BALTIMORE – UMBC senior forward Kay Banjo (Upper Marlboro, Md./Largo/Towson U.) scored a pair of goals as the Retrievers enjoyed a huge shot differential, but came away with a 2-1 victory over Sacred Heart in the Doubletree BWI Classic played at Retriever Soccer Park.
Banjo earned the tournament's Most Valuable Player award, as he contributed two goals and added two assists in the two games. UMBC (2-0) and Delaware (2-0) each earned two victories, but the Retrievers were declared the victors with a goal differential of +5, compared to +4 for the Blue Hens.
Banjo, who earned All-CAA honors for three seasons (2010-12) while competing for Towson University, contributed nine of UMBC's 28 shots and put six on goal. He opened the scoring in the 10th minute, converting a feed from junior forward Michael Scott (Fife, Scotland). Scott penetrated deep down the left wing and hit his cross towards the center of the box, where Banjo volleyed it from about 12 yards out. The ball nicked off an SHU defender and beyond Pioneer junior netminder Tucker Hackett.
The 15th-ranked Retrievers outshot SHU, 12-2, in the first 45 minutes, but Hackett made eight first half saves to keep the visitors within a goal at the break.
Sacred Heart, which did not threaten the goal in the first half, came out more aggressively in the second half and capitalized just 1:46 into the stanza. SHU was awarded a free kick 23 yards from goal and freshman midfielder Ezra Siyadhuba struck a perfect ball from the right side, which beat UMBC red-shirt freshman goalkeeper Phil Breno (Mount Airy, Md./South Carroll) and into the upper right side of the net.
But UMBC would quickly regain their composure and regained the lead less than three minutes later. Senior midfielder Mamadou Kansaye (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) had a free kick 25 yards from goal and his effort was redirected from senior back Marquez Fernandez (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) to Banjo. Standing seven yards from goal, the Retriever newcomer's shot found the net to the left of Hackett.
The Retrievers continued to press the advantage ,but were repelled by Hackett, who made 14 saves in 90 minutes. He denied junior forward Joe Glos (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) and senior midfielder Geaton Caltabiano (Lothian, Md./Mount St. Joe) in a one-minute span midway through the half to keep SHU within reach.
But SHU managed only two additional second-half attempts and the Retrievers improved to 2-0 for the fifth time in the last eight seasons.
UMBC also extended its unbeaten streak to 12 (9-0-3) straight, dating back to last season.
Notes: Banjo now has 17 goals in his collegiate career… Kansaye's assist with the 17th of his career… UMB C had 15 corner kicks to just one for the Pioneers… The Retrievers' improved to 5-1 all-time versus SHU, but the teams had not played since 2002… UMBC competes at No. 2 Maryland on Friday, Sept .5… That game will be streamed by NSCAA.tv.
Tournament MVP: Kay Banjo - UMBC - 2 goals, 2 assists
Geaton Caltabiano - UMBC
Mamadou Kansaye - UMBC
Marquez Fernandez - UMBC
Oumar Ballo - UMBC
Borja Barbero - Delaware
Tobias Muller - Delaware
Jaime Martinez - Delaware
Ignacio Martin - Delaware
Tucker Hacket - Sacred Heart
Chris Cameiro - Sacred Heart
Shaquille Saunchez - Sacred Heart
Jacob Smith - LIU
Tanner Sica - LIU
David Nurenburg - LIU