The UMBC men's soccer squad (14-5-5) advanced for the fourth time as a road underdog in 16 days, as the Retrievers reached the NCAA College Cup, making the universities' first appearance in any national semifinal contest. UMBC will now face a storied program in No. 16 Virginia (12-6-3) at WakeMed Soccer Stadium in Cary, N.C. on Friday, Dec. 12. The contest gets underway at 5:00 p.m. and will be broadcast live by ESPNU/ESPN3/Watch ESPN App (Glenn Davis, Taylor Twellman) and by Q1370/www.q1370.com (Paul Mittermeier). All media-related links will be available via www.umbcretrievers.com and UMBC Front Row, the Retrievers' mobile site.
NOTING THE RETRIEVERS
UMBC advanced for the fourth time as a road underdog in 16 days, as the Retrievers reached the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship semifinals as they advanced in penalties, 4-3, after a scoreless draw at No. 12 Creighton on Dec. 5.
UMBC is the first team in tournament history to win four consecutive road games and to post shutouts in four consecutive games to reach the College Cup.
Red-shirt sophomore netminder Billy Heavner and the UMBC defense authored the Retrievers' fourth straight shutout (400 minutes) at Creighton. Heaver made one save in the shootout, CU hit a post, and senior F Kay Banjo converted the fourth attempt as UMBC advances.
Senior MF and team captain Mamadou Kansaye scored the game's lone goal at Louisville, converting a penalty kick in the 24'.
It is the first time any UMBC Division I team has advanced this far in a national tournament. The Retrievers reached the match in Louisvillle after defeating No. 4 Maryland, 1-0, and advancing past Wake Forest, 3-2, in penalties, after 110 minutes of scoreless soccer.
UMBC has not allowed a goal on the road in NCAA competition in seven consecutive games and 788 minutes since Princeton scored in the 32' in 2010.
UMBC (14-5-5) is now unbeaten in ten consecutive games (8-0-2). The Retrievers entered the 2014 season with unbeaten streak of ten straight and extended it to 14, until a 1-0 loss at UNLV on Sept. 12.
UMBC is the first America East men's soccer team to reach the NCAA College Cup. Hartford (1996) and Vermont (1989) both earned a spot in the national quarterfinals.
UMBC is just one of four teams in the nation to amass 30 or more victories over the past two years. Coastal Carolina has 34 victories, UC Irvine has amassed 31 and UMBC and Maryland each have 30.
The last time UMBC had four consecutive shutouts was during the championship run in 2012, as they blanked their final five opponents of that campaign.
UMBC is now 11-0-5 in the month of November in the past three seasons. The match at Creighton last Friday was the Retrievers' first ever in the month of December.
INSIDE THE SERIES
The Retrievers are 0-4-0 vs. the Cavaliers, with all four meetings occurring in Charlottesville. Head Coach Pete Caringi is 0-3-0 in his three match-ups with Virginia.
UMBC IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Retrievers are unbeaten (3-0-6) in their last nine NCAA Tournament games… UMBC has won both penalty kick shootouts in first round competition, dropped three in the second round and just captured one in the quarterfinals at Creighton… the meeting versus Wake Forest was UMBC's third against an ACC school in post-season play, the contest at Louisville was No 4 and the match vs. Virginia will the fifth … the Retrievers fell at Duke, 4-3, in overtime, in 1999 and drew at UNC (0-0) two seasons ago… UMBC hosted the universities' first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament contest when the 16th-seeded Retrievers entertained UConn in brutally cold and blustery conditions in 2013… Besides Harris and Kansaye, Geaton Caltabiano is the only other Retriever who has scored a goal in the NCAA Tournament, while Kansaye had a pair of assists in the contest versus the Huskies… UMBC has not allowed a goal away from home in NCAA competition in seven consecutive games and 788 minutes since Princeton scored in the 32' in 2010.
SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS
Virginia (12-6-3) advanced through its second straight road match in the NCAA tournament - a first in program history – with a 5-4 decision in penalties after a 1-1 draw at No. 8 Georgetown on Dec. 6. After opening the tournament with a 3-1 home victory over UNC-Wilmington on Nov. 23, the Cavaliers knocked out top-seeded Notre Dame last Sunday on the road with a 1-0 win.
Virginia is playing in its 34th-consecutive NCAA tournament, dating to 1981 - the longest active streak in Division I men's soccer. Virginia has an all-time record of 58-29-5 in the NCAA tournament. The Cavs are making their 12th College Cup appearance and have won six national titles.
Junior MF Todd Wharton scored the equalizer in the final minute of the second half at Georgetown before UVA prevailed in the shootout. Senior MF Eric Bird leads a balanced UVA attack with five goals, while junior MF Scott Thomsen is one of the ACC's best with eight assists. Red-shirt senior goalkeeper Calle Brown has eight of the Cavs' nine shutouts on the campaign.
There have been two common foes between UMBC and UVA this fall – George Mason and Wake Forest. UMBC came away with a 3-0 loss at Mason and a 0-0 draw at Wake, while the Cavs won at Mason, 1-0, and fell at home to the Deacons, 2-1.
UP NEXT: The winner of this contest will advance to the national championship game and take on the winner between Providence vs. UCLA on Sunday, Dec. 14 at noon.