The UMBC men's soccer team (7-4-2, 1-1-2 America East) faces a critical conference home game as the Retriever entertain Hartford (5-7-0, 2-2-0) on "Senior Day" at UMBC Soccer Stadium. Six seniors—Kokou Assigbe, Dustin Dzwonkowski, Levi Houapeu, Danny Shannon, John Paul Waraksa, and Chris Williams will be honored before the game and the opening kick-off is set to take place at 1:10 p.m.
Hartford sits in third place in America East play with six points, just ahead of fourth-place UMBC and Stony Brook, who are each 1-1-2 for five points. The top six teams in the America East Conference compete in the league championships, which begin on Saturday, Nov. 6.
The Retrievers are coming off one of their biggest wins in program history, a 2-1 overtime win at No. 23 Penn State (College Soccer News) on Oct. 20. The win is UMBC's first over a team in the national rankings since a 2-0 win over No. 17 Maryland (Soccer Times) in 2000 . Sophomore midfielder Milo Kapor scored the game-winning goal with 1:11 to play in the first overtime period as UMBC extended its road unbeaten streak to four. It was UMBC's first-ever win vs. a Big Ten opponent, although it was only the second opportunity. Wisconsin paid a visit to UMBC Soccer Stadium in 2001 and came away with a 4-2 victory over the Retrievers.
Junior midfielder Andrew Bulls gave UMBC a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute vs. the Nittany Lions, putting in his own rebound after a long break-in on goal. The Retrievers held that advantage until the 76th minute when the Lions got the equalizer. But UMBC dominated and overtime session and ended it when Kapor, who had entered the game minutes earlier, hit a brilliant 30-yard bender from the left wing which tucked just inside the right netting of the cage.
UMBC is now in 3-1-2 in October and the lone negative result occurred last Friday night, Oct. 15, as the visiting Boston University Terriers blanked UMBC, 2-0. A record crowd of 2,781 packed UMBC Stadium, as the game was shown live on Fox Soccer Channel during UMBC's Homecoming weekend. UMBC's previous record high was 1,505 fans who attended UMBC's home match vs. Loyola in 2009.
Senior forward Levi Houapeu scored a pair of goals and freshman back Daniel Welshrecorded his first collegiate goal as UMBC defeated Albany, 3-1, at Varsity Field on Oct. 13. UMBC won for the first time in four tries at Albany and was off to its best conference start (1-0-2) since 2005 when they opened at 3-0-0.
On Oct. 9, UMBC played the role of homecoming guest at New Hampshire and the two teams battled to a double overtime scoreless draw. Junior goalkeeper Dan Louisignau recorded five saves to post his first shutout in a UMBC uniform. It was UMBC's first scoreless tie since a 2008 deadlock at Maine.
UMBC posted an impressive 2-1 win at defending Patriot League champion Bucknell on Oct. 5. Senior Chris Williams and Caringi provided the Retrievers with a 2-0 lead, before the Bison scored on a penalty kick in the 82nd minute to prevent the home shutout.
The Retrievers opened America East Conference play on Saturday, Oct. 2, drawing 1-1 in double overtime vs. Binghamton. Freshman Pete Caringi III scored his fifth goal of the season to give the Retrievers a 1-0 lead in the 75th minute, but the Bearcats countered seven minutes later. Hoaupeu had the best chance for either team in overtime, but his drive less than a minute into the first extra period was saved.
A Glance at the Hawks: Hartford comes into UMBC on a two-game winning streak with a 1-0 win vs. UNH on Oct. 16 and a 2-1 overtime decision vs. Army on Oct. 20. Hartford has managed just 11 goals in 12 games, but has allowed only five goals in their last five outings. Sophomore midfielder James Stamapoulos, who scored the game-winning in overtime vs. Army on Wednesday, and junior forward Patrick Boucher, lead the Hawks with three goals apiece. Hartford is 5-1 at home this year, but 0-67 on the road.
The Apple Does Not Fall Far: Pete Caringi III has won a pair of America East Conference Men's Soccer Rookie of the Week awards (9/7, 9/20). He made his first official start at FDU, although he was in the starting lineup for the cancelled contest at Loyola. Though his first six games coming off the bench, Caringi had scored four goals in 207 minutes of action and was a +4 (5 UMBC goals scored, 1 allowed) when he was on the field in wins over La Salle and Mount St. Mary's. Entering the week, the Retriever freshman is tied for second in America East in goals per game (0.5).
The Levi is Not Dry: Houapeu now has nine goals in 13 games this season and became the 11th player in school history to amass 25 career goals. He has 74 career points (28-18-74) and has moved into eighth place on UMBC's all-time scoring list. The nation's leading scorer in 2009 was ranked in several NCAA statistical categories entering play this week.
Points Per Game: 12th (1.75) Goals Per game 9th (0.75)
Total Points: 12th (21) Total Goals: 10th (9)
The two-goal effort by Houapeu at Albany was the fifth multi-goal game of his career and first since scoring twice at Towson on Sept. 8The last player to hit the 25-goal plateau was Derek McElligott, who did so in the 2003 season and finished his career with 47 tallies. He leads America East in goals/goals per game and points/points per game.
Bullish on Bulls:, Junior forward/midfielder Andrew Bulls has now posted two assists in a game on three occasions this season. He helped out on UMBC's first two goals vs. the Mount, had two assists in the opener vs. VMI and drew two assists in the 3-1 win at Albany on Oct. 13. He has ten assists on the campaign and held down the No.3 spot in the nation in assists (10) and assists per game (0.83) entering play this week. The preseason Hermann Award candidate now has 23 career assists, moving into second place on the school's all-time list. His 73 career point total (25-23-73) moves him into ninth place on UMBC's all-time scoring list.
Bulls leads America East in assists/assists per game. He followed Houapeu and became the 12th player in school history to post 25 career goals.
Other Player Notes: Senior Chris Williams played exclusively in the backfield for his first 59 career games of his career, but has played in the midfield in UMBC's last six outings. He responded with UMBC's first goal of the contest at Bucknell and his five points this season (2-1-5) is a new personal best.
Junior goalkeeper Dan Louisignau recorded five saves at UNH on Oct. 9 to post his first shutout in a UMBC uniform as the Retrievers and Wildcats battled to a scoreless tie. Louisignau is 4-1-2 with a 1.19 goals against average, but has allowed only six goals in his last 634 minutes of action (0.85 gaa) since taking over the starting goalkeeping position. He made his first official career start on Oct. 2 vs. Binghamton and posted a team season-best nine saves. The nine saves was the most for a Retriever goalkeeper since Steve Kingposted 12 at Virginia Tech on Oct. 14, 2008.
Two of Milo Kapor's three career goals have been game-winners in big spots on the road. Prior to his dramatic score at PSU, the Canadian blasted in the eventual GWG in the 41stminute in the 2-1 America East semifinal victory at UNH.
Team Notes: UMBC is 37th in the nation in scoring, averaging 1.9 goals per game. The Retrievers were sixth in the nation in scoring in 2009, averaging 2.15 goals per contest. UMBC's 110-minute shutout of UNH was the squad's first clean slate since blanking Wofford, 2-0, on Sept. 4.
UMBC has a four-game road unbeaten streak (3-0-1) alive and is 4-3-1 away from UMBC this season.
The Retrievers are 5-0-1 when scoring the first goal this season and 5-0-0 when leading at halftime. They are also 2-0-2 in 2010 in overtime, after posting a mark of 0-3-8 in their previous 11 overtime contests. Prior to the 2-1 overtime win over La Salle, UMBC's last overtime win occurred at Maine (2-1) in the 2006 season.
With the back-to-back wins over La Salle and Mount St. Mary's, UMBC recorded back-to-back come-from-behind wins for the first time since early in the 2000 season, when they rallied to defeat Holy Cross (4-3, 2ot) and Delaware (2-1, 2ot) on Sept. 3 and Sept. 6.
Caringi's goal vs. Binghamton broke a streak of five straight contests in which UMBC has allowed the game's first goal.
The Retrievers had posted come-from-behind victories in the 2-1 home win over La Salle on Sept. 15 and the 3-2 victory at Mount St. Mary's on Sept. 18. The Retrievers trailed the Mount, 2-0, at halftime and rallied to win from a two-goal deficit for the first time since a 4-3 overtime win (they trailed 3-1) over Coastal Carolina on Oct. 11, 1997. The last time they won in 90 minutes after trailing by two goals occurred a year earlier when they erased a 2-0 deficit at Winthrop and defeated the Eagles, 4-3, on Oct. 21, 1996.
The offensive heroes for UMBC were senior Houapeu and Caringi. Houapeu scored the game-tying goal and Caringi added the game-winner vs. Mount St. Mary's, after Caringi had the game-tying tally and Houapeu the winner in the 2-1 overtime victory over La Salle.
The Series: UMBC won the first four America East meetings vs. Hartford, but the Hawks are unbeaten (3-0-1) vs. UMBC in the last four. Hartford has posted shutouts over UMBC in 2008 (2-0 at UMBC) and 2009 (3-0 at Hartford). UMBC holds a slight 4-3-2 series advantage.
Next Up: UMBC ends the regular season next week, hosting Vermont on Wednesday, Oct. 27 (7:00 p.m., UMBC Stadium) and visiting Stony Brook on Halloween (5:00 p.m.).