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Men's Soccer Opens America East Play by Hosting Powerful Boston University on Saturday
GAME NOTES: UMBC (3-5-1) vs. Boston University (5-1-3)
Recap: Senior midfielder Kevin Mezzadra scored all three goals as UMBC (3-5-1) returned home after six straight games away from UMBC Soccer Stadium and defeated Howard (1-6-1), 3-1 in the Retrievers’ final non-conference game of the season.
Mezzadra opened the scoring in the 23rd minute as he rocketed a shot into the upper right hand corner of the goal. UMBC outplayed the Bison in the first half, holding the visitors to one shot and drawing 16 fouls. But Howard surged early in the second half and got the game-tying goal at the 62:02 mark when Marcel Storer rifled in a 28-yard shot just inside the right post. However, 56 seconds later UMBC regained the lead when freshman forward Dan Maudsley won the ball deep in Bison territory and his short cross hit Mezzadra in stride. UMBC’s all-conference forward banked his shot in off the far left post from six yards away.
Mezzadra added the insurance goal at 82:06, when he gathered sophomore midfielder Kevin Gnatiko’s short pass and blasted a shot by Howard netminder Chris Taylor from a sharp right angle eight yards away from the goal.
Three’s a Charm: It was Mezzadra’s first career “hat-trick” and the first for any Retriever since Derek McElligott scored three in the 2004 opener, a 10-0 rout of NJIT. Mezzadra, who had not scored in the last five games, now has seven goals on the season and 17 in his career at UMBC.
Weekend in Vegas: The men's soccer program's made its third trip to Las Vegas since 1994 and the Retrievers are now 5-1 in the desert in the past and 3-0 vs. the host UNLV Rebels. In 1994, UMBC knocked off UNLV (3-2) and UC-Irvine (4-2) in the Rebel Invitational. The team returned in 1999 and upended UNLV (1-0) and San Diego State (2-0) en route to a 19-1-2 season and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Top Dog: UMBC Head Men's Soccer Coach Pete Caringi coached his 500th collegiate game vs. Drexel on September 8 in the first game of the Drexel Invitational. Caringi is 339-127-36 (.712) in his 26th season as a collegiate head coach and 169-100-28 (.615) at the beginning of his 16th season at UMBC. Coach Caringi's first ten seasons were spent at CCBC-Essex (Md.). The Baltimore native is a two-time national coach of the year (1984, 1989), a three-time NCAA Division I conference coach of the year (1999, 2002, 2005) and has won championships as a player (1975 NCAA Division II title at the University of Baltimore) and as a coach (1990 APSL champion Maryland Bays). Caringi's 1999 UMBC team posted the best record in the nation (19-1-2) and earned the school's first trip to the NCAA Division-I Men's Soccer Tournament. He is a member of the National Junior College Hall of Fame, the Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame and the University of Baltimore Athletic Hall of Fame.
Program Success: UMBC has posted winning records in eight straight years and only have one losing record in 16 years under Coach Caringi.
That's Odd: Under Coach Caringi, in odd-numbered years, UMBC has a record of 92-46-17 (.648), while in even-numbered years, the Retrievers are 75-50-10 (.593).
Yutes: 19 players on UMBC's 23-man roster have one year or less experience at the Division I level.
Getting Offensive: Junior defender Bryan Moffa has held the young Retrievers together through a tough first month of the season. He shifted from wing fullback to central defense in the wake of an injury to sweeper L.J. Pijnenburg. With UMBC in the throes of a six-game winless streak, he scored his first career goal in the 63rd minute on a free kick vs. UNLV Then his long free kick with flicked in by David Feazell for the game-winner with less than eight minutes to play to give UMBC the 2-1 win. Moffa leads the team and the America East Conference (tied) with three assists.
Other League Leaders: Entering the week, seniors David Feazell and Kevin Mezzadra were tied for second in the America East with 1.12 points per game and tied for second with 0.50 goals per game. Feazell is the lone player in the league to own a pair of game-winning goals. Mezzadra leads the conference in shots per game (2.88), while Steve King ranks sixth witha 1.58 goals against average.
Is Steve King No Longer a Mystery?: Sophomore netminder Steve King has now played 1,984 consecutive minutes for the Retrievers. He posted shutouts in eight of his first ten starts, but has not earned a shutout in his last 11 appearances, allowing 21 goals.
Other Notes: Dating back to last season, UMBC has allowed goals gone in 11 straight games… they had not gone more than six games without a shutout since the 1997 season, when they allowed goals in 12 consecutive games.
In America East Play: The Retrievers are 15-8-3 in three seasons of America East Conference play, including a mark of 10-1-2 at home. UMBC had a 12-game home unbeaten streak in conference play until falling, 3-2 in overtime to Stony Brook in the ‘05 regular season finale.
A Glance at the Terriers: The Terriers got off to a 4-0-1 start and reached #23 in the national rankings. They have only allowed five goals through nine games to date. Sophomore forward Petur Sigurdsson leads the team with four goals and nine points. Boston U. is coming off Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Rhode Island.
Series Record: The Retrievers hold a 2-1 series advantage over the Terriers and have posted shutouts in the last two meetings. They won the previous meeting in Baltimore, 1-0, in 2004.