The UMBC men's soccer team (7-4-3, 1-1-2) will need to perform well on the road to enhance their conference status heading towards the America East playoffs. Two of UMBC's three remaining AE games will be played on the road, including this Saturday's rare afternoon contest at Binghamton (7-5-2, 2-1-1 AE). The Bearcats are one of three AE squads tied for first place in the conference, but UMBC, currently sitting in sixth, would leapfrog BU with a road victory. Binghamton will celebrate its Family Weekend/Senior Day on Saturday and kick-off time is set for 1:00 p.m. at Bearcats Sports Complex.
The game will be streamed on the www.americaeast.tv. and fans can also access the live video and live stats via UMBC Front Row, Retriever Athletics' mobile app or follow along on Twitter @UMBCMensSoccer.
UMBC and Navy played a spirited mid-week non-conference clash and the visiting Midshipmen came up with a 1-0 victory before 1,225 fans at Retriever Soccer Park. After posting a five-game unbeaten streak, UMBC is now winless in its last three contests, including a loss (3-0 at Vermont) and a draw (1-1 vs. UNH) in the previous America East contests.
The Retrievers have scored only one time in the winless streak, after averaging 1.8 goals per game in the unbeaten streak.
In the setback at Vermont on Oct. 14, UMBC's America East record unbeaten streak of 27 games came to a halt. The Retrievers had not lost in the regular or post season in league play since falling at Albany in October of 2012, winning 22 and drawing five times in that span.
Three days later against UNH, senior Michael Scott equalized an early New Hampshire score just 18 seconds later and the Retrievers and Wildcats played scoreless soccer for the remaining 102 minutes and ended in a 1-1 double overtime draw in chilly conditions at Retriever Soccer Park.
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 now 101-23-26 (.760) in 150 games on its Bermuda turf. The two home losses (6-2-2) that UMBC has suffered at home in 2015 are the most since dropping three home games in 2011.
Senior forward Darius Madison leads the team in goals (6), total points (15), and shots attempted (41). Junior linemate Kennedy O'Shea has four goals and three helpers on the campaign. Scott, who scored his second goal of the season versus UNH, owns a team-high five (tied for first in America East) on the campaign.
Current Rankings: UMBC moved down three spots into the No. 7 position in the East regional rankings as of Oct. 20.
Honored: Junior goalkeeper Billy Heavner was tabbed co-America East Men's Soccer Player of the Week on Oct. 12 for his efforts versus Albany. Heavner tied a career high with six saves (since broken) in the Retrievers' hard-earned 1-0 victory over Albany in Saturday's Homecoming Day contest.
Heavner posted the fourth shutout of the season and his 12th in his 29 career starts. He tied his coach of a year ago, Dan Louisignau, for seventh place on UMBC's all-time shutouts list. One of America East's inaugural Elite 18 Award winners last fall, Heavner set a new season/career mark with seven stops in Saturday's draw versus UNH.
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 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. Madison's other two-goal games occurred versus Notre Dame and James Madison when he competed for the Virginia Cavaliers.
Jean-Gilles has started the last 12 games at center midfielder and posted a highlight-reel goal in the tenth minute vs. George Mason. The 14-yard strike into the upper part of the cage accounted for his first collegiate goal and stood up as the game-winner.
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 welcomed 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 25 campaigns, under Caringi, UMBC is 161-49-32 (.733) at home and the Retrievers are 101-23-26 (.760) in 150 games on the Bermuda turf of Retriever Soccer Park. The Retriever mentor has an overall record of 267-154-62 (.617) during his tenure on Hilltop Circle and in 35 years as a head coach, he is 436-181-70 (.688).
In its last outing, Binghamton settled for a 0-0 tie against host Hartford (4-5-4, 0-2-2 AE). Hartford finished with a 20-4 shot advantage for the game. Junior goalkeeper Robert Moewes, however, made nine saves to record his fifth solo shutout of the season. With the draw, the Bearcats are now unbeaten in their last four road matches. BU is 3-2-0 at home in 2015.
Freshman midfielder Harrison Weilbacher was named the America East Men's Soccer Rookie of the Week on Oct. 19. Weilbacher assisted on both goals in Binghamton's 2-1 win at New Hampshire last Wednesday. He now leads the Bearcats with four assists so far this season. BU has scored the fewest goals in the league (14) to date, but Pascal Trappe and Zach Galluzzo pace the Bearcats with three goals apiece.
Moewes, a First Team America East selection in 2014, leads the conference with 4.21 saves per game.
Binghamton has outscored its foes, 8-2, in first halves this season, but has permitted 13 (13-6) second half scores.
All-Time Series: The two squads have split 12 decisions and there have been three draws in the 15 total meetings. In the last six encounters, UMBC is unbeaten (4-0-2) versus the Bearcats. The Retrievers lost the first four meetings in Vestal, but are 2-0-1 since 2009, including a scoreless draw in 2013.
Last season, despite getting off 26 shots, UMBC's lone goal came on a successful penalty kick by senior midfielder Mamadou Kansaye in the 33rd minute in a 1-0 Retriever victory. The Bearcats came up with nine saves in the contest.
Notable: UMBC is 4-4-5 in 13 America East openers… The Retrievers are now 48-32-16 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 on Oct. 4 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 19-3-5 in its last 27 games at home and 30-4-6 in its last 40 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 0-2-8 in its last ten overtime contests – the Retrievers' last win occurred in the 2013 America East semifinals versus Albany (2-1 win).
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 George Mason… UMBC has scored first in six of 13 games in 2015… Jean-Gilles scored his first career goal for the game-winner in the 10th minute of play, while 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
UP NEXT: UMBC plays its final non-conference contest of the year on Tuesday, Oct. 27 when they welcome Drexel to Retriever Soccer Park for a 7:00 p.m. contest.