BALTIMORE- UMBC senior forward Kadeem Dacres(Rosedale, N.Y./Mercer County CC) scored with 4:48 remaining in the second overtime period and the top-seeded Retrievers nipped Albany, 2-1, in the America East Conference semifinals.
The Retrievers, ranked No. 6 nationally, advance to their third title game in the last four years. UMBC (15-1-2) will host third-seeded Hartford (14-3-3), which advanced in penalty kicks past host New Hampshire. The title game will be played at 7:30 p.m. at Retriever Soccer Park.
Fifth-seeded Albany, which had routed No. 4 Vermont, 5-1, in the quarterfinals, finished the season at 6-11-4.
The Great Danes did not go quietly, as UMBC was 21 seconds away from winning a 1-0 decision. But Great Dane defender Dominic McGarr redirected a pass from Luke Palmateer from five yards out in a scramble in front of the Retriever goal to send the game to extra time.
But the Retrievers had all four shots in overtime and got the game-winner on a great effort by the America East Midfielder of the Year. He was fouled in the box, but UMBC was awarded an indirect kick about 13 yards from the goal. Junior Mamadou Kansaye (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) struck a shot, but the ball hit an Albany defender and rebounded out to junior midfielder Michael DiCesare (Westerville, Ohio/St. Frances DeSales). His attempt was also blocked, but the ball caromed to Dacres, and his follow-up from seven yards out on the left side went under the roof of the goal.
The score was Dacres' seventh of the year and mirrored the 2012 semifinal win over Stony Brook, when he also netted the game-winning score.
Both teams had flurries in the first half, but the visitors had the best opportunities in a two-minute span midway through the half. UMBC senior netminder Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) made a great reaction save on a McGarr effort in the 18th minute and UA's Pomare Te Anau hit the post from 21 yards out moments later.
But the hosts turned up the pressure in the second half, outshooting Albany, 10-3. UMBC sophomore midfielder Malcolm Harris (Damascus, Md./McDonogh) scored the game's first goal with exactly 31 minutes remaining. Junior back Jordan Becker (Pocomoke, Md./Pocomoke) swung a ball into the box and Harris' wheeled and fired from seven yards out. Great Dane freshman goalkeeper Michael Pizzuti got a piece of it, but could not prevent Harris' first goal of the season.
UMBC outshot Albany, 22-7 and both netminders were credited with three saves.
Notes: The Retrievers had a streak of 501 scoreless minutes snapped in the final moments of regulation… Dacres had eight of UMBC's 22 shots in the contest…UMBC defeated Hartford, 2-1, in West Hartford on October 5… UMBC's 15 wins is the most since the 2000 squad won 15 and ties the second-most in school history.