Women’s Soccer Begins America East Play Sunday at Vermont

Sandra Vacarino scored twice against Vermont last season.
Sandra Vacarino scored twice against Vermont last season.


BALTIMORE—The UMBC women's soccer team (1-7-1) opens America East Conference play on Sunday when it travels to Vermont to take on the Catamounts (1-8-0) at 12 p.m. The Retrievers look to kick off league action with a win for just the second time since joining the America East in 2003.

Last Time Out: The Retrievers dropped a heartbreaker in overtime, 2-1, to cross-town rival Loyola on Wednesday evening. A header in the 92nd minute edged the Greyhounds past UMBC, who was playing its second overtime contest of the season. Senior back Christine Sadowski (Baltimore, Md./Kenwood) scored her second goal of the year to tie the game at 1-1 in the 63rd minute, while freshman goalie Lauren Kadet (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) started her eighth consecutive game for the Retrievers and made five saves.

On the Catamounts: Vermont has lost eight straight, including a 2-1 overtime defeat at the hands of American on Friday. The Catamounts' offense has produced six goals – fewest in the America East – from four different players on the year. Forward Haley Marks leads Vermont with five points on two goals and an assist this season, while goalie Alyssa Kelly has started seven of nine games and holds a 2.10 goals-against average and a .750 save percentage. Vermont has been outscored, 21-6, on the season. Coming off a 1-13-3 season in 2009 with a 1-5-2 mark in league play, the Catamounts were picked to finish eighth in the America East preseason poll. Their last conference tournament appearance occurred in 2006.

Inside the Series: Vermont has taken five of seven games in the all-time series, which dates to 2003, when UMBC joined the America East Conference. The Retrievers, who last defeated the Catamounts in 2007, have never won in Burlington. Last year, the Catamounts won a shootout, 6-5. Midfielder Sandra Vacarino (Mantua, N.J./Clearview Regional) tallied twice and added an assist, while Carson Laderoute and Jess Herbst each scored twice for Vermont. The five goals were the Retrievers have ever scored against an America East opponent.

Up Next: The Retrievers return home following their three-game road trip to host defending America East champion Boston University on Thursday at 4 p.m.

America East Openers: The Retrievers look to open America East play with a win for the first time since 2008, when they defeated Maine, 1-0, the first time they had won a conference opener since joining the league in 2003.

Youth Movement: Four Retriever freshmen have started at least seven of UMBC's nine games this season, including midfielder Jessy Brown (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage), who has started ever contest. Five rookies have accounted for 13 of the Retrievers' 28 points on the year, led by forward Amy Savage (Ottawa, Ontario/Sir Wilfrid Laurier), who has scored a team-best six points on two goals and two assists. Another freshman, goalie Kadet, leads the America East with 6.75 saves per game and ranks third with a .783 save percentage. She has played 741 consecutive minutes over the last eight contests.

Beasts in the America East: UMBC ranks fourth in the America East with 1.11 goals scored per game. In addition, Savage is tied for seventh in the league with 0.67 points per game, while sophomore forward Rachel McKee (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) is tied for ninth with 2.0 shots per contest.

Top Dawgs: Savage was named America East Rookie of the Week on Sept. 13 after scoring her first career goal against Delaware on Sept. 8, becoming UMBC's first women's soccer rookie of the week since Danielle Kell on Sept. 28, 2008. In addition, this marks the first time since 2007 that two Retrievers have been honored with America East weekly women's soccer awards in the same year, as Vacarino was tabbed the conference's Player of the Week on Aug. 23 after scoring a league-high three points during the first week of the season. She was UMBC's first women's soccer player of the week since Jessica Young earned the honor on Sept. 11, 2006, and she is just the fourth Retriever to win the award in UMBC's eight seasons in the America East.

Dawg Bites: UMBC's 10 goals this season have been scored by eight different players… Despite seven losses the Retrievers have been in nearly every game, as they have lost just once by more than one goal… Vacarino is UMBC's active career scoring leader with seven goals and 18 points… Kadet recorded 11 saves in her collegiate debut at Drexel on Aug. 22, the most by a Retriever rookie since Megan Smart stopped 12 shots against Navy on Sept. 3, 1997… UMBC's win over Delaware State on Aug. 20 was the team's first in a season opener since defeating Howard, 3-0, in 1998… All four goals against the Hornets occurred in the first half, the most the Retrievers have scored in a period since Sept. 22, 2002, when they tallied a school-record seven times in the opening stanza, also against Delaware State… Junior goalie Mo Van Vlerah's (Germantown, Md./Northwest) 147 career saves are tied for sixth all-time at UMBC… McKee leads the Retrievers with 18 shots on the season.

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