Men's Soccer Hosts Tough Oakland Squad on Sunday Evening in Westin/Sheraton BWI Finale

Men's Soccer Hosts Tough Oakland Squad on Sunday Evening in Westin/Sheraton BWI Finale

UMBC Men's Soccer plays its second consecutive 2014 NCAA Tournament team when the Retrievers welcome Oakland University in the finale of The Westin/Sheraton BWI Classic. The Retrievers host the Golden Grizzlies at 7:00 p.m. The game will be streamed live and for free on www.umbcretrievers.tv, with Dan Levin on the call.   

 

UMBC senior Darius Madison  scored the game's lone goal in the 59th minute as the 17th-ranked Retrievers (2-0-1) blanked Ohio State (1-2-0), 1-0, before another overflow crowd in the opener of the tournament. UMBC won its second straight contest and improved to 2-0-1 on the season, while OSU, an NCAA Tournament squad from 2014, dropped its second straight and slipped to 1-2-0. To kick off Labor Day weekend, 2,470 fans attended the game, the second-most in the history of the facility. The top crowd was one week ago, as UMBC celebrated its 2014 College Cup in front of a record 2,870 spectators.

 

Oakland got into a thriller at Navy, and prevailed, 3-2, in overtime to improve to 2-1-0 on the campaign.

 

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.

 

Seniors Malcolm Harris and Michael Scott and junior Billy Heavner have been named captains of the team.

 

Head Coach Pete Caringi, Jr., is celebrating his 25th season at the helm of the Retrievers. In 24 campaigns, under Caringi, UMBC is 157-47-31 (.734) at home and the Retrievers are 97-21-25 (.765) in 142 games on the Bermuda turf of Retriever Soccer Park. The Retriever mentor has an overall record of 262-150-60 (.618) during his tenure on Hilltop Circle and in 32 years as a head coach, he is 432-177-68 (.688).

 

Seven different Retrievers scored goals through the first two games of the season as Madison became the first UMBC player to reach the two-goal plateau. The Virginia transfer now has 14 career goals and 33 total points in 62 collegiate games.

 

Junior forward Kennedy O'Shea posted his first career goal, the game-tying goal versus Fairfield.

 

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 tenth shutout in 19 career starts versus Ohio State.

 

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies are coming off one of their most successful seasons as they won both the regular season and tournament titles in the Horizon League. After having a strong record of 10-7-3, the Golden Grizzlies ended their 2014 season with an NCAA tournament loss of 1-0 against Michigan State.

 

Oakland returns sophomore goalie Wes Mink back for another season as he received accolades during the 2014 postseason due to his outstanding efforts in net.

 

Returning eight seniors, the Golden Grizzlies opened up of the 2015 season with a 1-1 overall record after their first two games at home before the 3-2 victory over Navy on Friday evening. Oakland bested Western Illinois, 3-0 on August 28 prior to a 1-0 loss versus SIUE two days later.

 

Red-shirt Junior Alex Serwatka started the 2015 season off on the right foot with getting a hand in all three of Oakland's goals by scoring his first two career goals and an assist on another.

 

Oakland's Austin Ricci scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, as Oakland (2-1-0) defeated Navy (1-1-1), 3-2, at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility on Friday evening. Ricci's game-winner came 1:33 into the first overtime period. Oakland registered three goals in the game on just 10 shots. Navy held a wide margin in shots (21-10) and corner kicks (8-1).

 

UMBC has a three-game unbeaten streak versus Big Ten teams… They were 1-0-1 versus Maryland in 2014.

 

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 the first two games, UMBC was 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.

 

After opening the season with four consecutive home games, UMBC will hit the road for the first time this season, but not go very far. The Retrievers play at Loyola on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 7:00 p.m.