The UMBC women's soccer team opens its regular season at home this weekend against Towson on Friday, Aug. 31, at 3 p.m. and Elon on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 1 p.m. Both games will be played at UMBC Soccer Stadium.
Looking back: The Retrievers went 4-13-1 last season, including 0-8-0 in America East play. Senior forward Jessica Young led the team with five goals. She is now tied for fifth all-time with 23 career goals and seventh all-time with 52 career points. Junior midfielder Kali Schwartz was second on the team with four goals. The Retrievers lost both of their 2007 preseason exhibition games, 1-0, to American and George Washington.
On the Tigers: Towson posted a record of 5-11-2 last season, including 1-9-2 in Colonial Athletic Association play. Friday's game is the Tigers' season opener and marks head coach Greg Paynter's debut. Towson's top four goal scorers from last season return, including sophomore forward Erica Marshall, who led the team with six goals in 2006, and senior captain Marissa Gross, who posted a team-best three assists. Senior goalkeeper Brandi Daniels, a first-team All-CAA selection last season, played all but 30 minutes of the 2006 campaign in net for the Tigers. Towson has been picked 10th in the CAA preseason coaches poll.
Last time vs. the Tigers: The Retrievers have not faced the Tigers since Aug. 30, 2002, when Towson defeated UMBC, 5-1, in Towson.
UMBC vs. Towson All-Time: The Retrievers and the Tigers have met nine times, and UMBC leads the series, 6-3, including two wins in the Big South conference tournament. The Retrievers won the first six games played between the schools, while the Tigers have taken the last three. UMBC's last victory over Towson was Sept. 16, 1995, a 2-1 victory in Baltimore.
On the Phoenix: Elon went 6-11-2 last year, including 3-5-2 in Southern Conference play. Junior defender/midfielder Katina Boozer and sophomore Molly Calpin are the leading returning goal scorers with three each. Junior goalkeeper Lizz Johnson recorded five wins last season, including four shutouts. Before coming to Baltimore, the Phoenix host Central Michigan on Aug. 31. Elon has been picked eighth in the Southern Conference preseason coaches poll.
UMBC vs. Elon All-Time: This will be the first-ever meeting between the schools.
The Wright Stuff: New assistant coach Nicci Wright recently helped lead the Washington Freedom to the W-League Championship, the highest women's club championship in the nation. Wright played goalkeeper for the Freedom from 2003-06 and served as the goalkeepers' coach during the team's championship run. She started 38 games for the Canadian National Team from 1996-2003, including the 1999 Women's World Cup team.