BALTIMORE, Md. - UMBC kicks off the 2017 season in the first round of the Battle of Baltimore as I-695 rivals Towson Tigers makes the trip to Retriever Soccer Park on Friday, August 18 at 7 p.m. This will be the first time the Retrievers and the Tigers will play each other since the 2014 season.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS
-Head coach Leslie Wray enters her sixth season at the helm of the Retriever program. In the2017 America East Preseason Coaches' Poll, UMBC was picked to finish ninth after picking up12 votes.
-Last season, the Retrievers fell just short of the postseason as they finished 6-10-1 overall and 2-5-1 in America East play. It was just the second time in Wray's tutelage that the team missed the postseason.
-Gone from the team this season is Alexa Quaranta, who led the team with 14 points off five goals and four assists. Quaranta, who was an America East All-Conference second team selection in 2016, finished her career ranked eighth in career assists (10) and shots taken (122).
-UMBC will travel to Mount St. Mary's on Aug. 20 in the second round of the Battle of Baltimore before returning home on Friday, Aug. 25 when the team hosts UNCW at 5 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the men's team.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
-Towson opens its 11th season under Greg Paynter after posting a 6-12-1 overall record in2016. The Tigers were picked to finish 10th in the CAA after going 3-6-0 in their conference slate.
-The Tigers return Preseason All-CAA Team honorable mention Maddie Bové, as well as redshirt-senior Taylor Sebolao and sophomore Justine Stoner, both who were named All-CAA last season.
-The Tigers lose Marissa Green, who led the team in points and goals last season, and Natalia Pinkney, who tied Green for goals with four on the season.
-This season, Paynter is joined by two new assistant coaches, Cheyenne Spade and Win Puffer. Spade spent last season at Susquehanna University, while Puffer, who coached at Towsonin 2012-13 returns from Georgetown.
-Towson will host Loyola (Md.) on Sunday, August 20 in the second round of the Battle of Baltimore before returning to the road as they face Longwood on Aug. 24.
INSIDE THE SERIES:
-Towson and UMBC will be playing each other for the 16th time, with the Tigers holding an 8-7-0 advantage over the Retrievers. This will be the first times the teams are meeting since 2014, while also serving as the most recent matchup at Retriever Soccer Park (September 9, 2011).
-Last time these two teams met, Towson was victorious as they defeated UMBC, 2-0. Retriever goalkeeper Jen Nance recorded a career-high 10 saves during the game.