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Men's Soccer Opens 2009 Season at Home vs. Virginia Tech on Tuesday
The UMBC menís soccer team opens its 2009 season on Tuesday, Sept. 1 when they entertain Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia Tech. Kick-off is set for 3:00 p.m. at UMBC Soccer Stadium. The first 300 fans through the gates will get free hot dogs and sodas and UMBC Athletics will celebrate Grittyís first birthday at halftime with a ceremony and cake.
A young UMBC squad takes the field in 2009 for the 43rd season of Retriever soccer. There is just one senior, Andrew Gillis, on the Ď09 roster, and a number of Coach Caringiís 10 first-year players could see significant playing time early in the campaign.
UMBC has won its last three season openers and is 16-2 under Pete Caringi in lid-lifters. The Retrievers bested Rider, 5-2, and George Mason, 2-1 in preseason action.
America East All-Rookie team member Andrew Bulls led the 2008 team with eight goals, but no other Retriever scored more than three times last season. Junior Levi Houapeu enjoyed a fantastic summer, as he was named to the First-Team All-Tournament in the United Soccer League's Super-20 Menís Tournament. Houapeu scored four goals in the tournament.
UMBC will have a different starting goalkeeper for the first time since 2005. Steve King, now an undergraduate assistant coach, made 66 consecutive starts from 2005-08.
Virginia Tech leads the all-time series, 6-2-0 and have won five straight matches with the Retrievers. Both UMBC wins have occurred in
Last season, the Hokies won a 2-1 overtime decision on Oct. 14. Andrew Bulls gave UMBC a 1-0 lead in the 63rd minute, but the hosts tied the game on a rebound of a penalty kick in the 77th minute and won the contest just 1:52 into overtime. UMBC recorded a season-high 22 shots and netminder Steve King made a career high 12 saves as Tech mustered 20 shots in the entertaining affair.
A 2007 national semifinalist, Tech finished the 2008 season with a 5-13-1 record, 0-8-0 in ACC play. The Hokiesí were led by Emmanuel Akogyeram who finished the season tied for the team lead in goals with six. Virginia Tech played William & Mary to a 1-1 draw and defeated VCU, 2-1, in preseason matches.
The menís soccer team competes in Navyís Anders Classic this weekend. UMBC will face