The UMBC men’s soccer team opens a three-game homestand on Wednesday, Sept. 25 when they host George Mason at Retriever Soccer Park. UMBC, one of two undefeated and untied teams in the country, has garnered its top two national rankings in school history in two polls entering play this week. In the NSCAA poll, UMBC (7-0-0) is now No. 11, surpassing its previous mark of No. 14 in 2000 and the Retrievers’ No. 8 ranking by Top Drawer Soccer is its top position in any media-affiliated men’s soccer poll. George Mason (4-1-1) was ranked No. 23 last week before suffering its first setback of the season, a 3-0 loss at Virginia on Sept. 17.
Kick-off time is set for 7:00 p.m. Live stats and free live video (www.umbcretrievers.tv) are available for the contest and all UMBC home soccer matches in 2013.
A GLANCE AT THE RETRIEVERS
Dating back to 2012, UMBC is now unbeaten in its last 16 contests (13-0-3) and has outscored their opponents, 41-11, in that span. It is the longest unbeaten streak since 1999, when that championship squad went 19-0-2 in the regular season.
The Retrievers have captured the America East title and advanced to the second round in the NCAA Championships twice in three seasons. The 2012 season marked UMBC’s third NCAA College Cup appearance overall, having earned a bid in 1999.
SR F Pete Caringi III was named Disney/NSCAA Player of the Week and College Soccer News’ Player of the Week for games ending Sept. 1 and Sept. 8 respectively.
Entering play this week, UMBC and Cal-Northridge share the national lead in goals scored with 22 each·
Caringi leads the nation in points per game (2.86) and goals per game (1.29), while JR MGeaton Caltabiano is tied for first in the nation and in assists per game (1.00).
The Retrievers moved up nine slots to 8th in the Top Drawer Soccer poll and remained at 21st in College Soccer News‘ poll. UMBC made its debut in the Soccer America poll at No. 25 (tied) and is No. 11 in the Continental Tire/NSCAA Coaches’ poll for games ending Sept. 22, 2013.
The current seven-game winning streak in the first in school history. There have been three greater streaks- eight straight in 1991, nine in a row in 2009 and 13 consecutive in 1999.
SCOUTING THE PATRIOTS
The Patriots come into the game with a 4-1-1 record on the year. GMU was ranked No. 23 in the NSCAA poll for games ending Sept. 15.
SR F Wes Sever currently leads the Patriots in goals with four. FR GK Steffen Kraus has started all six games for the Patriots and has recorded 12 saves. SR F Julia Arjona has started in all six matches for the Patriots and leads the team in assists with a pair.
JR F Timmy Mulgrew returns for the Patriots after contributing a goal and an assist in last year’s 2-1 victory over the Retrievers.
INSIDE THE SERIES
This will be the 13th meeting all-time between the Retrievers and Patriots, with GMU holding a slim 6-5-1 advantage.
The two teams have met five times in UMBC’s Division I era (1986) and the Retrievers have earned one victory, a 5-2 triumph in 2000. However, that was the only home game in those five contests.
The most recent encounter took place last season at George Mason, where the Patriots came out on top with a 2-1 win. Milo Kapor scored the Retriever goal, converting a penalty kick.
UMBC hosts George Washington on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Retriever Soccer Park. The match will get underway at 7:00 p.m.