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FIRST-PLACE MEN'S SOCCER TEAM TRIES TO SEW UP CONFERENCE TOURNEY BERTH IN SATURDAY'S HOMECOMING GAME VS. MAINE
WIN (OR TIE) AND YOU’RE IN: Should the Retrievers win or manage a draw in today’s game, they will clinch a spot in the six-team America East Conference Tournament, which begins on November 5. The top two seeds in the tournament will receive byes and host semi-final games on November 9. UMBC was the #1 seed in the 2003 America East Tournament, but finished seventh and did not qualify for last year’s tourney.
SENIOR DAY: UMBC will honor seniors Powell Cucchiella, Jim Fendryk, Glen Gardner, Steve Goddard, Marcus Gross, Eric Mahon, Andy Marchica and Matt McGowan on its final Saturday regular season game of the ‘05 campaign.
HOME, SWEET HOME: UMBC has not lost a regular season home game since falling to Navy, 3-1, in September of 2002. They are unbeaten in 27 straight (19-0-8) in that span. UMBC is 8-1-2 vs. America East Conference opponents at home (8-0-2 regular season) and have outscored their league foes, 23-6 at home. In fact, AE foes have scored just two goals in the last ten games played in Baltimore. UMBC will play three of its final four games at home, including two of the remaining three conference games.
RANKED: The Retrievers are ranked in the South Atlantic region for the third consecutive week, coming in at #10 this week. It is the 13th time in Pete Caringi’s 15 years at UMBC that the Retrievers have dented the regional rankings.
STREAK HALTED: UMBC had qualified for its conference’s post season tournament for nine straight seasons until a seventh-place finish (4-5 America East, 8-6-3 overall) last season. The Retrievers’ last early November vacation occured in 1994, when they also posted a record of better than .500 (9-8-1).
HIGH PRAISE: America East coaches picked UMBC third in the pre-season league men’s soccer poll. Defending champion Boston University was the unanimous pick to retake the title, followed by Binghamton, UMBC and Stony Brook.
IN REVIEW: The UMBC men’s soccer team posted its sixth shutout in the last seven games as the Retrievers edged America East rival New Hampshire, 2-0, in summer-like conditions on Wednesday at UMBC Stadium. With the victory, UMBC halted a brief two-game winless streak.
Freshman netminder Steve King also posted his sixth shutout in seven collegiate starts and lowered his goals against average to 0.52. King only needed to make two saves as the UMBC defense allowed just four Wildcat shots. Neither team could mount much offense before UMBC struck suddenly just before halftime. Kevin Mezzadra’s team-leading sixth goal of the year in the 44th minute gave the Retirevers a 1-0 halftime edge. The goal snapped a streak of 243 minutes without a goal for UMBC. The Retrievers got an insurance marker at the 76:47 mark as Manuel Mariel converted a brilliant Matt Watson feed for his second goal of the sesaon.
SERIES HISTORY: The series is tied at one apiece, as each team has captured a 4-1 victory on its home turf. Maine clinched a spot in the playoffs by winning in Orono on the final day of the 2003 regular season, and UMBC countered with a win in Baltimore last season. Powell Cucchiella had a big day for the Retrievers with two goals and an assist. and Watson added a goal and a helper.
UMBC RECORD SITUATIONS (2006)
At Home: 5-0-2
On Road: 2-2-1
On Grass: 2-4-0
On Artificial: 5-0-3
Day Games: 5-3-1
Night Games: 2-1-1
On Wednesday: 3-1-2
On Saturday: 2-1-0
Other Days: 2-2-1
When Scoring First: 7-2-1
When Allowing First: 0-2-0
One Goal Games: 3-2-0
Decided by >1 goal: 4-2-0
Outshooting Opponent: 5-2-2
In September: 4-3-2
In October: 3-1-1
In November 0-0-0
A LOOK AT THE MAINE BLACK BEARS
Last five results
Sat. Sept. 24 *at Boston U. T 1-1
Sat. Oct. 1 *at Binghamton L 0-1
Wed. Oct. 5 *New Hampshire T 1-1 (2OT)
Sat. Oct. 8 *Hartford L 1-2
Sat. Oct. 15 *Vermont
(at Hampden, ME) L 0-1
Notes: In their last outing, Maine fell to Vermont 1-0 at Hampden Academy on Saturday, October 15 despite outshooting the Catamounts 17-8... Maine has had no trouble getting shots on net, the problem has been beating the opponents’ goalkeeper... in four losses this season, the Black Bears have outshot their opponents...netminder Chad Mongeon leads the America East with 5.20 saves per game...the Black Bears have only scored ten goals in 12 games, and are 1-4 in games decided by one goal in 2005.