Women’s Soccer Takes on Saint Joseph’s, VMI This Week

Mo Van Vlerah stopped a season-high seven shots against Towson.
Mo Van Vlerah stopped a season-high seven shots against Towson.

BALTIMORE—The UMBC women's soccer team (0-6-0) hosts Saint Joseph's at 7 p.m. on Wednesday under the lights of Retriever Soccer Park before traveling to Lexington, Va., to take on VMI Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Last Time Out: The Retrievers fell to cross-town rival Towson, 3-1, on Friday at Retriever Soccer Park. Towson got on the board first in the 29th minute, but the Retrievers tied it up less than 10 minutes later, as sophomore forward Amy Savage (Ottawa, Ontario/Sir Wilfrid Laurier) tallied her second goal of the season. Freshman midfielder Lilly Rydon (Stirling, South Australia/Concordia College) and junior midfielder Aly Gazarek (Aldie, Va./Freedom/South Florida) were credited with assists on the goal. The score remained knotted at 1-1 at halftime, but the Tigers scored two unanswered goals in the second period for the win. Senior goalie Mo Van Vlerah (Germantown, Md./Northwest) recorded a season-high seven saves between the pipes.

Scouting the Hawks: Saint Joseph's is 1-3-2 on the season following a 2-0 loss at Penn on Sunday. Goalie Christine Neal recorded five saves, while forward Maggie Lupinski took a team-high four shots. Lupinski leads the Hawks with two goals and four points this season. ForwardsJen Pfeiffer and Mo Hawkins have accounted for Saint Joseph's other two goals, and all four tallies have been unassisted. Pfeiffer has taken a team-high 15 shots. Neal has played every minute between the pipes for the Hawks, posting a 1.23 goals-against average and a .795 save percentage with 31 saves. Saint Joseph's was picked to finish 12th in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll after going 5-11-2 last season. Pfeiffer was the top scorer on the 2010 squad with 10 goals and 23 points.

Inside the Series: Wednesday's game marks the first-ever meeting between the Retrievers and Hawks.

Scouting the Keydets: VMI is 2-2-1 on the season following a 1-1 tie with St. Bonaventure on Sunday as part of the Army Soccer Classic. Midfielder Sarah Strand gave the Keydets a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute, but the Bonnies tied it up less than six minutes later, and neither team found the back of the net for the remainder of the match. Goalie Amanda Berrios recorded 12 saves. Strand leads the Keydets with four goals and eight points on the season, while midfielderSimone Jimenez has two goals and two assists for six points. Berrios has played all but 45 minutes between the pipes and has posted a 2.06 goals-against average and a .778 save percentage with 35 saves. VMI was picked to finish ninth in the Big South preseason poll after posting a 3-16-1 record in 2010.

Inside the Series: UMBC and VMI have only met once previously, a 1-0 overtime victory for the Keydets in Baltimore on Sept. 24, 2009. Berrios scored the game-winner in the 94th minute. Van Vlerah recorded five saves for the Retrievers.

Saving the Day: Van Vlerah ranks seventh all-time at UMBC with 159 career saves, two shy of Catie Bukowski for sixth place. In addition, sophomore Lauren Kadet (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) is ninth with 132. Kadet ranks second in the America East with 6.0 saves per game this season.

Scoring Tandem: Savage and junior forward Rachel McKee (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) have accounted for all of UMBC's scoring so far this season, as each have tallied two goals. With an assist as well, Savage is tied for seventh in the America East with 0.83 points per game, while McKee is tied for 10th with 0.80 points per contest.

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