Men's Soccer Faces No. 12 Creighton in Omaha for NCAA Championship Semifinal Berth

Men's Soccer Faces No. 12 Creighton in Omaha for NCAA Championship Semifinal Berth

UMBC at Creighton Notes, 12-5-14

Pete Caringi Pre-Match Presser

The UMBC men's soccer squad (14-5-4) advanced for the third time as a road underdog in 11 days, as the Retrievers reached the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship quarterfinals with a 1-0 victory at No. 13 Louisville on Nov. 30. UMBC will now face No. 12 Creighton (16-3-2) in Omaha on Friday, Dec. 5 with the victor heading to the College Cup in Cary, N.C. the following weekend. The contest gets underway at 8:00 p.m. (EST) at Morrison Stadium. Links for live stats and the streaming broadcast are available via www.umbcretrievers.com and UMBC Front Row, the Retrievers' mobile site.

 

NOTING THE RETRIEVERS

 

UMBC advanced for the third time as a road underdog in 11 days, as the Retrievers reached the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship quarterfinals with a 1-0 victory at No. 13 Louisville on Nov. 30.

 

Senior MF and team captain Mamadou Kansaye scored the game's lone goal, converting a penalty kick in the 24'. RS sophomore goalkeeper Billy Heavner made four saves as the Retrievers posted their third consecutive shutout in the tournament.

 

It is the first time a UMBC Division I team has advanced this far in a national tournament. The Retrievers reached the match in Louisvillle after defeating No. 4 Maryland, 1-0, and advancing past Wake Forest, 3-2, in penalties, after 110 minutes of scoreless soccer.

 

UMBC has not allowed a goal on the road in NCAA competition in six consecutive games and 678 minutes since Princeton scored in the 32' in 2010.

 

The Retrievers vaulted from an unranked team to No. 10 in the nation in the weekly Top Drawer Soccer poll as of Nov. 24, then moved up two additional notches to No. 8 on Dec. 1.

 

UMBC was last ranked in the early portion of the season after starting the year at 3-0-1. The Retrievers were No. 11 in the Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News polls and were at No. 19 in Soccer America.  The NSCAA poll had the Retrievers at No. 14 as of Sept. 9.

UMBC (14-5-4) is now unbeaten in nine consecutive games.

UMBC is the third America East men's soccer team to reach the NCAA Quarterfinals, joining Hartford (1996) and Vermont (1989). No America East men's soccer team has reached the national semifinals.

UMBC is just one of four teams in the nation to amass 30 or more victories over the past two years. Coastal Carolina has 34 victories, UC Irvine has amassed 31 and UMBC and Maryland each have 30.

SR F Kay Banjo leads the squad with eight goals and 22 total points, and Kansaye has five goals and six helpers. Since taking over the goalkeeping duties mid-season, Heaver is 11-1-2 and is ranked in the top ten nationally in save percentage and goals against average.

INSIDE THE SERIES

 

UMBC has never faced Creighton in men's soccer, although the visiting Bluejays defeated UMBC, 3-0, in women's soccer in 1989.

 

Despite the geographic connection, UMBC has not played a current member of the BIG EAST since 1993, when they defeated Georgetown, 5-1.  

 

UMBC IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT

 

The Retrievers are unbeaten (3-0-5) in their last eight NCAA Tournament games, but have failed to advance in three out of the five draws… UMBC has won both penalty kick shootouts in first round competition, but dropped all three in the second round… the meeting versus Wake Forest was UMBC's third against an ACC school in post-season play and the contest vs. the Cardinals was No 4… the Retrievers fell at Duke, 4-3, in overtime, in 1999 and drew at UNC (0-0) two seasons ago… UMBC hosted the universities' first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament contest when the 16th-seeded Retrievers entertained UConn in brutally cold and blustery conditions in 2013… Besides Harris and Kansaye,  Geaton Caltabiano is the only other Retriever who has scored a goal in the NCAA Tournament, while Kansaye had a pair of assists in the contest versus the Huskies… UMBC has not allowed a goal on the road in NCAA competition in six consecutive games and 678 minutes since Princeton scored in the 32' in 2010.

 

 

SCOUTING THE BLUEJAYS

 

Creighton was eliminated in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament, 1-0, by Providence, a side that is also in quarterfinal action. In the tournament, the Bluejays have posted home victories over Oregon State (1-0) and conference foe Xavier (2-1) to reach the quarterfinals.

 

Fabian Herbers and Fernando Castellanos scored the goals to give Creighton a 2-0 advantage over Xavier, before the Musketeers halved the deficit to 2-1 before bowing out.

 

With the win Creighton (16-3-2) advances to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament for the third time in four seasons under head coach Elmar Bolowich and the tenth time since 2000. CU is now 13-2-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament games at Morrison Stadium. Creighton improved to 12-2-0 at home in 2014.

Herbers, a sophomore midfielder, leads the squad with 10 goals and 28 total points. Junior M/F Timo Pitter has added six goals and a team-best nine helpers.

 

Creighton has outscored its opponents, 32-11, in 2014, and has only allowed one goal in the first halves of 21 games. Junior goalkeeper Connor Sparrow is third in the nation, three spots ahead of Heavner, with a 0.51 goals against average.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 

UMBC is now 11-0-5 in the month of November in the past three seasons.

 

UMBC is now 47-31-14 in 12 America East seasons, which includes a mark of 30-9-6 in games at home and 17-22-8 on the road in league play.

 

UMBC's road unbeaten streak was extended to 11 (7-0-4) with the draw at Maryland on Sept. 5, 2014. That breaks the previous longest in school history, which was recorded in the 1999 campaign (6-0-2).

 

UMBC played before 7.284 fans at Maryland's Ludwig Field on Sept. 5, the fourth-largest crowd in UM history.

 

 

UP NEXT: The winner of this contest will advance to the national semifinals and take on the winner between Georgetown vs. Virginia in the second match on Friday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. from Cary, N.C.