BALTIMORE—UMBC junior forward Rachel McKee (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) scored twice, and the Retrievers (0-10-2, 0-2-1 AE) led with less than 14 minutes remaining, but Vermont (3-6-4, 1-1-1 AE) battled back and forced a 2-2 draw in America East women's soccer action Sunday afternoon at Retriever Soccer Park. Each team comes away with one point in the America East standings.
Vermont struck first in the 14th minute when midfielder Jess Herbst blocked a goal kick at the top of the box and passed it to forward Ellie Mills, who fought off two defenders and fired a shot that ricocheted off the right post and into the net.
But the Retrievers tied it up six minutes later on McKee's first goal of the game. Junior forward Sarah Kopytko (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North) sent her a cross from the right side, and McKee beat her defender and placed the ball in the left side of the net.
McKee broke the tie late in the first half, as she converted a free kick from 28 yards out. Her shot was low to the ground and took a short-hop over Vermont keeper Sarah Leiby, who was diving for the save in the 42nd minute. The goal was McKee's team-best and career-high fifth of the season, and it marks the first multi-goal game for a Retriever since Sandra Vacarino scored twice against New Hampshire on Oct. 22, 2009.
Though much of the second half was played in Vermont's offensive end, the Retrievers maintained their 2-1 lead for most of the rest of the game, as the UMBC defense fended off six Catamount shots. But the visitors finally found the equalizer in the 77th minute, as forward Bre Pletnick's blocked shot caromed to the goal line, where midfielder Alexandra Dezenzo was able to curl it inside the near post.
Despite five shots in the final 12 minutes, the game went to overtime knotted at 2-2.
Each team had a good opportunity in the first extra session. Less than three minutes into the period, Leiby passed the ball to a Catamount defender, who attempted to pass it back to Leiby, but McKee intercepted it. She took a couple dribbles and was all alone in front of the net, but Leiby managed to get back on her line just in time to make a diving save. Then, with just under four minutes remaining, Vermont midfielder Kerry Glynn fired a shot from about 20 yards out, but it was right at UMBC sophomore goalie Lauren Kadet (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas).
The Retrievers outshot the Catamounts, 3-1, in the second overtime, with two good chances at the very end of the period. With less than two minutes remaining, the Retrievers were awarded a free kick, but McKee's shot was just high. A frantic final minute ensued, culminating with a throw-in that landed at the feet of junior midfielder Aly Gazarek (Aldie, Va./Freedom/South Florida). Gazarek passed it to Kopytko on the left side, but Kopytko's shot was just off the mark with one second left on the clock.
Kadet and Leiby both finished with two saves in 110 minutes between the pipes. The Catamounts outshot the Retrievers, 21-12, for the game, and held a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks. McKee took a game-high seven shots.
After a week off, the Retrievers return to action next Sunday, Oct. 9, when they visit America East rival Maine.
Notes: McKee and Dezenzo were named the America East Players of the Game… McKee's five goals and 10 points this season are the most since Morgan Warrington scored five goals and 11 points in 2008… In addition, McKee's four points in the game marked the first multi-point effort by a Retriever since Vacarino tallied three points on a goal and an assist against Delaware State on Aug. 21, 2010… The Retrievers played their third overtime game this season and are 0-1-2 in those contests… UMBC scored two goals in a game for the first time since a 2-0 victory over Vermont on Sept. 26, 2010, which was also the last time the Retrievers earned a point in an America East contest.