Louisville, KY – UMBC continued to be road warriors in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament, as the Retrievers knocked off No. 12 Louisville, 1-0, to advance to the regional finals before a crowd of 2,723 at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium.
UMBC, now 14-5-4 on the season, advances to play Creighton, a 2-1 victor over Xavier in the national quarterfinals. The Blue Jays will host the Retrievers on Friday, Dec. 5, at 8:00 p.m. (EST).
UMBC, which is unbeaten in its last nine contests (8-0-1) has not allowed a goal versus Wake Forest, Maryland and Louisville in 290 minutes of action in the tournament. The Retrievers have not conceded a score on the road in NCAA Tournament play in six consecutive games (678 minutes).
“This is a group of players that have won national [youth or club] championships, and, for the last three years, have been very successful [here]”, said head coach Pete Caringi. “These guys are used to winning. I am not surprised. We are very confident team and don’t feel like we’re done.”
UMBC started brightly and nearly shocked the partisan UL crowd in the 13th minute, when Michael Scott (Fife, Scotland) broke in on goal after receiving a long pass, but the play was ruled offsides. But the Retrievers would strike first in the 23rd minute, as senior Kay Banjo received the ball in the center of the field, drove in and attempted a shot from just outside the box. The ball struck a Cardinal defender, positioned just inside the box and the Retrievers were awarded the penalty kick.
Senior midfielder and team captain Mamadou Kansaye (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) took the attempt the netted his fifth goal of the season, beating UL netminder Joachim Ball with a shot to the upper left hand corner. Kansaye improved to a perfect 3-for-3 on penalties during the run of play on the season.
UMBC red-shirt freshman midfielder Gregg Hauck (Linthicum, Md./North County) had a good attempt in the 37th minute, but his header off a Michael Scott (Fife, Scotland) serve went just wide of the right post.
The Retrievers went to halftime with a 1-0, but the hosts really turned up the heat in the second half. However, UMBC red-shirt sophomore netminder Billy Heavner (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) was equal to the task.
Louisville’s Will Vitalis and Ricardo Velazco each had good opportunities, but both missed wide of the far right in the 72nd and 74th minutes. Heavner’s best effort occurred in the 80th minute, when he swatted away a header from in close and his defense managed to clear the rebound.
The Cardinals’ last, best chance occurred in the 82 nd minute, when Tim Kubel, missed wide left from 11 yards out.
Louisville finished the season at 11-8-3.
Heavner was credited with four saves, as UL outshot UMBC, 13-8, including 9-4 in the final 45 minutes. He improved to 11-1-2 on the season and posted his seventh shutout and third in three tournament games.
“Baltimore is behind us and the state is behind us,” said Caringi, when asked about UMBC’s road efforts. “We feed off of that. We have a great fan base and we know they are behind us.”
Notes: The 2007 men’s lacrosse team is the only other squad to participate in a national quarterfinal contest… UMBC has never faced Creighton before in men’s soccer… The Retrievers are now 11-0-5 in the month of November over the past three seasons.