Men's Soccer Begins Stretch Run on the Road at Boston University
The UMBC men’s soccer team (8-4-3, 3-1-1) enters the stretch run of the America East Conference race this weekend as they visit the Boston University Terriers (8-5-2, 2-1-2) on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The first-place Retrievers face a match at Hartford on Oct. 31 and conclude the regular season at home vs. New Hampshire on Nov. 3. UMBC is unbeaten in its last four games (3-0-1) and 5-1-1 in its last seven outings.
No Goal Patrol: After recording zero shutouts in 2006 (5-9-3, 2-4-2), UMBC is tied for the most shutouts in the nation with ten in 15 contests to date. The Retrievers have posted four consecutive shutouts (370 consecutive minutes), the most since a four-game scoreless skein they achieved late in the 2002 season. UMBC has allowed only one goal, an overtime score by Binghamton in their last 585 minutes of soccer. Entering the week, the team was ranked ninth in goals against average (now at 0.51 gpg) and eighth in save percentage (now 87.7%).
The Retrievers have outscored their last seven opponents by a combined 16-1 margin.
King of the Pitch: Junior goalkeeper Steve King (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) is currently 10th in the nation in save percentage (87.1%, eight goals allowed and 57 saves) and 11th with a 0.548 goals against average. After recording zero shutouts while playing every minute of the 2006 season, King has nine shutouts to his credit this year. His 17 career whitewashes are third on the UMBC all-time list and his 164 saves are now eighth on UMBC’s all-time list.
King credits the defense for his success this year. “The back four is just solid. They don’t get much credit but the way we are playing this year and our success is due to them.”
The back four currently consists of senior walk-on Philippe Bissohong (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook), junior L.J. Pijnenburg (Hamilton, New Zealand), sophomore Matt Ward (Glen Arm, Md./Archbishop Curley) and freshman Chris Williams (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall).
Other Player Notes: Junior forward Andrew Gillis (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) continues to lead the team with five goals and 12 points, while freshman linemate B.J. Quigley (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) scored his fourth goal of the season at Howard in Tuesday’s 4-0 victory… freshman Sean Rothe (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) scored the game-winner vs. Howard for his second goal of the season and junior midfielder Kevin Gnatiko (Montgomery Village, Md./Watkins Mill) and sophomore back Matt Ward (Glen Arm, Md./Archbishop Curley) also scored for UMBC.
Feted: King was named America East Conference Player of the Week (Sept .10), while Quigley was named the league’s Rookie of the Week on Oct. 9… Chris Williams earned Rookie of the Week honors this past week (Oct. 23).
Series Record: UMBC holds a 2-1-1 series advantage over Boston University. The Retrievers won the initial match-up, 1-0 in Baltimore in 2003, but the host Terriers avenged that with a 2-0 win the following season. UMBC won in Boston, 3-0 in the snow in 2005 and the two teams played to a 1-1 overtime draw at UMBC Soccer Stadium last season. Gillis scored the Retrievers’ goal, but midfielder Bryan Moffa (Baltimore, Md./Eastern Tech) collected a yellow and red card in the first half and UMBC played down one man for the final 68 minutes. The Terriers tied the game in the 79th minute, as they outshot the host Retrievers, 19-4.