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Men's Soccer Nationally Ranked in Two Polls; Saunders Earns Back-to-Back America East Rookie of the Week Honors
For the second consecutive week, UMBC freshman goalkeeper Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) has been named America East Conference Menís Soccer Rookie of the Week.
At 9-0-0, the Retrievers own the best record in the nation and are now ranked No. 20 in College Soccer News and debuted at No. 25 in Soccer America for games ending Sept. 27, 2009. UMBC is ranked third in the Northeast region behind South Florida and Harvard.
Saunders has now recorded four consecutive shutouts and five overall in his initial campaign. He made three game-saving stops in the final 1:55 to preserve the 1-0 win over Loyola before 1,505 fans at UMBC Stadium last Tuesday. He finished that game with six saves and recorded five in the 3-0 win at La Salle on Saturday. The Retriever netminder is ranked fifth in the nation in save percentage (91.9) and eighth in goals against average (0.34).
Saunders and the Retrievers have not allowed a goal in the last 435 minutes of play. His five shutouts are tied with Boston Universityís Hrafn Davidsson total for the league lead.
Also in the latest NCAA menís soccer statistics, sophomore forward Andrew Bulls (Millersville, Md./McDonogh) leads the nation in points per game (29, 3.22) and goals per game (12, 1.33). Junior midfielder Levi Houapeu (Germantown, Md./Watkins Mill) is in the top ten in three categories; points per game (3rd, 23, 2.45), assists per game (4th, 7, 0.78) and goals per game (9th, 8, 0.89)
UMBC is second in the nation in scoring with three goals per contest, behind Liberty, which averages 3.17 goals per outing. The Retrievers are also 11th in goals against average (0.44) and save percentage (89.5) and 28th in shutout percentage (56.0).
UMBC opens America East Conference play at Vermont on Saturday, Oct. 3.