BALTIMORE—The UMBC women's soccer team (1-2-1) makes the short trip down I-95 to kick off Labor Day weekend with a 4 p.m. contest at George Washington (0-2-0) on Friday. The match concludes the Retrievers' four-game, two-week road trip.
Week in Review: The Retrievers dropped a 3-0 decision at Longwood last Friday, then played host Campbell to a 1-1 draw on Monday. Freshman forward Amy Savage's (Ottawa, Ontario/Sir Wilfrid Laurier) shot inside the box was saved, but sophomore forward Sarah Kopytko (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North) sent in the rebound from inside the six-yard box at the 86:41 mark. But the Camels found the equalizer with just 25 seconds remaining in regulation, and neither team could score in the two overtime sessions. After making seven saves against Longwood, freshman goalie Lauren Kadet (Oakville, Ontario/Sir Thomas Aquinas) stopped nine Campbell shots.
On the Colonials: George Washington is 0-2-0 on the season following a pair of shutouts on the road against Georgetown and Robert Morris. Goalie Lindsey Rowe has made two saves and allowed four goals in 168 minutes of action. The Colonials were picked to finish ninth in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll after posting a 7-8-4 overall record in 2009, the program's most successful season in six years. GW returns 21 letterwinners from that squad, including the second- and third-leading scorers from a year ago in midfielders Ashley Starks (4g, 1a) and Sierra Smidinger (2g, 4a). Rowe posted a 1.22 goals-against average and a .785 save percentage in 2009. The Colonials also welcome seven newcomers, including defender Alexandria Neal and midfielder Jane Wallis, who were named to the preseason A-10 all-rookie team.
Inside the Series: UMBC is 1-9-1 all-time against George Washington in a series that dates back to 1988. The Retrievers are 1-4-0 in five contests in Washington, D.C., with the lone win, a 1-0 decision, occurring in 2005, the last time the teams met on the Colonials' home field. Last season, in their first meeting since 2006, the teams tied, 1-1, at UMBC Stadium. Midfielder Katie Gitlin (Owings, Md./Northern) headed in a corner kick from back Aly Gazarek (Manassas, Va./Freedom/South Florida) late in the 36th minute to give the Retrievers a 1-0 lead, but the Colonials tied it up just 18 seconds into the second half. UMBC goalie Mo Van Vlerah (Germantown, Md./Northwest) made 10 saves, while Bridget Mahon stopped three shots for GW.
Saving the Day: Kadet has been stellar in her first three collegiate games, as she leads the America East with 27 saves and 9.0 saves per game. Kadet recorded 11 saves in her debut at Drexel on Aug. 22, the most by a Retriever rookie since Megan Smart stopped 12 shots against Navy on Sept. 3, 1997. In 290 minutes of action, Kadet has recorded an .844 save percentage, good for second-best in the league.
Spreading the Wealth: UMBC's five goals this season have been scored by five different players: Kopytko, seniors Sandra Vacarino (Mantua, N.J./Clearview Regional) and Christine Sadowski (Baltimore, Md./Kenwood), junior LeAnne Edgar (Mechanicsville, Md./Chopticon) and freshman Shannon McGuinness (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow).
Vacarino Vanquishes: Vacarino was named America East Player of the Week last Monday after scoring a league-high three points during the season's opening weekend. Vacarino tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Retrievers past Delaware State in their first game and became UMBC's first women's soccer player of the week since Jessica Young earned the honor on Sept. 11, 2006, and just the fourth Retriever ever to win the award in UMBC's eight seasons in the America East Conference. UMBC's active career scoring leader with seven goals and 18 points, Vacarino has tallied five goals and three assists in her last 11 games dating to Oct. 4, 2009, after registering just two scores and one assist over her first 44 games as a collegian.
Freshman Connection: Three rookies teamed up for UMBC's fourth goal against Delaware State in the season opener, as midfielder Nicole Clark (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) sent a corner kick from the left side, which midfielder Jessy Brown (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) headed to McGuinness, who knocked it in from just in front of the goal. In all, four freshmen have recorded points for the Retrievers in 2010, as Savage leads UMBC with two assists.
First Time for Everything: McGuinness and Edgar both scored their first career goals against Delaware State, while Kopytko's tally at Campbell was her career first. In addition, Clark, Brown and Savage all posted their first career assists against the Hornets in their first collegiate game, while junior back Kelsi Morris (Bowie, Md./Bowie/Pittsburgh) also notched an assist in her first game in a Retriever uniform.
Dawg Bites: UMBC's win over Delaware State on Aug. 20 was the team's first in a season opener since defeating Howard, 3-0, in 1998… All four goals against the Hornets occurred in the first half, the most the Retrievers have scored in a period since Sept. 22, 2002, when they tallied a school-record seven times in the opening stanza, also against Delaware State… Van Vlerah's 147 career saves are tied for sixth all-time at UMBC… Last season, she became the first Retriever to crack the 100-save plateau since 1998, and her 109 stops were the fourth-highest single-season total in UMBC history… Sophomore forward Rachel McKee (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) leads the Retrievers with eight shots on the season… Sadowski, Vacarino and Edgar were named team captains for the 2010 season.