The UMBC men's soccer team (4-3-0) opens its eighth season of America East Conference play on Saturday, Oct. 2 when they host the Binghamton Bearcats (2-4-2) at UMBC Soccer Stadium. Kick-off time is set for 1:00 p.m.
UMBC has been idle since Sunday, Sept. 26, when they dropped a 2-1 decision at Fairleigh Dickinson. Senior midfielder Levi Houapeu (Germantown, Md./Watkins Mill) converted a penalty kick in the 56th minute to shave a 2-0 deficit to one goal, but the Retrievers could not get the equalizer.
The loss to FDU was UMBC's lone result since a 3-2 Sept. 18 victory at Mount St. Mary's. On Sept. 22, UMBC and Loyola (Md.) played 28 minutes of soccer on before persistent lightning forced the delay and eventually the cancellation of the match at Loyola's Ridley Athletic Complex. Ironically, in 2008, those same two teams had a September match cancelled when torrential rain resulted in unplayable field conditions at UMBC Stadium.
UMBC 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 freshman reserve forward Pete Caringi III (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall). 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.
A Glance at the Bearcats: The Bearcats picked up their first road victory of the season, as they defeated Niagara, 4-2 on Sept. 29. The victory extended their unbeaten streak to four games.Binghamton lost its first four games of the season, all to teams ranked in the NSCAA Top 25 at the time, and all but one by a single goal. Defender Kyle Manscuk leads the Bearcats with three goals on the campaign. Sophomore forward Jake Keegan, who scored his first goal of the season vs. Niagara, led Binghamton with seven goals during his rookie season in 2009.
The Apple Does Not Fall Far: For the second time in the first three weeks of league awards, Caringi was named America East Conference Men's Soccer Rookie of the Week. 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 Mont St. Mary's.
Caringi is tied for second in America East in goals per game (0.57), trailing only Houapeu, who averages 1.0 goal per game through seven contests. The son of UMBC Head Coach Pete Caringi, Jr. also captured the award on Sept. 7, 2010.
The Levi is Not Dry: Houapeu now has seven goals in seven games this season and became the 11th player in school history to amass 25 career goals. He has 68 career points (26-16-68) and has moved into ninth place on UMBC's all-time scoring list. The nation's leading scorer in 2009 is ranked in several NCAA statistical categories.
Points Per Game 7th (2.14) Total Points 9th (15)
Goals Per game 3rd (1.0) Total Goals 4th (7)
The 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.
Bullish on Bulls: For the second time this season, junior forward Andrew Bulls (Millersville,Md./McDonogh) posted two assists in a game, helping out on UMBC's first two goals vs. the Mount. He also had two assists in the opener vs. VMI. He has six assists on the campaign, which is the third-best figure in the nation. His 0.86assists per game is 4th as of games ending Sept. 26. The preseason Hermann Award candidate now has 19 career assists, moving into a tie for eighth place on the school's all-time list. His 67 career point total (24-19-67) moves him into tenth place on UMBC's all-time scoring list.
Player Notes: Junior midfielder Nirav Kadam (Germantown, Md./Northwest/UNCG), who did not play at Mount St. Mary's (injury) is 12th the nation in assists per game (0.67) and tied for 20th in total assists (4).
Senior defender Chris Williams (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) got the UMBC rally started with his first goal of the season in the 53rd minute vs. the Mount. The Retriever central defender has one goal in each of his four campaigns.
Junior goalkeeper Dan Louisignau (Wilmington, Del/Concord/U. Virginia) played the final 45 minutes at Mount St. Mary's and earned his first win in the UMBC cage.
Team Notes: UMBC is ranked 20th in the nation in scoring with 2.29 goals per game. The 15 goals scored is 18th in the country through games of Sept. 19.
The Retrievers are 3-0-0 at home this season and have won 13 consecutive September home games dating back to 2007.
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.
UMBC has allowed the game's first goal in its last five contests and are 2-3-0 in that span.
For Openers: UMBC opens its America East season at home for just the second time in eight league seasons. The Retrievers are 2-3-2 in conference lid-lifters, but 4-1-2 in America East home opening games.
The Series: After losing four straight to the Bearcats, UMBC has won two of the last three, including last season's America East quarterfinal game (2-1 UMBC win) at Binghamton...Binghamton leads the overall series, 6-3-1. Sophomore midfielder Mark Lubetkin scored his first career goal vs. the Bearcats and Levi Hoaupeu was credited with the game-winning goal in the quarterfinal game. Chris Williams scored the lone goal in the 2008 win at UMBC Soccer Stadium.
Honoring: At halftime, Retriever Men's Soccer will honor the 1991 team, head coach Pete Caringi's first squad, as the Retriever mentor celebrates his 20th season at UMBC... That team went 15-5-1.
Next Up: UMBC will travel to Lewisburg, Pa. to take on Bucknell on Tuesday, Oct. 5, before returning to America East action on Saturday, Oct. 9 when they head to Durham, N.H. to take onNew Hampshire