WEST HARTFORD, CT - The University of Hartford women's soccer team scored three second-half goals to come from behind and beat UMBC, 3-1, Sunday afternoon at Al-Marzook Field.
Hartford improved to 4-10-2 overall and 3-4-1 in the America East, keeping its hopes for a postseason berth alive for the time being. UMBC dropped to 7-9-0 overall and 2-5-0 in the conference.
Senior Katie Gardiner came through with the game-winning goal on senior day. The Hawks battled back from a one-goal deficit with three goals in the second half in a nine-minute span.
UMBC struck first when Kelly Fiorani scored in the 15th minute. Teammate Jessica Young fired a shot on goal that Hartford goalkeeper Liz Cook saved, but the rebound went to Fiorani at near point-blank range. She deposited the goal and gave the Retrievers a 1-0 lead they would take into halftime.
The Hawks came out in the second half and tied the game in the 50th minute with great ball movement. Freshman Giannetta Savarino brought the ball up the left side and found senior Stephanie Pothier in the middle of the field. Pothier took a touch and then led freshman Moa Lennarttsson on the right side, who then went in all alone against the keeper. Her shot found the far-side netting, the first goal of her collegiate career.
Hartford took the lead soon after, as the UMBC defense left Gardiner all alone in the midfield in the 56th minute. She launched a shot from 35 yards out that snuck over a leaping attempt by goalkeeper Robin Babaris and just under the crossbar for her third goal of the season.
Savarino added an insurance goal in the 58th minute, the first of her career. She was in the box and took a pass from junior Erin Mucha, flicking it on goal with a header. The shot found the back of the net and gave the Hawks a 3-1 edge they would not relinquish.
UMBC outshot Hartford 18-17 for the match. Cook finished with 11 saves while Babaris had four.