BALTIMORE – The NJIT men recorded their first win in the America East with a 2-1 road victory at UMBC at Retriever Soccer Stadium Tuesday evening.
NJIT, which last played Feb. 17, paused all team-related activities shortly after due to COVID-19 related protocols. The Highlanders improved to 1-0-1, 1-0-0 while UMBC fell to 1-1-1, 0-1-1.
“Our team has battled through this pandemic just like they have on the field today with determination and resilience,” NJIT head coach Fernando Barboto said. “Today on the road vs. a program that brings a lot of tradition, we had moments of good football and some of courageous defensive work.”
The Highlanders scored twice in the second half from freshman Tomas Jorge (54th minute) and senior Regsan Watkins (76th minute) while sophomore goalkeeper Samuel Reisgys recorded the win, stopping eight shots.
In the 13th minute, Watkins received a through ball from Jose Escandon but Watkins’ shot was deflected by UMBC goalkeeper Quantrell Jones.
UMBC’s Kyle Waggoner netted his first goal of the season in the 40th minute off a rebound on an initial shot by Vagner Marquez, which was saved by Reisgys. Marquez was credited with the assist.
NJIT had opportunities late in the period with shots from Paul Kondratowicz and Jorge, who blasted an attempt from the middle of the field, sailing high in the 43rd minute.
Six minutes into the second half, Jorge hit the crossbar.
Jorge, however, found the range via a 54th-minute penalty kick after a UMBC handball was called on UMBC. Jorge’s initial shot was saved by a diving Jones but Jorge stayed with the play, slotted home the rebound to score his first collegiate goal.
UMBC came close to taking the lead in the 68th minute as William Forby’s shot hit the underside of the crossbar.
NJIT grabbed a 2-1 lead in the 76th minute through Watkins. Jose Escandon received a long pass down the right side and served the ball into the middle of the box between two defenders. One defender got a head on the ball but Watkins kept control of the ball and headed it home for the game-winner.
NJIT hosts Stony Brook University Friday at 5 p.m. The match will be streamed live on AmericaEast TV.
Due to COVID-19 protocol policy, the NJIT Department of Athletics is prohibiting spectators at its indoor and outdoor athletic events.