Binghamton dashes UMBC's conference hopes with 4-1 win


College Soccer


The UMBC men's soccer team's bid to capture its first America East title since joining the league in 2003 came to a crashing end last night as third-seeded Binghamton upset the second-seeded Retrievers, 4-1, in a conference tournament semifinal at UMBC Stadium.

After going 28 straight games without losing at home, the Retrievers (9-7-3) have now lost three straight on their Catonsville campus.

UMBC coach Pete Caringi said the recent slide has more to do with teams gunning for them than his players being complacent on their home turf.

"I think what happens is teams really zero in and want to knock you off," said Caringi, who was named America East's Coach of the Year last week. "At the end of the day, you have to score goals and not give up any soft goals.

"We had a good year. Our goal was to get to the tournament. Our goal was to host one of the games at home. Our goal was to get to Saturday's [championship] game, and we just came up short."

The loss ended UMBC chances of playing in the NCAA tournament. The conference winner receives an automatic bid.

Binghamton opened the scoring 5:29 into the game when sophomore Matthew Narode knocked in a rebound of a close-range shot by Joey Neilson. The Bearcats padded their lead with 10 minutes left in the first half when Neilson took a pass from Peter Sgueglia with his back to the goal, turned and hit a shot from 12 yards that caromed off the far right post and into the net.

UMBC cut the lead in half just six minutes into the second half when Powell Cucchiella (Eastern Tech) headed in a cross from David Feazell (Fallston).

In a spirited effort to try to tie the game, the Retrievers continued to push forward, but this left them vulnerable in the back. The Bearcats (12-4-4) eventually took advantage and scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the game on quick counterattacks.

"It was great win on the road considering their record at home," said Binghamton coach Paul Marco. "It's difficult for someone to come in here and play."

Binghamton will play top-seeded Stony Brook for the conference championship on Saturday.

"The first half they capitalized on their opportunities and that put us in the hole early," Caringi said. "I think overall, even though they scored two goals, we were not winning the second balls. We made a couple of adjustments by putting a third forward up there and really tried to score goals. We were not going to sit back."

Binghamton 2 2 - 4

UMBC 0 1 - 1

Goals: B-Germain, Narode, Neilson, Neville; UMBC-Cucchiella. Assists: B-Sgueglia 2, Neilson; UMBC-Feazell. Saves: B-Bertoni 2; UMBC-King 3.

Maryland 2, Wake Forest 1 -- Jason Garey scored the game-winner off assists from Graham Zusi and Stephen King in the 65th minute in Cary, N.C., as the top-seeded Terps (15-3-1) advanced to face fourth-seeded Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals tomorrow night. The Blue Devils beat Virginia Tech, 3-0, earlier in the day. "We knew it was going to be a difficult game because Wake is a great team," said Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski.

Wake Forest 1 0 - 1

Maryland 1 1 - 2

Goals: WF-Curfman; M-Garey, King. Assists: M-King, Zusi. Saves: WF-Edwards; M-Seitz 0.

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