BALTIMORE – The UMBC women's soccer team, behind first-year head coach Leslie Wray, open the 2012 campaign against a pair of Patriot League opponents this weekend. The Retrievers open the year on Friday, Aug. 17 when they host Lafayette at 7 p.m. at the Retriever Soccer Park. UMBC continues its weekend with an away game against Navy on Sunday, Aug. 19 at 1 p.m., at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.
Admission into the Retriever Soccer Park will be free for Friday's game or a live stream of the contest can be purchased online at www.umbcretrievers.tv, while live stats for both contests can be found on www.umbcretrievers.com.
Wray begins her UMBC coaching stint after a five-year hiatus from the collegiate coaching ranks. The Retrievers return 10 starters and 12 letterwinners from a year ago, including 2011 America East All-Conference Second Team honoree Rachel McKee (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron), who tallied a team-best seven goals and 14 points last season. Earlier this week, McKee was named to the CollegeSportsMadness.com America East 2012 Preseason All-Conference First Team.
Lauren Kadet (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) returns for her junior year after amassing 203 saves in her first two seasons, ranking fifth all-time at UMBC. In 2011, Kadet led the conference in saves per game (6.33) and ranked third in saves (95).
UMBC welcomes nine newcomers to its roster this season, each of whom will look to make an immediate impact with the Retrievers in 2012.
The Leopards enjoyed a successful 2011 campaign, earning the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament. Lafayette ended its season in the conference semifinals, however, falling to Navy, 3-2, concluding the year with its best overall mark since 2001 when it went 9-6-2.
Four Leopards earned post-season honors a year ago, led by Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year Lauren Smedley. Smedley, who enters her final season at Lafayette, has posted eight shutouts in each of the past two campaigns.
Navy tied for second with Lafayette in the Patriot League in 2011, posting a 13-6-3 overall mark and a 4-2-1 record in league play. The Mids return eight starters and 18 letterwinners from a team that advanced to the Patriot League title game last season.
Ashlynn Soellner, Navy's leading goal-scorer in each of the past two seasons, returns for her junior season after earning All-Patriot League First Team and All-Mid-Atlantic Second Team honors a year ago.