Towson, Md.—The UMBC men's soccer team produced a furious late rally, but could not overcome a three-goal deficit and fell at Towson, 5-3, in the Tigers' home opener.
The Retrievers fell to 2-1-0 on the season and lost for the first time in September since the 2008 season. Towson improved to 3-0-0 and squared the all-time Division I series at 6-6-1 with their beltway rivals.
The Retrievers trailed, 4-1, with under 15 minutes remaining and were subbing liberally when the guests struck for two goals in less than three minutes. Junior forward Andrew Bulls (Millersville, Md./McDonogh) scored his first goal of the season, banging in a rebound of a Milo Kapor (Woodbridge, Ont./Emily Carr) in the 77th minute.
UMBC kept on the attack and sophomore midfielder Mark Lubetkin (Livingston, N.J./Livingston) was taken down in the box. Senior midfielder Levi Houapeu (Germantown, Md./Watkins Mill) drilled the ensuing penalty kick into the left corner and the Retrievers were within a goal with 10:39 remaining.
It was Houapeu's second goal of the game and fourth in three games to date.
But the visitors could not manage a quality opportunity down the stretch and Towson took advantage on a counter attack, scoring the insurance goal with exactly two minutes to play.
UMBC's last September loss occurred at Towson on September 17, 2008, as the Tigers won a 2-1 decision. The Retrievers are 14-2-1 over the past three campaigns in September.
The Retrievers dug a 2-0 hole in the first 19 minutes, before Houapeu got on the board. Junior defender Vince Savarese (Perry Hall, Md./Archbishop Curley) had a deep throw-in and freshman forward Pete Caringi III (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) flicked it onto Houapeu, who buried a shot from seven yards out in the 34th minute.
But Towson strung together their best passing play of the game and went back up by two goals just 140 seconds after the Houapeu score.
UMBC outshot Towson, 15-11, but five of six Tiger shots on goal found the net.
The Retrievers head to Annapolis to take on Navy on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 8:00 p.m.