Men's Soccer Returns Home to Face Local Foe Loyola on Wednesday Evening

Loyola at UMBC, 9-19-12

RECENTLY: The men's soccer team had two tough road challenges this week, falling at No. 3 Maryland, 3-1, on Sept. 11 and dropping a 2-1 decision at undefeated (6-0-0) George Mason on Sept. 19. JR M Kadeem Dacres tied the game at College Park at 1-1 with a goal in the 62nd minute, but the Terrapins scored twice late in the game to hold off the feisty Retrievers. UMBC bounced back and held George Mason to eight shots and halved a 2-0 deficit on a Milo Kapor penalty kick in the 70', but could not complete the rally. 

REGIONAL RANKINGS: UMBC moved up to ninth in the Northeast regional rankings for games ending Sept. 9, 2012. It is the fourth consecutive year that the Retrievers have made an appearance in the regional rankings. UMBC debuted last week in a tie with Dartmouth for the No. 10 position, but the two losses this past week knocked the Retrievers from the rankings.

SHOW STOPPER: Redshirt JR GK Phil Saunders flourished as a freshman in 2009, starting all 20 games and posting six shutouts as UMBC raced off to a 9-0 start and national ranking. Saunders recorded his eighth career shutout in the 0-0 overtime draw with Radford and then came up with a career-high eight saves in the 1-1 tie vs. VCU. He has 32 saves through five games in 2012.

With the two losses last week, Saunders now has a career record of 19-11-2. He posted his second shutout of the season and ninth career blanking vs. Mount St. Mary's.  

MORE KAPOR: Kapor had an assist on the first five  UMBC's goals this year and then scored No. 6 on a penalty kick at George Mason. He is UMBC's active leader with 15 career helpers. He currently leads America East with 0.83 assists per game and is second in the nation in that category  entering play this week. Three of UMBC's six goals in 2012 have come via Kapor-initiated corner kicks (RMU, Mount St. Mary's, Maryland).

NOTES: UMBC was ranked 25th in the nation in home attendance in 2011 with 911 fans per game and  averaged 1,069 through the first two games of the 2012 campaign… The lightning delay held the Sept. 1 attendance down to 525… UMBC is 26-3-12 (.780) in September home games since the 2003 season… Five Retrievers made their first career starts vs. Radford (Ballo, Burgos, Dacres, Pato, Scott) and a sixth- SO Michael DiCesare made his first appearance as a right fullback.

If the 2-2-2 record looks familiar, it is because that is where UMBC was through six games last year after the Maryland contest.  UMBC was undefeated through four games- a feat they had accomplished seven times since 1999.

INSIDE THE SERIES: Loyola leads the all-time series, 19-2-2.  In the last meeting at UMBC, Andrew Bulls scored on a free kick in the 44th minute and netminder Phil Saunders made three outstanding saves in the final two minutes as UMBC edged Loyola, 1-0, before 1,505 fans at UMBC Stadium on Sept. 22, 2009. Host Loyola scored a pair of second half goals and went on to defeat UMBC,  2-0, in rainy conditions at Ridley Athletic Complex in the last meeting on Sept. 21, 2011.

A GLANCE AT THE GREYHOUNDS: Campbell's Mitchell Cardenas scored twice, and the host Camels snapped Loyola University Maryland's three-game winning streak, defeating the Greyhounds, 2-0, in non-conference action on Sept. 15. Loyola (3-2-1) scored two second-half goals on Sept. 11 to come away with a 2-0 victory against local-rival Towson at the Tiger Soccer Complex.  Freshman Larry Ndjock scored his fourth goal of the season in the 48th minute and sophomore Connor Thompson, who assisted Ndjock's goal, tacked on his first score of the season in the 54th minute. In goal for the Greyhounds, junior Thurman Van Riper made four saves in earning his second shutout of the season. 

The Greyhounds are 1-1-1 in overtime affairs this season, drawing with St. Francis (Pa.), losing at La Salle and triumphing over Quinnipiac. Nine of the 11 goals in Loyola's contests this year have occurred after halftime. 

UP NEXT: UMBC will travel to Washington, D.C. to take on the Colonials of George Washington on Sat., Sept. 22 at 3:00 p.m.