Winston-Salem, N.C.—UMBC men's soccer advanced past ACC foe Wake Forest, 3-2 in penalty kicks on Thursday night in Winston-Salem, in the first round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championships. The Retrievers and Demon Deacons fought to a scoreless 0-0 draw in regulation, before Michael Scott (Fife, Scotland/Inverkeithing) hit the game winner in the fourth round. UMBC moves to 12-5-4 on the year.
The Retrievers will face No. 4 Maryland on Sunday, November 23. The match will begin at 5:00 p.m. in College Park.
The opening stanza saw the Retrievers and Demon Deacons go back and forth early. Senior Stephen Ho (North Potomac, Md./Wootton) had the first good opportunity, putting a shot on goal, but Wake Forest keeper Alec Farrell made the save.
Senior Kay Banjo (Upper Marlboro, Md./Largo) had a pair of chances in the opening frame. The senior forward had a good look at the goal, but put the bending ball just past the right post. Banjo had another opportunity late in the half, but his attempts just sailed over the cross bar.
Wake Forest threatened late off a free kick, but Sophomore Billy Heavner (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) made the stop.
The second half opened up with a pair of Wake Forest chances on Heavner. The Demon Deacons had a header off a corner kick that just went wide left of the cage. A little later on, Wake had a free kick just 25 yards out that sailed over the cross bar.
Junior Malcolm Harris (Damascus, Md./McDonogh/Denver) had the best chance for the Retrievers early on. Harris put a shot just over the bar with 27 minutes in regulation.
The Retrievers would threaten again, with Joseph Pratt (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) putting a cross through the box, just missing the feet of Banjo. Pratt once again fed a beautiful ball to Harris who had his shot blocked to keep the game scoreless with just 15 minutes left in regulation.
Wake Forest broke through late in the half, with Harkes getting free out front. However, Heavner was up to the task, making a beautiful sprawling save to keep the match scoreless with 12 minutes in regulation.
Banjo had a couple of chances late in regulation, but both times they were stopped by Farrell. The Retrievers and Demon Deacons would head to the extra sessions tied at 0-0.
The two sides would battle in the overtimes, but neither team could break through. In the penalty kicks, UMBC went first but saw Mamadou Kansaye (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh/N.C. State) have his attempt saved. Heavner came up and stopped the next Wake Forest attempt to go 0-0 after one round. UMBC would make the next two shots, as Michael Scott (Fife, Scotland/Inverkeithing) would hit the game winner in the fourth round.
UMBC outshot the Demon Deacons, 11-8, in the match, with Heavner making two saves in regulation. Banjo led all players with six shots.
The game marks the fifth NCAA match in a row that has gone to penalty kicks for UMBC .The Retrievers have advanced twice (2012, 2014) in first round competition and been eliminated three times in the second round of the 2010, 2012 and 2013 tournaments.