The third-seeded UMBC Retrievers (11-5-3) travel to second-seeded Vermont (9-6-3) for the America East Tournament semi-finals at Virtue Field in Burlington, Vermont on Wednesday, Nov. 11. Kick-off time is set for 7:00 p.m. 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.
The Retrievers and Catamounts each posted 3-2-2 marks in AE play, but UVM earned the No. 2 seed and first-round bye due to a 3-0 victory over UMBC in Burlington on Oct. 14. UMBC will enter the contest on a season-high four-game winning streak, with all victories coming via the shutout route.
The three-time defending league champions advanced for the seventh consecutive time in America East Conference tournament play as the Retrievers blanked sixth-seeded New Hampshire, 1-0, in quarter-final action at Retriever Soccer Park on Saturday evening.
UMBC is now unbeaten in 20 consecutive games (17-0-3) against America East opponents in games at Retriever Soccer Park. The Retrievers improved to 9-5-3 in 17 America East playoff contests. Pete Caringi's squad has won five consecutive league tournament games and is 7-0-1 since a 1-0 loss to Hartford in the 2011 quarterfinals.
UMBC scored the game's lone goal in the 30th minute of play on an own goal. Retriever sophomore midfielder Cormac Noel brilliantly eluded a pair of UNH defenders on the left side 25 yards from goal, then slipped past another in the box before crossing the ball. UMBC seniors Michael Scott and Joseph Pratt made center and far post runs for the cross, but the ball ricocheted off a Wildcat defender between the pair and deflected into the net.
Junior netminder Billy Heavner made three saves to earn his eighth shutout of the season. Heavner picked up the 15th shutout of his career and has moved into fifth place on UMBC's all-time list. Last week, Heavner was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Men's Soccer Team. He led America East with 5.71 saves per game in league play.
UMBC has not permitted an opposition goal since Binghamton's Harrison Weilbacher scored in the 78' on Oct. 24, a current span of 378 minutes.
The Retrievers are participating in their seventh consecutive championship and their 10th in 13 league seasons. UMBC has won the last three league titles and four of the previous five overall. The Retrievers won the past three league titles by capturing two games each, all at home. They will face their first road AE Tournament contest (championship game at Stony Brook) since 2009 when they take on the Catamounts.
In their prior outing, sophomore midfielder Gregg Hauck tallied his league-best third game-winning goal in America East play and freshman midfielder Patrick Jean-Gilles scored a pair of second half goals as the host Retrievers blanked Stony Brook, 3-0, in pristine autumn conditions at Retriever Soccer Park.
Hauck's goal, scored in the 17th minute, was his fourth of the season and the last three have been game-winners in all of UMBC's 2015 AE victories over Albany, U.Mass Lowell and Stony Brook.
UMBC had not scored multiple goals in a game since a 2-1 victory over Howard on Sept. 29.
The victory over Stony Brook was the 50th for UMBC in 13 America East seasons (50-33-16).
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 104-23-26 (.764) in 153 games and on its Bermuda turf. The two home losses (9-2-2) 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). Senior Michael Scott owns a team-high six assists (tied for second in America East) on the campaign.
Junior netminder Billy Heavner leads the conference in goals against average (0.80), save percentage (81.9) and shutouts (8) and is second in saves per contest (3.78).
UMBC leads America East in goals allowed per game (0.84) and is fourth in goals scored (1.42). Vermont is second in goals per contest (1.50) and tied for sixth with 1.28 goals allowed.
All-Conference: UMBC senior defender Malcolm Harris was selected as America East Conference's Defender of the Year, as the conference announced its major award winners and all-conference honors on the eve of the 2015 league championships.
Harris and Gregg Hauck earned First Team honors, with each cited for the first time. Michael Scott and Billy Heavner each pulled down Second Team and All-Academic Team honors. Jean-Gilles and defender Kyle Saunderson were tabbed to the All-Rookie Team.
Harris is the fourth consecutive Retriever to earn the league's top honor for a fullback. Oumar Ballo was selected in 2013 and 2014, while Liam Paddock earned the award in 2012.
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. His eight shutouts are tied for the fifth-most in a single season in school history and surpassed his seven shutouts of a year ago.
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 18 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. PJG tied Madison's UMBC season-best two-goal effort with a pair versus Stony Brook on Nov. 4.
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 164-49-32 (.734) at home and the Retrievers are 104-23-26 (.765) in 153 games on the Bermuda turf of Retriever Soccer Park. The Retriever mentor has an overall record of 271-155-62 (.618) during his tenure on Hilltop Circle and in 35 years as a head coach, he is 440-182-70 (.687).
Catamount Notes: Vermont defeated UNH, 3-1, in the regular season finale on Nov. 4 to earn the No. 2 seed and a first round bye in the America East Tournament. The Catamounts are appearing in the tournament for the 11th time in head coach Jesse Cormier's 12 years at the helm. Vermont won a league title under Cormier in 2007.
Vermont finished the regular season at 9-6-3. After the 3-0 win over the Retrievers on Oct. 14, UVM did not score in their final two home games, drawing at 0-0 versus UML and falling, 3-0, to Albany.
Junior forward Brian Wright was named to the America East All-Conference First Team for the second straight year and earns an all-conference spot for the third straight season. He leads the team and ranks second in the league in goals (8) and points (22), while also handing out a team-leading six helpers on the year. Wright scored the game-winning goal and set up the two other scores in the earlier contest versus UMBC.
Junior netminder Greg Walton has started all 17 games for Vermont in 2015. He has three shutouts and a 1.32 goals against average.
All-Time Series: UMBC is 6-6-2 in 14 previous meetings versus Vermont and had won the last three contests until the 3-0 setback in Burlington on Oct. 14. That match-up was scoreless at the half, but the hosts tallied three times in the final 45 minutes to even the all-time series.
The teams met twice at Retriever Soccer Park in 2014 and UMBC came away with a 5-1 regular season triumph and a 3-1 victory in the America East semifinals. The latter victory occurred in the team's first post-season match-up. Michael Scott scored a pair of goals versus Vermont (one in each game) last season, while Gregg Hauck and Michael Burgos also hit the nets.
The Retrievers are 2-4-1 in Burlington, snapping a four-game winless streak with a 2-1 victory in 2013.
More Tournament Talk: UMBC is 9-5-3 in 17 America East playoff contests… The Retrievers have never been a No. 3 seed in the tournament… They have won championships in 2010 (No. 2 seed), 2012 (No. 2 seed), 2013 (No. 1 seed) and 2014 (No. 1 seed).
Notable: UMBC went eight consecutive games without scoring multiple goals – the longest streak in the Retrievers' NCAA Division I history (1986)… The Retrievers are 8-4 in one-goal decisions in 2015, after a 9-2 mark in those decisions a year ago.
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.
The Retrievers have won 10 or more games for four consecutive seasons and six times in the last seven campaigns.
UMBC had won all four games in 2015 when taking the lead, until the draw at Hartford on Oct. 4… They are 9-0-1 when scoring the game's first goal in 2015… The home loss to La Salle snapped a ten-game (9-0-1) unbeaten streak by UMBC at Retriever Soccer Park… UMBC is 22-3-5 in its last 30 games at home and 33-4-6 in its last 43 contests at the park.
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: The winner of the UMBC-UVM contest will face the winner of the game between No. 6 Binghamton at top-seeded Albany on Sunday, Nov. 15 at the highest remaining seed in the AE Championship contest.