There is a lot on the line for both teams as the UMBC Retrievers (9-5-3, 2-2-2 America East) host the Stony Brook Seawolves (7-6-3, 3-2-1) in the America East Conference regular season finale on Wednesday evening, Nov. 4. Kick-off time is set for 7:10 p.m., following UMBC Soccer's Senior Night pre-game ceremonies.
The game will be streamed on www.umbcretrievers.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.
Both teams have clinched spots in the six-team America East Tournament, which begins on Saturday, Nov. 7. With a victory, UMBC can still finish as high as second place in the conference and earn a bye into Wednesday's semifinals, while upstart Stony Brook can take the regular season title with a win, an Albany loss and a UNH loss or tie.
Sophomore midfielder Gregg Hauck scored the game's lone goal in the 72nd minute and junior goalkeeper Billy Heavner made it stand up with an outstanding seven-save effort as the visiting Retrievers clinched a spot in the America East Tournament with a 1-0 victory at U.Mass Lowell's Cushing Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Retrievers will participate in their ninth consecutive championship and their 11th in 13 league seasons.
UMBC scored on its lone corner kick of the match. Senior back Malcolm Harris drove the ball towards the near right post and senior midfielder Michael Scott flicked it on further. Hauck followed Scott and headed the ball past UMLl netminder Austin Kroll from seven yards out to the keeper's left side.
Hauck netted his third goal of the season, which includes game-winners in both UMBC's 1-0 AE victories. His other GWG occurred versus first-place Albany on Oct. 10.
Scott has recorded points on all four of UMBC's goals scored in conference play (2g, 2a). He is tied for the AE lead with six assists on the campaign.
Heavner picked up his sixth shutout of the season and the 14th of his career, moving into sole possession of fifth place on UMBC's all-time list. Earlier in the week, He leads America East with 5.5 saves per game in league play. Heavner was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Men's Soccer Team.
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). Scott, who scored his third goal of the season versus Binghamton, owns a team-high six 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.
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 16 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 269-155-62 (.618) during his tenure on Hilltop Circle and in 35 years as a head coach, he is 438-182-70 (.687).
Stony Brook (7-6-3, 3-2-1 AE) featured the co-Player and the Rookie of the Week in two victories last week. Sophomore Vince Erdei scored three goals, including two game winners, in the pair of big wins for the Seawolves. He tallied two goals in a 3-0 win at #17 Hofstra Tuesday and recorded the game winner in a 2-1 overtime win over then first-place Binghamton Friday.
Freshman Serge Gamwanya earned Rookie of the Week honors. The first-year player tallied four points in Stony Brook's two wins last week. He set up the game-winning goals in both contests. Erdel leads the Seawolves with eight goals and 20 total points. Senior midfielder Martin Giordano follows close behind with seven tallies and 17 total points on the season. Junior goalkeeper Jason Orban has posted three shutouts and a 6-6-3 record on the campaign.
The Seawolves have won three straight games, including the 2-1 overtime decision over Binghamton on Friday.
All-Time Series: UMBC has won four straight games and is out of the last seven in the series. They hold an overall advantage of 10-6-0, including a 7-2-0 mark at home. Last season, the Retrievers blanked SBU, 2-0, at LaValle Stadium. Malcolm Harris scored the game-winner in the first half and Marquez Fernandez added a second half tally.
In the four game winning streak over Stony Brook, the Retrievers have outscored the Seawolves, 5-0.
Notable: In the championship season of 2014, UMBC did have a five-game winless streak (0-4-1)… UMBC has gone eight consecutive games without scoring multiple goals – the longest streak in the Retrievers' NCAA Division I history (1986). The Retrievers are 7-4 in one-goal decisions in 2015, after a 9-2 mark in those decisions a year ago… The Retrievers are looking for their 50 th victory in 13 America East Conference seasons – they are now 49-33-16 all-time in America East play.
UMBC is guaranteed to post their fourth consecutive winning season, their longest streak since entering America East and longest since stringing eight winning seasons together from 1998-2005.
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.
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 the good attempt by Scott at Binghamton.
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 compete in the America East Tournament, beginning with a Saturday, Nov. 7 quarterfinal date or Wednesday, Nov. 11 semi-final contest.