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Men's Soccer Opens Campaign vs. Saint Mary's (Cal.) at Anders Classic on Friday
The UMBC men’s soccer team opens the 2008 campaign on Friday, Aug. 29 when they take on Saint Mary’s (
UMBC met Saint Mary’s back in 1992 and the Retrievers came away with a 1-0 victory in the Gaels’ Fall Classic. Saint Mary’s, a member of the West Coast Conference, posted a 7-9-2 record in 2007 and nine starters return for second-year head coach Adam Cooper. Saint Francis won the 2007 adidas Kick Off Classic at UMBC, as they tied the host Retrievers and defeated Navy. The Terriers struggled to a 4-9-5 mark in 2007, but did feature the Northeast Conference’s Rookie of the Year in John Sallhag, who scored nine goals. UMBC is 5-1-2 against their former league rivals.
The Retrievers have competed in the Anders Classic in each of the past three years, posting a cumulative record of 2-3-1. UMBC won the title last year with wins over Air Force (2-1) and
UMBC will open its 2008 home schedule by hosting the adidas Kick-Off Classic next weekend. It will be the classic’s 12th consecutive season. UMBC will take on Lipscomb and Adelphi and Navy will also take part.
Virginia Tech, UMBC’s opponent on Oct. 14 in
enior midfielder Dan Bulls and senior defender Jovan Petrovic have been named team captains for the 2008 campaign.
UMBC has posted nine winning seasons in the last ten years. Under Head Coach Pete Caringi, UMBC has never had back-to-back losing seasons and has registered only two sub-.500 campaigns.
Caringi is 180-112-35 in 17 seasons at UMBC.
The Retrievers were 3-0-1 vs. America East competition at home last season and are 14-2-5 in five years of league play.
UMBC was 7-0-1 last season when scoring the game’s first goal. The three scoreless ties that the Retrievers played (St. Francis-N.Y., James Madison, Vermont) are the most they have recorded in a Division I season.
UMBC scored the same number of goals (26) as they did in 2006, but allowed just 15, compared with 30 permitted in ‘06. Nationally, UMBC finished the campaign T19th in shutout percentage (10 in 20 games), 22nd in save percentage (83.5%) and 21st in goals against average (0.71).
Players that scored 24 of UMBC’s 26 goals in 2007 return for the 2008 season. However, Andrew Gillis’ five goals was the fewest for a UMBC team leader in the Retrievers’ 22-year Division I history. Gillis, a junior forward, placed sixth in the America East Conference in goal-scoring a year ago.
Senior Kevin Gnatiko currently leads UMBC active players with 11 career goals and 32 career points. He and Gillis tied for ninth in America East with 0.60 points per game in 2007. Gnatiko earned Second Team All-Conference honors last season.
Senior netminder Steve King finished the 2007 campaign ranked 24th nationally in save percentage (83.5%) and 23rd in goals against average (.716). He finished third in America East in goals against average and save percentage. His 17 career shutouts (a career-best nine in 2007) are third in school history and his 183 saves are eighth.
Sophomores Levi Houapeu, B.J. Quigley and Chris Williams earned America East All-Rookie honors last season, as UMBC was the only league team to feature a trio of honorees. Two of Houapeu’s three goals were game-winners, while Quigley tallied four goals. Williams, a defender, was one of only three players (King, Philippe Bissohong) to start in all 20 games last season.
Five former Archbishop Curley Friars (Dustin Dzwonkowski, Steve King, B.J. Quigley, Sean Rothe, Vince Savarese) are current Retrievers.
Brothers Dan and Andrew Bulls and Brendon and Jason McCarron are the fifth and sixth brother combinations to compete for UMBC. The others were the Josephs (Matt, 1998-2000; Michael, 2000-03), the Mariels (Esteban, Manuel, 1999), the McKelveys (Derek, 1988; Mark, 1986-88, 1990) and the Woodards (Billy, 1972-75; Mike, 1976-78).