Women’s Soccer Concludes Season at Hartford Thursday Evening

Rachel McKee scored her first career goal against the Hawks last season.
Rachel McKee scored her first career goal against the Hawks last season.

BALTIMOREThe UMBC women's soccer team (2-13-1, 1-6-0 AE) travels to West Hartford, Conn., Thursday evening to take on America East rival Hartford (5-8-3, 2-2-2 AE) at 7 p.m. in its last match of the season.

Last Time Out: The Retrievers dropped their sixth consecutive game, falling at Albany, 1-0, Sunday afternoon. Albany forward Shayla Bergeron's goal in the 88th minute broke a scoreless tie and propelled the hosts to victory. UMBC freshman goalie Lauren Kadet (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) equaled her career high with 11 saves, matching her total from her collegiate debut at Drexel. The Great Danes outshot the Retrievers, 32-3.

On the Hawks: Hartford looks to rebound after a 1-0 loss at Maine on Sunday. The Hawks are 2-5-1 at home this season, including 1-1-1 against America East opponents at Al-Marzook Field. Forward Amelia Pereira is the reigning America East Player of the Week. She leads Hartford with 14 points on the season, ranking fourth in the conference, and she is tied with forward Breeanna Robinson for the team lead in goals with five apiece, which ranks fifth. Pereira's four assists are also tied for third. Goalie Lauren Brodeur has started all 16 games in net for the Hawks and boasts a 1.28 goals-against average and a .774 save percentage, and her five shutouts rank second in the conference. Hartford, which was picked to finish seventh in the America East preseason poll, is currently sixth in the league standings with eight points.

Inside the Series: The Retrievers defeated the Hawks, 1-0, at home last season. The win was just the second all-time against Hartford, which leads the all-time series, 2-6-0. UMBC has never won on the road against the Hawks. Last season, forward Rachel McKee (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) scored her first career goal in the 32nd minute of action, and it proved to be the game-winner. Goalie Mo Van Vlerah (Germantown, Md./Northwest) recorded her first career shutout in the contest.

Vote Kadet: Kadet is among nine players nominated for the 2010 America East Women's Soccer Fans' Choice Player of the Year. Voting runs until 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 25, at AmericaEast.com, and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Click here to vote now.

Saving the Day: Kadet leads the America East with 6.87 saves per game and ranks third with an .811 save percentage. Her 103 saves in 2010 rank as the seventh-most in a single season in UMBC history, just eight shy of Nadine Henchcliffe's rookie record. Kadet has twice stopped a career-high 11 shots this season, including in her collegiate debut at Drexel on Aug. 22, as well as at America East rival Albany on Sunday. The 11 saves were the most by a Retriever freshman since Megan Smart stopped 12 shots against Navy on Sept. 3, 1997. In addition, she was named America East Rookie of the Week on Sept. 27 after recording her first career shutout at Vermont on Sept. 26, the first clean slate by a Retriever rookie since Catie Bukowski blanked Albany on Oct. 9, 2005.

Spreading the Wealth: Nine different players have scored for UMBC this season, matching the total from 2009. The last time more than nine players found the back of the net in one season was 2004, when 12 different Retrievers tallied a goal.

Youth Movement: Four Retriever freshmen have started at least 14 of UMBC's 16 games this season, including midfielder Jessy Brown (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage), who has started every contest. Five rookies have accounted for six of the Retrievers' 13 goals and 17 of the team's 36 points on the year, led by forward Amy Savage (Ottawa, Ontario/Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and midfielder Nicole Clark (Ellicott City, Md./Howard), who have each scored a team-best six points on two goals and two assists. Another freshman, goalie Kadet, has played 1,371 consecutive minutes over the last 15 contests.

Vacarino Vanquishes: Senior midfielder Sandra Vacarino (Mantua, N.J./Clearview Regional) is UMBC's active career scoring leader with eight goals and 20 points. Five of her eight goals have come against America East opponents, all within the last two seasons. In addition, three of her four career assists have been in league contests.

Top Dawgs: Kadet is the second Retriever to be named America East Rookie of the Week this season, as Savage garnered the honor on Sept. 13 after scoring her first career goal against Delaware. She was UMBC's first women's soccer rookie of the week since Danielle Kell on Sept. 28, 2008. Kadet and Savage are the first pair of Retriever teammates to win the award since Ashley Singer and Morgan Warrington in 2007. In addition, Vacarino was tabbed the conference's Player of the Week on Aug. 30 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. This also marks the first time that three Retrievers have been honored with America East weekly women's soccer awards since 2003, UMBC's first year in the conference, when Lori Quintavalle earned a player of the week nod and Amanda DiCarlo and Christie Sikorski were both named rookies of the week.

Goose Eggs: UMBC's 2-0 win over Vermont on Sept. 26 was its first shutout since defeating Hartford, 1-0, on Oct. 11, 2009, which was also the Retrievers' last victory over an America East opponent.

Road Redemption: UMBC's victory over Vermont on Sept. 26 was the first road win for the Retrievers since a 4-1 victory at Delaware State on Oct. 2, 2009, and their first conference road win since defeating Albany, 4-3, on Oct. 26, 2008.

America East Openers: The Retrievers' win over Vermont on Sept. 26 was just their second victory in an America East opener in their eight years in the league, with the other win coming in 2008, when they defeated Maine, 1-0.

Stinging the Hornets: 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.

Dawg Bites: Despite 13 losses, the Retrievers have been in nearly every game, as they have lost just three times by more than a goal… Four Retrievers have a team-best two goals on the season, including Clark, Savage, Vacarino and senior back Christine Sadowski (Baltimore, Md./Kenwood)… Van Vlerah's 147 career saves are tied for sixth all-time at UMBC… McKee leads the Retrievers with 30 shots on the season.

Follow the Retrievers: Follow UMBC Athletics on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news, photos, videos and more from all your favorite Retriever teams. Be sure to check out the women's soccer team on Facebook and Twitter, as well. Other ways to keep up with the Retrievers include the UMBC Dawg Blog, YouTube and E-newsletters.