Phil Saunders Named America East Men's Soccer Player of the Week

Phil Saunders recorded his 19th shutout vs. UA.
Phil Saunders recorded his 19th shutout vs. UA.

Cambridge, Mass. – Senior goalkeeper Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) was named America East Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Week for games ending Nov. 2.

Saunders, the 2012 America East Championship Most Outstanding Player, made four saves as UMBC blanked host UMass Lowell, 2-0, on Saturday.

The Retriever senior made a diving stop off a header with 24 minutes to play and stopped a header in close quarters with 7:45remaining. Finally, with less than four minutes remaining, Saunders kicked out a shot by Eric Martin, who had gotten behind the Retriever defense and broke in alone.

Saunders surpassed the 200-save plateau (203) in his career. The shutout was his third in a row, fifth of the season and 22nd of his career. He is now tied for second place in school history with 22 shutouts.  Brian Rowland is the school's all-time leader with 25 and Saunders is tied with Steve King (2005-08) and Steve Zerhusen (1975-78).

UMBC has not allowed a goal in its last 322 minutes of action.

The Retrievers remain at No. 6 in the Top Drawer Soccer poll and moved up two notches to No. 8 in College Soccer News.  UMBC has secured a home date in the America East Conference championships and will host a semifinal match on Wednesday, Nov. 13.  The Retrievers host Stony Brook on Wednesday, Nov. 6 and would win their first America East regular season title since 2003 with a victory over the Seawolves.