Women’s Soccer Kicks Off Three-Game Road Trip at American Sunday

Stephanie Smith scored her first career goal against George Mason on Wednesday.
Stephanie Smith scored her first career goal against George Mason on Wednesday.

Eagles Vision TV

BALTIMORE—Coming off a heartbreaking loss to George Mason on Wednesday, the UMBC women's soccer team (1-5-1) makes the short trip to Washington, D.C., to take on American (1-8-0) Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The game is the first of three straight on the road for the Retrievers.

Last Time Out: The Retrievers took a 2-0 first-half lead over George Mason on goals by freshmen Amy Savage (Ottawa, Ontario/Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and Stephanie Smith (Severna Park, Md./Archbishop Spalding), but the Patriots wasted no time fighting back, as they scored three goals in the first 15 minutes of the second period to take a 3-2 advantage. A penalty-kick goal by sophomore forward Rachel McKee (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) knotted the score, but the Patriots scored their fourth goal of the half, which proved to be the game-winner, in the 67th minute. Freshman goalkeeper Lauren Kadet (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) faced 20 shots and recorded nine saves against George Mason.

On the Eagles: American picked up its first win of the season, 1-0 in double overtime over Radford on Friday. Midfielder Brooke Sheppard, an All-Patriot League Second-Team selection a year ago, scored the game-winner in the 102nd minute. American has been outscored, 22-3, on the season. Arianna Efstathiou and Lindsey Farthing have split time in goal and have recorded nearly identical statistics. The Eagles were picked to finish fourth in the Patriot League preseason poll after advancing to the conference's championship game last season, but they have lost five starters from 2009. However, American does return Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Freiderike Engel.

Inside the Series: American leads the all-time series with UMBC, 9-3-2, and has won the last three meetings. The teams last played in 2008 at the D.C. Invitational, when the Eagles shut out the Retrievers, 1-0. Sunday's game marks the first time UMBC will travel to American since 2002, a 4-1 victory for American. The Retrievers' last win in the series occurred in 2000.

Youth Movement: Four Retriever freshmen have started at least five of UMBC's seven games this season, including midfielder Jessy Brown (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage), who has started every contest. Five rookies have accounted for 13 of the Retrievers' 26 points on the year, led by Savage, who has scored a team-best six points on two goals and two assists. Another freshman, goalie Kadet, leads the America East with 7.67 saves per game and has played 560 consecutive minutes over the last six contests.

Retrievers Honored: Savage was named America East Rookie of the Week on Monday after scoring her first career goal against Delaware last Wednesday. She is 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 senior midfielder Sandra Vacarino (Mantua, N.J./Clearview Regional) 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 nine goals this season have been scored by eight different players… 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 12 shots on the season.

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