WASHINGTON — The University of Maryland Baltimore County, forced to revamp its lineup because of injuries, used a solid team effort to dominate Towson State and grab a 3-1 victory in an East Coast Conference game at UMBC Stadium yesterday.
The Retrievers (10-2-1) equaled a school record with their eighth straight win. Jason Dieter, one of the team captains, said: "This one was for respect for Baltimore and for UMBC. We've never been there [in that position] before."
The game was also for first place in the ECC, and UMBC took control with a mark of 4-0-1. Every other team has at least one loss. Towson State (8-3-2) dropped to 1-1-1.
UMBC was missing three of its top four scorers. Shawn Miller (eight goals) has a hamstring injury; Robert Diver (five goals) missed yesterday's game after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season in Monday's 3-2 overtime win at St. Joseph's, and Rob Hoch (four goals) was out with a foot injury.
As a result, coach Pete Caringi sent out a unit that included eight 6-footers (Towson started three), three of them 6-5 -- Tim Ryerson (second start), Bobby Wagner and senior defensive standout Darius Taylor.
Eric Bathras, one of three freshmen to see action, started for the first time. Dieter was shifted from the line to midfield and responded with two assists to take the team scoring leadership with six goals and seven assists.
"When you're missing two strikers and your best midfielder, psychologically, it takes something out of you," said Caringi. "Besides Hoch, Brian Stott was hurt Monday, but he was in there. These players remind me of the players I played with [at the University of Baltimore in the mid-1970s] -- they were hurting, but came out and played with heart and intensity."
Wagner gave UMBC a 1-0 lead with just 27 seconds left in the half. Dieter set it up off a free kick from outside the penalty box, crossing the ball to Wagner, who had popped free coming off a screen. The ball was past goalkeeper Rich Pellegrini before he realized it.
Ryerson, a Nevada-Las Vegas transfer from Columbia (Oakland Mills), made it 2-0 with his fourth goal of the season five minutes into the second half, a play set up off a corner kick by Dieter.
The other goals were on penalty kicks after players were taken down in the penalty areas. Senior Joe Layfield, Towson State's ++ scoring leader, got his 10th goal of the year when he converted for the Tigers. Rob Karas, a junior midfielder, hit for the Retrievers.
Dieter, back Pete Eibner, and midfielder Terry Locklear were with Caringi at Essex Community College two years ago, the last time the Knights went to the national junior college tournament. "They've been a big help to me and the program," the first-year coach said. "They respond to me and the team responds to them."
Towson State's Bichy summed up the Tigers' effort. "They beat us to every ball. Our game is possession, and we had a hard time getting the shots." UMBC had that edge, 21-13.
Loyola 1, Howard 0
Tom Donahue's goal from 15 yards out with 3 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in the second overtime lifted Loyola (7-5-1) -- past Howard University (5-6-1).
Maryland 2, UDC 0
The University of Maryland (4-5-3) ran its non-losing string to five (4-0-1) in stopping the University of District of Columbia (2-10-1).
Monmouth 1, Mount 0
Monmouth's Craig Gatto scored 4:25 into the first overtime to lift the visiting Hawks (7-6-1, 5-2) to a Northeast Conference victory over Mount St. Mary's (3-10-1, 1-4).
Frostburg 3, Salem-Teikyo 0
Unbeaten Frostburg State ran its streak to 13 games in defeating what was formerly called Salem (W.Va.) College.
Mark Urban had a goal and an assist to lead the winners. Charles Hanowell and Chris Eisenhour (Bel Air) also scored goals, and Keith Walter (C. Milton Wright) contributed two assists.
Salisbury State 2, UMES 1
Mike Connors scored 5:06 into the second overtime to give Salisbury State (8-4) a decision over the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (1-9).