The UMBC men's soccer team (6-2-2) plays only three of seven America East contests at Retriever Soccer Park in 2015, making each contest vital. The Retrievers welcome a dynamic Albany side (5-5-1, 0-1-0) on Saturday, Oct. 10 in a special 2:30 kick-off time in the annual Homecoming contest. The game will be streamed on the www.americaeast.tv, with Dan Levin on the call, and live stats will be provided on via a link on www.umbcretrievers.com.
Fans can also access live stats and video via UMBC Front Row, Retriever Athletics' mobile app or follow along on Twitter @UMBCMensSoccer.
UMBC is unbeaten in its last four matches and is coming off a 1-1 double overtime draw at Hartford. The Retrievers are unbeaten in 20 consecutive America East contests (16-0-4) with the last setback coming at Albany (2-1) in October of 2012.
The Retrievers earned their 100th victory at Retriever Soccer Park with the 2-1 victory over Howard on Sept. 29. Opened in 1998, UMBC is 100-22-25 (.765) in 147 games and on its Bermuda turf.
UMBC will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the 2010 AE Championship team, which started the program's run of four titles in five seasons.
Senior forward Darius Madison leads the team in goals (6), total points (15), and shots attempted (40). He is tied for 23rd place nationally with six goals scored. Junior linemate Kennedy O'Shea posted his first two career multiple-point games (1g, 1a vs. GW, Mason) and has four goals and three helpers on the campaign. Senior midfielder Michael Scott recorded assists on both goals versus Mason, added one at GW and now has a team-high four on the campaign.
Current Rankings: UMBC moved up two spots into the No. 5 position in the East regional rankings as of Sept. 29. The Retrievers are also receiving votes in the College Soccer News Oct. 5 poll.
Honored: UMBC men's soccer captured both America East honors on Sept. 28, as senior forward Darius Madison and Patrick Jean-Gilles earned the league's Player and Rookie of the Week honors, respectively.
Madison earned the top honor for the second time this year, as game-winning goals versus Ohio State and Oakland netted him the award on Sept. 8. He leads America East (and is tied for second nationally) with three game-winning goals and is tied for the top spot in goals (5, 27th in the nation) and total points (13).
Madison recorded his third career two-goal game and first as a Retriever, keying UMBC's come-from-behind 3-2 victory at George Washington on Sept. 22. He got UMBC on the board with a header in the final seconds of the first half and converted on a penalty kick for the game-winner to cap the rally. Madison has at least one point in every Retriever victory or draw in 2015.
Jean-Gilles has started the last nine games at center midfielder and posted a highlight-reel goal in the tenth minute vs. the Patriots. The 14-yard strike into the upper part of the cage accounted for his first collegiate goal and stood up as the game-winner.
Madison's other two-goal games occurred versus Notre Dame and James Madison when he competed for the Virginia Cavaliers.
Moving Up the Charts: With 11 career shutouts, junior netminder Billy Heavner is now tied for eighth place in school history.
Albany is 5-5-1 on the campaign and dropped a tough 2-1 double overtime decision at Stony Brook in the America East opener on Saturday evening. On Tuesday, the Great Danes suffered a 2-1 loss at No. 22 Syracuse (8-2-1, 2-1-1 ACC). Freshman midfielder Carlos Clark notched his second goal of the season from Philip Persson in the 44th minute. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Danny Vitiello made eight saves, but took the loss.
Brazilian sophomore forward Afonso Pinheiro has produced a tremendous campaign, scoring an America East-best eight goals (tied for sixth in the nation) on just 17 shots on target. Three of Pinheiro's scores have been game-winners. Vitiello, who is averaging 5.7 saves per match, and sophomore Eric Orologio have split the goalkeeping duties nearly down the middle and have accumulated five shutouts on the campaign.
Both UMBC and Albany have recorded identical 2-0 victories over George Mason in 2015.
Retriever Ramblings: 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.
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 first four games of the season, 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 160-48-31 (.734) at home and the Retrievers are 100-22-25 (.767) in 147 games on the Bermuda turf of Retriever Soccer Park. The Retriever mentor has an overall record of 266-152-61 (.617) during his tenure on Hilltop Circle and in 32 years as a head coach, he is 436-179-69 (.688).
All-Time Series: UMBC is 6-4-3 in 13 previous encounters versus Albany, which includes a mark of 4-1-2 in the last seven contests. UMBC is 5-0-1 against the Great Danes in Baltimore, including a 2-1 overtime victory in the 2013 America East semifinal contest. The Retrievers have outscored UA, 16-4, in the six home matches.
In UMBC's 6-0-1 America East campaign a year ago, UA provided the lone blemish to the Retrievers' record. Kay Banjo's goal with 2:57 remaining in regulation equalized an Albany penalty kick score in the first half and gave the visiting Retrievers a well-earned 1-1 double-overtime draw with Albany.
UMBC's last America East setback came at the hands of Albany, a 2-1 loss in New York in October of 2012.
Notable: UMBC is 4-4-5 in 13 America East openers… The Retrievers are 47-31-15 in 12-plus seasons of America East play… UMBC had won all four games in 2015 when taking the lead, until the draw at Hartford dropped them to 4-0-1.
The home loss to La Salle snapped a ten-game (9-0-1) unbeaten streak by UMBC at Retriever Soccer Park… UMBC is 18-2-4 in its last 24 games at home and 29-3-5 in its last 37 contests at the park.
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 did not allow two or more goals in a game in the final 16 games of the 2014 season… UMBC is 0-2-7 in its last nine 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.
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.
O'Shea posted his first career goal, the game-tying goal versus Fairfield… 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 and have started a new streak with Madison's two consecutive conversions.
For the first time since Sept. 4 (span of four games), UMBC scored the game's first goal in the victory over the Patriots. Freshman Patrick Jean-Gilles scored his first career goal for the game-winner in the 10th minute of play, while junior Kennedy O'Shea, making his first career start, added his fourth goal early in the second half for the Retrievers.
The come-from-behind win at GW marked the second time in the young season that the Retrievers have rallied from two scores down to earn a result. In the opener, UMBC fell behind Fairfield, 2-0, before tying the game up at 2-all. The last time that a UMBC men's soccer team rallied from two goals down to win occurred in October of 1997, when they erased a 3-1 deficit to defeat Coastal Carolina, 4-3.
UP NEXT: UMBC plays its first mid-week AE contest this Wednesday, Oct. 14, when they travel to Vermont to take on the Catamounts. Opening kick is set for 2:30 p.m.