Men’s soccer suffers first loss of season

By James Fox

Staff Writer

Through a gloomy drizzle, the Loyola University Maryland men’s soccer squad, without their leading scorer, fell to undefeated UMBC, 3-1, Saturday night at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The soaking rain and the absence of sophomore Larry Ndjock were factors in the game, as the Greyhounds lost for the first time this season to fall to 5-1-1. The Retrievers (7-0-0), ranked No. 21 in the nation, kept the pressure on Loyola throughout the entire game, even though they were held scoreless in the first half.

The Hounds had numerous scoring opportunities in the first half, but were unable to get the ball into the net. Junior Connor Thompson attempted the first shot for the Greyhounds in the seventh minute, but missed wide right. A minute later, senior Stephen Dooley attempted a shot after a corner kick, but his shot sailed high of the goal post.

UMBC prevented Loyola from attempting another shot until the 28th minute, when senior Jamie Libby’s header missed high of the goal.

The Greyhounds’ greatest opportunity came in the 42nd minute when senior Diego McQuestion, after having a shot blocked a minute earlier, drilled another shot that sailed just left of the goal post by a matter of feet.

The Retrievers also had numerous scoring opportunities in the first half, reeling off eight shots, none of which got past Loyola senior goalkeeper Zach Kane, who was filling in for Thurman Van Riper. The Greyhounds did have a close call in the 25th minute, when UMBC’s Kadeem Dacres knocked a header that missed just above the net.

UMBC didn’t waste any time after the half, finally opening the scoring in the 48th minute of play. Dacres drilled a shot that Libby deflected back to former Greyhound player Geaton Caltabianco, who then gathered the ball and fired a shot from seven yards out past Kane to give the Retrievers a 1-0 lead.

The undefeated Retrievers weren’t finished yet. In the 55th minute, Spencer Williams sent a cross into the box, which Pete Caringi, the NCAA’s leading scorer, headed in for the goal.

UMBC had a chance to really put the game away in the 60th minute, but Dacres’ shot was stopped by freshman Laurin Vogel for the team save.

The Greyhounds finally cracked the scoreboard in the 61st minute of play. Dooley and McQuestion both had consecutive shots blocked, but a UMBC player was called for a handball, setting up a penalty kick. Dooley launched the penalty kick past a diving Phil Saunders for his second goal of the season, cutting the score to 2-1.

However, after Dooley’s goal, the Greyhounds were unable to get another shot off the rest of the night. Libby thought he had tied the game in the 80th minute after heading in a corner from Thompson, but the would-be goal was nullified due to a Loyola foul.

The Retrievers were able to put the game away in the 84th minute, when Dacres headed in a cross from Caltabianco, giving UMBC a 3-1 lead. Dacres finished with seven shot attempts for UMBC, while Dooley led the Greyhounds with four shots. Kane converted four saves in his first start at goalkeeper for Loyola.

The Greyhounds will look to begin a new winning streak next Saturday night, as they open their Patriot League season at home against Holy Cross at 1 p.m.