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Men's Soccer Faces Critical Home Test vs. Binghamton on Wednesday
Recap: Senior Kevin Mezzadra’s second goal of the game, 34 seconds into the second overtime period, lifting visiting UMBC (4-7-3, 1-2-2) to a 2-1 victory over Maine (0-13-0, 0-4) in America East Conference play.
For UMBC, it was the third consecutive Saturday that they went to overtime, with both previous games ending up in 1-1 draws. After a scoreless first ten-minute period, UMBC sophomore Kevin Gnatiko captured the ball at midfield in the opening moments of the second extra session. He beat three Maine defenders and cut the ball back to an onrushing Mezzadra, who beat netminder Giacomo Brunino and gave UMBC a much-needed conference victory.
Three of UMBC’s final four games will be at home as they try to get into the six-team America East Championships.
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 341-130-38 (.707) in his 26th season as a collegiate head coach and 171-103-30 (.613) in 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).
Getting Ahead: UMBC has scored the game’s first goal in seven of 14 contests this season, but is just 3-2-2 in those games.
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 with five assists.
Other League Leaders: Entering the week, senior Kevin Mezzadra is first in the America East Conference with 0.69 goals (9 goals in 13 games) per game and first with 1.46 points per game (19 in 13 games). Mezzadra is second in the conference in shots per game (2.77), despite playing a central defensive position vs. Vermont and for 65 minutes vs. Boston University. Netminder Steve King ranks fifth (tied) with 3.64 saves per game and seventh with a 1.48 goals against average.
More Mezz: Mezzadra scored all three goals as UMBC returned home after six straight games away from UMBC Soccer Stadium and defeated Howard, 3-1 in the Retrievers’ final non-conference game of the season.
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. It was the first time that a Retrievers scored all three of his team’s goals in a game since Giuliano Celenza scored a trio in a 3-0 win over Central Connecticut in October of 1999. Mezzadra, who had not scored in the previous five games, now has 19 goals in his career at UMBC.
Is Steve King No Longer a Mystery?: Sophomore netminder Steve King has now played 2,445 consecutive minutes for the Retrievers. He posted shutouts in eight of his first ten starts, but has not earned a shutout in his last 16 appearances, allowing 29 goals.
Other Notes: Dating back to last season, UMBC has allowed goals in 16 straight games, the most-ever in the program’s 21-year Division I history … 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 now 16-10-5 in three seasons of America East Conference play, including a mark of 10-1-5 at home and 6-9-1 on the road. 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 Bearcats: The Bearcats average less than one goal scored per game (12 in 14 contests), but are 4-2 in one-goal decisions this season. They are also 1-6-1 on the road this season. Peter Sgueglia has four assists on the season and had a pair in the 4-1 win over UMBC last season.
Series Record: Binghamton holds a 2-1-1 lead in the series and captured the America East semi-final match over UMBC, a 4-1 triumph on the turf at UMBC Stadium last fall. The Retrievers won the regular season match, 1-0, in overtime in Vestal, N.Y. as David Feazell scored the game-winning goal.