin put the ball on goal from just a few yards out.
The Wildcats outshot the Retrievers 9-5, as O'Loughlin made four saves.
New Hampshire came out in the second half, controlling most of the possession, but the Retriever defense stood tall. Every time the Wildcats came with the pressure, the Retriever back line held up and cleared away any chances.
O'Loughling made four saves in the contest, picking up his fourth shutout. Kahsai led the Retrievers with two shots, as the Wildcats outshot the Retrievers 16-6.
UMBC will be back in action next Saturday, October 7 when they travel to Binghamton. Kickoff with the Bearcats is set for 7 p.m. in Vestal, N.Y.