UMBC Men's Soccer plays welcomes a pair of teams that joined them in the 2014 NCAA Championships, as Ohio State and Oakland visit Baltimore and Annapolis (Navy) for The Westin/Sheraton BWI Classic. On Friday evening, the Retrievers host the Buckeyes at 7:00 p.m. The game will be streamed live and for free on www.umbcretrievers.tv, with Paul Mittermeier on the call.
The Retrievers (1-0-1) opened the campaign on Friday evening, rallying from two goals down to earn a 2-2 double overtime draw versus Fairfield. UMBC Athletics made a College Cup trophy presentation and unveiled the Final Four banner before the contest, which drew a record attendance of 2,874 to Retriever Soccer Park. Then, the Retrievers blasted Central Arkansas, 5-0, as five different players hit the nets.
The UMBC men's soccer program was ranked No. 12 in the 2015 National Soccer College Association of America Division I preseason rankings. The No. 12 ranking is the top preseason mark for the Retriever program. Last season, Pete Caringi's squad, coming off back-to-back America East titles, was tabbed at No. 19 in the August poll. After a draw and a victory last week, the Retrievers are now at No. 17 in the coaches' poll.
UMBC is also ranked in College Soccer News' Week 1 poll, coming in at No. 25.
A season ago, UMBC became the first team in NCAA tournament history to win four consecutive road games and to post shutouts in four consecutive games to reach the College Cup.
With four America East tournament titles (in 12 years), UMBC trails only Boston University, with seven total America East championships. The Retrievers became the second team in league history to win regular season and tournament titles in back-to-back years. Boston U. achieved that feat in 1993-94.
The three-time defending league champions will welcome back 16 letterwinners and three starters from last year's 14-6-5 squad. In the 2015 opener, UMBC started three freshmen (Riley Collins, Kyle Saunderson and Tyler Ward) and a transfer (Bill Kerr) along the backline.
Head Coach Pete Caringi, Jr., is celebrating his 25th season at the helm of the Retrievers. In 24 campaigns, under Caringi, UMBC is 156-47-31 (.733) at home and the Retrievers are 96-21-25 (.764) in 141 games on the Bermuda turf of Retriever Soccer Park. The Retriever mentor has an overall record of 261-150-60 (.617) during his tenure on Hilltop Circle and in 32 years as a head coach, he is 431-177-68 (.688).
Ohio State (9-8-5 in '14) earned a spot in the 2014 NCAA Championships and produced one of the most memorable games of the tournament, advancing in an epic 13-12 penalty kick shoot-out over Akron. The Buckeyes then fell, 2-1, to top-seeded Notre Dame.
OSU's 2015 recruiting class was ranked No. 9 by College Soccer News and nine starters return from the 2014 squad. Junior forward Danny Jensen is the leading returning scorer, with six goals recorded in 2014. Senior midfielder Liam Doyle, a preseason College Soccer News All-American, tallied five goals to an OSU unit which averaged 1.27 goals scored per game.
The Buckeyes opened the season with a 2-0 victory over Cal State-Fullerton, then fell, 1-0, to UMBC's America East rival Binghamton. Doyle converted on a penalty kick versus CSF, and senior midfielder Kyle Culbertson scored the other goal. Binghamton scored in the fourth minute and held off the hosts the rest of the way.
Dayton transfer Chris Froschauer started both games in the nets and made six saves in the two games combined. Froschauer started for three seasons in Dayton.
UMBC has never met OSU on the soccer pitch. The Retrievers are 4-13-1 versus the current make-up of the Big Ten. The last match versus a Big Ten team occurred when UMBC defeated No. 4 Maryland, 1-0, in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Championships.
Seven different Retrievers have scored goals through the first two games of the season. Junior forward Kennedy O'Shea posted his first career goal, the game-tying goal versus Fairfield. O'Shea appeared in seven contests in his first year at UMBC in 2014. Senior Darius Madison posted an assist versus Fairfield and a goal versus UCA. The Virginia transfer now has 13 career goals and 31 total points in 61 collegiate games.
Sophomore midfielder Gregg Hauck scored a career-best four points (1g, 2a) in the victory over Central Arkansas. The 2014 America East Most Outstanding Player earned the league's co-Player of the Week award for his efforts. Hauck, along with Madison, senior midfielder Joseph Pratt (goal vs. Fairfield), junior netminder Billy Heavner and junior back Bill Kerr were all named to the All-Tournament team for the Hampton Inn BWI Kick-Off Classic.
Heavner, who was just tabbed 2015 ECAC Division I Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, posted his ninth shutout in 18 career starts versus UCA.
UMBC is undefeated in season openers since a 3-0 loss to Georgia Southern in 2005… The Retrievers are 9-0-1 in the span… The Retrievers had not allowed two or more goals in a game in the final 16 games of the 2014 season… UMBC is 0-2-6 in its last eight overtime contests.
With five goals scored vs. Central Arkansas, UMBC matched its season high of 2014, a 5-1 victory over Vermont on Nov. 1… UMBC's last shutout of five goals or more occurred in game No. 3 of the 2009 season, a 6-0 triumph over St. Joseph's… The seven goals scored in two games are the most since UMBC tallied seven in 2010.
Through two games, UMBC is tied for second in the nation with seven goals scored and fifth in assists (7) and total points (21).
Even great programs have difficulty rallying from two-goal (or more) deficits to earn draws or victories, as UMBC did in its 2-2 draw versus Fairfield… The last time UMBC made that style comeback occurred way back in 1997, as they rallied from a 3-1 hole to defeat Coastal Carolina, 4-3, in overtime on Oct. 11, 1997.
Malcolm Harris' missed penalty kick versus Fairfield was the first misfire by a Retriever since Daniel Welsh was unsuccessful vs. Albany on Oct. 1, 2011. The Retrievers had converted 10 in a row between misses.