Despite a tough stretch in America East Conference play of late, the UMBC men's soccer team still controls its own league playoff fate as the Retrievers play the final two regular season contests in a five-day span. UMBC kicks off the two-game stand by travelling to Lowell, Mass. to take on the U. Mass Lowell River Hawks at Cushing Field on Saturday, Oct. 31. Kick-off time is set for 2:00 p.m. UMBC will be the visitors for the second straight Saturday on a league foes' Senior Day.
The game will be streamed on 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 would clinch a spot in the six-team America East Tournament if…
- UMBC defeats UML and Hartford draws or loses at New Hampshire
- UMBC draws at UML and Hartford loses at New Hampshire
UMBC can still finish as high as second place in the conference.
In their latest action, UMBC junior midfielder Michael Burgos notched an early second half goal as the Retrievers blanked visiting Drexel, 1-0, in chilly conditions at Retriever Soccer Park on October 27. The Retrievers snapped a four-game winless streak and improved to 8-5-3 on the season. UMBC completed its non-conference slate with seven wins, three losses and one draw.
Last Saturday, UMBC dropped a 2-1 decision at Binghamton. After giving up a pair of second half goals, senior midfielder Michael Scott gave UMBC some late hope as he converted a penalty kick with 1:59 remaining. But the Retrievers were unable to mount a formidable attack in the final 90 seconds and fell 1-2-2 (5 pts.) in America East play.
Scott has scored UMBC's last two America East goals and has points on the last three. Reserve midfielder Sammy Kahsai led the Retrievers with four shots versus Binghamton. UMBC outshot Binghamton, 14-11 and forced Bearcats GK Robert Moewes into eight saves. Billy Heavner countered with four stops for UMBC and now has 51 (15 games) on the season, surpassing his total of 48 (17 games) in 2014. His next save will be No. 100 in his career. Heavner posted his fifth shutout of the season without posting a save in the 1-0 victory over Drexel.
After posting a five-game unbeaten streak, UMBC is now 1-3-1 in its last five contests. The Retrievers have scored only five times in the last seven games after scoring seven times in the previous three contests.
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.
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 102-23-26 (.761) in 151 games and on its Bermuda turf. The two home losses (7-2-2) 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 (45). Junior linemate Kennedy O'Shea has four goals and three helpers on the campaign. Scott, who scored his third goal of the season versus Binghamton, owns a team-high five assists (tied for first in America East) on the campaign.
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 has moved into a tie for fifth place on UMBC's all-time shutouts list with 13 (Robbie Mamula, 1989-92, Andy Marchica, 2002-05). One of America East's inaugural Elite 18 Award winners last fall, Heavner set a new season/career mark with seven stops in the Oct. 17 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 15 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 are captains of the 2015 team.
Head Coach Pete Caringi, Jr., is celebrating his 25th season at the helm of the Retrievers. In 25 campaigns, under Caringi, UMBC is 162-49-32 (.734) at home and the Retrievers are 102-23-26 (.761) in 151 games on the Bermuda turf of Retriever Soccer Park. The Retriever mentor has an overall record of 268-155-62 (.617) during his tenure on Hilltop Circle and in 35 years as a head coach, he is 437-182-70 (.687).
U. Mass Lowell is 7-7-1 overall and 2-2-1 in the America East Conference. They are winless in their last three contests, all on the road, but posted back-to-back shutout wins over Binghamton (1-0) and Stony Brook (2-0) in the previous two outings. UML is 5-3-0 on the turf of Cushing Field in 2015.
The River Hawks have scored 14 goals in 15 games, but only conceded 16. They have only permitted four first-half goals all season. Junior Wuilito Fernandes is the lone River Hawk in double figures with four goals and three helpers. Baltimore native (Perry Hall) sophomore goalkeeper Austin Kroll has seven shutouts on the campaign and a tidy 1.03 goals against average
All-Time Series: UMBC has won both prior meetings with UML, triumphing 2-0 at Cushing Field in 2013 and edging the River Hawks, 2-1 at Retriever Soccer Park last October. Scott has a goal (GWG in 2013) and an assist versus UML in two career outings.
Notable: In the championship season of 2014, UMBC did have a five-game winless streak (0-4-1)… UMBC has gone seven consecutive games without scoring multiple goals – the longest streak in the Retrievers' NCAA Division I history (1986). The Retrievers are 6-4 in one-goal decisions in 2015, after a 9-2 mark in those decisions a year ago… The Retrievers are now 48-33-16 in 12-plus seasons of America East play.
UMBC is 4-4-5 in 13 America East openers… 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 20-3-5 in its last 28 games at home and 31-4-6 in its last 41 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 and Saturday's good attempt by Scott.
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 seven of 15 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 will celebrate its "Senior Night" in the regular season finale versus Stony Brook on Wed., Nov 4. Kick-off time is slated for 7:00 p.m.