The UMBC men's soccer team (9-4-2, 3-1-2 America East) will battle defending America East champion Stony Brook (9-5-2, 3-1-2) in the final regular season game of the 2010 campaign. The two teams are tied for second place and the winner wraps up a first-round bye in the six-team America East Tournament which begins on Nov. 6 at the site of the higher seed.
UMBC clinched a spot in the America East Conference Tournament and at least one home tournament game by virtue of its 3-1 win in its last regular season home game against the Vermont Catamounts on Oct. 27. (6-7-4, 1-4-1). Boston U. has clinched the regular season title and the tournament's No. 1 seed with a 4-0 win vs. Binghamton on the same evening, while Stony Brook put itself in the exact same position as UMBC with a 1-0 win at Hartford. Kick-off time under the lights at La Valle Stadium in Stony Brook, N.Y. is set for 5:00 p.m.
UMBC Playoff Scenarios:
If the Retrievers win at Stony Brook, they will be the No. 2 seed in the America East Tournament and host a semifinal game at UMBC Stadium (7:00 p.m.) on Wed., Nov. 10.
If the Retrievers tie the Seawolves, UMBC will be the No. 3 seed and host the No. 6 seed at UMBC Soccer Stadium at 1:00 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 6.
If the Retrievers lose to the Seawolves, and Binghamton and UNH tie in their contest, UMBC will be the No. 3 seed and host the No. 6 seed at UMBC Soccer Stadium at 1:00 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 6.
If the Retrievers lose to the Seawolves and either team wins the UNH at Binghamton game, UMBC will be the No. 4 seed and host the No. 5 seed at UMBC Soccer Stadium at 1:00 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 6.
UMBC has won three straight games and dropped just one decision (5-1-2) in its last eight outings.
The Retrievers are now ranked tenth in the Northeast region; Boston U. is ranked eighth. UMBC is assured of its 15th winning season in 20 years under Head Coach Pete Caringi, Jr.. The Retriever mentor's current record is 209-131-39 (.603).
UMBC has earned a slot in the six-team America East Tournament in five of eight league seasons and will make back-to-back appearances for the first time. 2010 is the first even-numbered year that the Retrievers have advanced.
The Retrievers are coming off a strong week, with wins over No. 23 Penn State (College Soccer News) on Oct. 20 and vs. conference foe Hartford. The 2-1 overtime win at Penn State is UMBC's first victory over a team in the national rankings since 2000, when the Retrievers won at No. 17 (Soccer Times) Maryland, 2-0. 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.
Bulls had a goal and two assists on Saturday, earning America East Conference co-Player of the Week honors, as UMBC blanked Hartford, 3-0.
UMBC is now in 5-1-2 in October and the lone negative result occurred on 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.
A Glance at the Seawolves: Stony Brook's season has been similar to UMBC as the Seawolves have roared down the stretch with an 8-1-3 mark in its last 12 contests. The defending America East champions are coming off back-to-back road wins, edging Binghamton, 2-1, in overtime and Hartford, 1-0 to secure a playoff berth. Three Seawolves—Leonardo Fernandes (6 goals), Raphael Abreu (5 goals) and Berian Gobeil (5 goals) have accounted for 16 of SBU's 21 scores on the season.
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 third in America East in points per game (1.14), although he has gone six games without a goal.
The Levi is Not Dry: Levi Houapeu now has 12 goals in 15 games this season and just became the seventh player in school history to amass 30 career goals. He has 80 career points (31-18-74) and has moved into a tie for fifth 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: 23th (1.5) Goals Per game 17th (0.64)
Total Points: 20th (21) Total Goals: 17th (9)
No player in the nation has more points in the past two seasons than Houapeu.
Through games of Oct. 27, 2010…
Player, School, Total Points: 1. Levi Houapeu, UMBC, 70 2. J.C. Banks, UW Green Bay, 65 3.Andrew Bulls, UMBC, 60. T4. C.J. Sapong, James Madison 58 T4. Darren Amoo, Liberty 58
Ironically, Sapong had a pair of goals vs. Old Dominion on Oct. 27, while Banks scored a pair vs. Western Illinois on Oct. 26.
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. 8. His three-goal effort vs. Vermont on Oct. 27 was the third of his career (Drexel, 9/19/09, Albany, 10/24/09) and UMBC's first hat trick of the 2010 campaign.
The last player to hit the 30-goal plateau was Derek McElligott, who did so in the 2003 season and finished his career with 47 tallies. Houapeu leads America East in goals/goals per game and points/points per game.
Bullish on Bulls:, Junior forward/midfielder Andrew Bulls was the America East Men's Soccer co-Player of the Week for games ending Oct. 24. He scored the game's first goal in wins over Penn State and Hartford and added two assists vs. the Hawks. Bulls became the first player in school history to post 25 career goals (26) and 25 (26) career assists.
He has now posted two assists in a game on four occasions this season (VMI, Mount St. Mary's, Albany, Hartford). He has 13 assists on the campaign and was tied for first in the nation in both assists (12) and assists per game (0.86) entering play this week. The preseason Hermann Award candidate now has 25 career assists, moving into second place on the school's all-time list. His 78 career point total (26-26-78) moves him into a tie for seventh 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 eight outings. He responded with UMBC's first goal of the contest at Bucknell and his six points this season (2-2-6) 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 6-1-2 with a 1.04 goals against average, but has allowed only seven goals in his last 814 minutes of action (0.78 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 King posted 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 41st minute in the 2-1 America East semifinal victory at UNH.
Team Notes: UMBC is 29th in the nation in scoring, averaging 1.93 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 7-0-1 when scoring the first goal this season and 7-0-0 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 Series: With the earlier wink at Albany, La Valle Stadium is now the only venue that UMBC is winless at in the America East Conference (0-4).The two teams split games last year, with the Retrievers triumphing, 2-0, at UMBC Stadium during the regular season, but the Seawolves winning the big game, capturing a 2-0 home decision in the America East title game. Stony Brook leads the all-time series, 5-4-0.
Career Points: 1: Ray Ford (1977-81) 124; 2. Derek McElligott (2001-04) 106; 3. Giuliano Celenza (1999-2000) 100; 4. J. J. Kremer (1992-95) 80; 5. Levi Houapeu (2007-) 80 6. Tom Brooks (1970-72) 79; T7. Bryan Bugarin (1992-95) 78; T7. Andrew Bulls (2008-) 78 9. Bobby Wagner (1990-93) 77;; 10. Rob Hoch (1991-94) 70
Goals: 1. Ford 51; 2. McElligott 49; 3. Celenza 41; 4. Brooks 34; T5. Houapeu 31 T5. Bugarin 31; T5. Wagner 31; 8. Shawn Miller (1989-92) 30; 9. Kremer 29;; 10. Bulls 26
Assists: . James Hamilton (98-01) 28; 2. Bulls 26 T3. Ford 22; T3: Kremer 22 T5. Robert Diver (90-93) 21; T5. Jason Dieter (90-91) 21; T7. Ty Engram (98-99) 20; T7. Hoch 20 T9. Matt Gormley (98-00) 18 T9. Houapeu 18 T9. Celenza 18