Men's Soccer to Welcome Albany in America East Opener on Saturday Evening

Daniel Welsh scored his first career goal vs. Albany last season.
Daniel Welsh scored his first career goal vs. Albany last season.

Albany at UMBC, 10-1-11

The UMBC men's soccer program opens its ninth season of America East Conference play on Saturday, Oct. 1 when they host the Albany Great Danes. Kick-off time at Retriever Soccer Park is set for 7:00 p.m.

UMBC (3-3-1) just completed a three-game in seven-day road swing with a stunning 2-1 loss at La Salle. The Explorers got the game-winning goal with 13 seconds to play after Retriever forward Kingsley Onwuka tied the match in the 87th minute. After a four-game winning streak, Albany (4-4-0) has dropped two straight, including last Saturday's 1-0 setback at rival Siena.

LATE LIGHTNING: UMBC has scored four of its ten goals of the season in the final eight minutes of regulation- a pair vs. Maryland and one each vs. Navy and La Salle. The Retrievers, however, are 0-2-1 in those three contests because the Terrapins (overtime) and Explorers (13 seconds left in regulation) struck back.

CONFERENCE OPENERS: The Retrievers are 2-3-3 in eight previous America East lid-lifters, but have not won a league opening match since a 4-0 victory over Stony Brook in 2007. In home opening matches league starters, UMBC is 4-1-3. Last season, the Retrievers drew, 1-1, with visiting Binghamton.

TEAM NOTES: The tie vs. Navy extended UMBC's unbeaten streak to 12, dating back to Oct. 15 of last season… UMBC was 8-0-4 since a 2-0 setback to Boston U. on Oct. 15 before the 2OT loss to Maryland… The Retrievers recorded three shutouts to start a season for the first time since 2003 and just the second time in UMBC's Division I (1986) history... UMBC is now 15-1-2 in September home games since the 2007 season… UMBC has had one weather-related postponement in three of the past four seasons- 2008 and 2010 vs. Loyola and the 2011 cancellation vs. Towson… The win over Longwood was UMBC's first in six all-time meetings (1-4-1)... Nine of UMBC's ten goals this season have occured in the second half... Longwood scored the initial first half goal vs. UMBC in 2011… UMBC also scored three second half goals vs. No. 1 Maryland in an eventual 4-3 double overtime loss on Sept. 13.

THROUGH FOUR: UMBC has gone undefeated through four games seven times in its 26-year Division I history- 2011 (2-0-2), 2009 (4-0-0), 2007 (3-0-1), 2004 (3-0-1), 2003 (3-0-1), 1999 (4-0-0) and 1993 (4-0-0),  

A GLANCE AT THE GREAT DANES:  Albany dropped its first two matches, then put together a four-game winning streak before falling back to .500 with losses at Towson and Siena. The Great Danes are 1-3 on the road this season. Freshman Quintel Gates is making an early push for America East Rookie of the Year.  He leads the team and the conference with five goals and 13 points to date. Gates scored a pair of goals in the 4-1 win at NJIT on Sept. 1 and assisted on both UA goals in the 2-0 victory over Central Connecticut Stae on Sept. 18. Albany has been outscored 7-3 in the first half this season, but has turned the tables in the second half, outpointing the opposition, 12-6, after the break.

INSIDE THE SERIES: UMBC took a 4-3-1 series lead over Albany by virtue of a 3-1 victory in Albany, N.Y., last season. It was the Retrievers' first-ever win in Albany - UMBC is 3-0-1 vs. the Great Danes in Baltimore with wins in 2005, 2007 and 2009. Sophomore back Daniel Welsh scored his first collegiate goal vs. the Danes in last year's match. The Retrievers have amassed 12 goals in the last three meetings between the two squads. Senior midfielder Andrew Bulls had three assists vs. Albany in the 5-1 UMBC victory in 2009.