NORFOLK, Va. - For the ninth time in the last 12 years, an America East men's soccer team will play in the second round of the NCAA Men's Soccer College Cup. UMBC downed Old Dominion in penalty kicks, 4-2, after the two teams played to a scoreless tie Thursday evening at ODU Soccer Complex.
The Retrievers, who will make their second trip to NCAA's second round in three years, will face ninth-seeded North Carolina Sunday at 5 p.m. in Chapel Hill.
Both teams took a while to get going as the game's first shot didn't' come until the 18-minute mark. UMBC (11-4-6) got its first scoring chance in the 24th minute when Mamadou Kansaye sent a shot high over the cage. Kansaye had another chance nine minutes later as his free kick was saved from 26 yards. out.
(11-3-3) had the first real scoring chance of the second half when Chris Harmon's header was just tipped over the net by Saunders, the Most Outstanding Player of the America East Championship who recorded his third straight shutout and league-best eighth of the season.
UMBC, which is unbeaten in its last eight games (6-0-2) and outscored foes 19-3 in that stretch, had two more chances before overtime. Michael Scott's redirection off a corner was stopped in the 65th minute and Pete Caringi III, the America East Striker of the Year, missed on a free kick with 26 seconds left.
The Retrievers got the lone shot off in overtime, but neither team threatened.
In the shootout, after Milo Kapor converted the first kick, Saunders saved ODU goalkeeper Victor Fracoz’ attempt. Both teams converted their second tries, but UMBC senior back Liam Paddock’s attempt was saved by Francoz. But on ODU’s tying attempt, Saunders came up big again, diving to his right to stop Jordan LeBlanc's try, his fourth penalty kick save in the last two games. Both teams made their third attempts, setting up Retriever Dave Vaeth for the game-clinching opportunity who buried his shot into the upper left corner of the goal to send UMBC to the second round.
UMBC, which is now 1-1-2 all-time in NCAA play, will try
to become the third America East team to advance past the second round
and first since Hartford reached the quarterfinals in 1996.