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Bulls, Houapeu Continue Torrid Play as Men's Soccer Blanks St. Joseph's, 6-0
Annapolis, Md.—The UMBC men’s soccer team continued its torrid start, improving to 3-0-0 with a 6-0 rout of St. Joseph’s (0-2-0) in Navy’s Anders Classic.
The striker tandem of sophomore Andrew Bulls (Millersville, Md./McDonogh) and junior Levi Houapeu (Germantown, Md./Watkins Mill) led the onslaught, as Bulls posted two goals and two assists and Houapeu added a pair of goals and a helper. Freshman forward Matt Knight (Kent, England) came off the bench to score the first two goals of his career in the latter stages of the game.
The 3-0-0 start is UMBC’s best since the 2004 season. Moreover, the 14 goals scored in three games (a span of six days) equals the output that UMBC opened the ’04 with.
Bulls has five goals and four assists, while Houapeu has four and three in wins over Virginia Tech, Delaware, and St. Joseph’s.
Bulls opened the scoring in the 25th minute, knocking in a free kick from the top of the box into the right corner of the net. Houapeu doubled the margin in the 37th minute, scoring into an unguarded net after receiving a Bulls feed from the right net.
The duo scored twice in a 21-second span in the second half to give the Retrievers a commanding lead. After a Hawk foul along with goal line, Houapeu recorded his first career two-goal game as he chipped in Bulls’ centering feed at the 58:47 mark. Then, at 59:08, Houapeu drove down the right side, centered the ball, and Bulls did not have to break stride to score the fourth goal of the game.
Knight scored in the 74th and 83rd minutes of play to finalize the scoring. Freshman netminder Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) went the distance and recorded his first career shutout. Saunders made just one save as UMBC outshot the Hawks, 24-7. The Retriever rookie goalkeeper has allowed only one goal in 255 minutes of action to date.
Both Bulls and Houapeu are the first Retrievers to score goals in three straight games since Kevin Gnatiko did so in 2007. They are also the first UMBC players to post three consecutive multiple-point games since Derek McElligott has two goals in three straight games in 2003. Bulls’ six-point effort is the first for a Retriever in five seasons as McElligott (three goals) and Powell Cucchiella (one goal, four assists) posted six points in a 10-0 rout of NJIT on Sept. 4, 2004.
UMBC will host the adidas Kick-Off Classic, opening the two-game set on Thursday, Sept. 10 vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) at 4:30 p.m.