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UMBC shutout in 5th-straight AEC game

Gregg Hauck led UMBC with five shots but the Retrievers were shutout once again in a conference game.

Gregg Hauck led UMBC with five shots but the Retrievers were shutout once again in a conference game.

Putting the ball in the net is the hardest thing to do in soccer, and it’s been something the UMBC men’s soccer team has made look nearly impossible over the past month. UMBC suffered their fifth shutout loss in the past six games, with just one goal in that entire span.

It wasn’t for a lack of opportunities either, the Retrievers just couldn’t finish. UMBC out-shot the Hawks 21-7 and held a 7-4 advantage on corner kicks and were even given a penalty kick, but either missed shots wide, high or had them stopped by the brick wall that was Hartford goalkeeper Jimmy Slayton.

“It’s not to say I’m speechless, [21] shots to [five], can’t put a ball in the goal, miss a penalty kick. When it’s not going well, I guess that’s what happens,” head coach Peter Caringi said.

UMBC’s first opportunity came almost immediately when Greg Hauck got his head on a cross, but Slayton made the save. Two minuteslater, Colin Weyant got a shot off a long throw-in, into the box, but his close-range shot went wide. James Geilen was also wide on his attempt in the seventh minute.

In the 17th minutes Cormac Noel sent a pass from the right side to Sammy Kahsai. He had his shot blocked. The ball was still pin-balling around in the eight-yard box, but no Retrievers could get a good foot on it as the Hawks cleared it out.

With five minutes remaining in the opening half, a ball was deflected by Sammy Kahsai to James Gielen. He had a shot from close range with Slayton out of position, but the Hawks goalkeeper full extended on a backwards dive to make the save. Three minutes later, Tre McCalla headed the ball from close-range off a corner kick, but Slayton made another diving save.

Despite the early pressure, the Retrievers didn’t take the foot off the gas, but constantly being thwarted had to weight on the confidence of the squad as their attempts were continually misplaced.

In the 59th minute UMBC earned a penalty kick. Noel lined up for the shot and kicked it to the lower right corner, but Slayton guessed correctly and got it in the corner on a full dive. Slayton finished the game with eight saves; none of them were less than spectacular.

Most incredible about the game, Hartford only had two shots on goal as the Retrievers maintained steady possession and played a tight defense the few times Hartford did get the ball, but in the 76th minute a UMBC foul set the Hawks up for a free kick. Udi Cohen sent the ball up the field and into the box. Jeff Tyson laid out on his diving header and put it past Billy Heavner and into the goal.

Just a few minutes after that goal, Hartford’s Alexis Triadis got another shot off, but Heavner made that save.

But the one goal allowed was enough. In the 79th minute, Tre Pulliam got a shot from close range, but it was a straight shot in the reach of Slayton. UMBC had three more shots go wide in the ginal 10 minutes and another go over the bar.

“I think it’s very difficult for us. We realized how important this game was and I thought in the first half, clearly we had our best half of the season. I thought the second half we obviously had our chances but it’s tough to talk to a very young group right now because they are getting opportunities to play; some of them aren’t stepping up, others are,” Caringi said. “We have three more games to figure it out. The future bodes well. We are playing a lot, a lot of young players and we’re going to find out who stays with us moving forward.”

The Retrievers dropped to 4-7-3 on the season and 0-5 in conference play, having yet to score a goal against a conference opponent. UMBC will travel to Drexel for a non-conference game on Tuesday before returning home on Saturday to host Vermont on Senior Night at 7 pm.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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