UMBC men’s soccer takes on the Stony Brook Seawolves this Wednesday, in what is the final game of the 2017 regular season.
16 games and 24 goals later, the Retrievers stand at 7-5-4 on the season, which puts them in 5th place in the American East Conference. While the Seawolves stand at 8th in the conference with a 6-5-5 record.
The Retrievers are coming off two straight away losses. One, against the first place Vermont Catamounts. And the second, a surprising loss to the 7th ranked Hartford Hawks.
This last game is a must-win for the Retrievers as they look to secure their spot in the playoffs and possibly even clinch home-field advantage. The Retrievers have 7 points in the American East Conference table, which puts them two points ahead of the Binghamton Bearcats(1-3-2,5) and three points behind the Albany Bearcats(3-2-1,10).
This should be a manageable game for the Retrievers as they face a team with both a weaker offense and defense. This season the Seawolves have allowed more goals than they have scored(17 allowed/16 scored ). While the Retrievers have totaled 24 goals while only allowing 12.
So expect to see the Retrievers to take advantage of this weak defense. Bold prediction: David Harris, who has scored two goals in the past three games to add on to his season totals against Seawolves keeper Tom McMahon.
Also, expect to see Retrievers keeper Ciaran O’Loughlin to have a quiet game as Tom Paul and company should be able to keep this shaky offense contained.
What can’t happen this game is what happened last week against the Hartford Hawks. In that game, the Retrievers had 5 shots with just 2 on goal compared to Hartford’s 21.
As the season wraps up throughout the conference tomorrow night here are the four most likely playoff scenarios for the Retrievers:
UMBC win & Albany loss
Result: UMBC gets home-field advantage(4th seed) vs. Albany(5th seed)
UMBC win & Albany win
Result: UMBC(5th seed) @ Albany(4th seed)
UMBC loss & Binghamton & Hartford win
Result: UMBC eliminated
UMBC tie & Binghamton win
Result: UMBC @ U Mass Lowell
The Retrievers look to bounce back from their two straight away losses in which they were outscored 4-1. One, against the first place Vermont Catamounts. And the second to the 7th ranked Hartford Hawks, which was quite surprising. In those two away games the Retrievers.
On top of the fact that this game has playoff implications, it is also senior night for our four starting seniors. This game may well be the last time the seniors Tom Paul, Sammy Kahsai, Gregg Hauck and Cormac Noel get to play in front of their home crowd at Retriever Soccer Park.
I had the chance to briefly chat with Sammy Kahsai and Cormac Noel, two of the four seniors who will be honored tomorrow night.
“It’s a big deal!” Noel told me referring to the importance of senior night specifically for him.
“It’s a huge game for us, I think that all the team knows it. As well as that we need the three points, so we can make sure we clinch a spot in the playoffs and to get a better chance in getting the home seed as well, so we could hopefully play for the fans again.”
With a win tomorrow the Retrievers are guaranteed a secure spot in the playoffs, but if Binghamton pulls off an upset at home vs. Albany, it would give Noel and the three other seniors another opportunity to play in front of their fans on November 4 vs. Albany.
Noel told the fans to expect, “For me and the other seniors, we’re obviously gonna be putting in extra work for our senior game. So I’m gonna do the best to help get the win for my team, which is the main objective.”
While Kahsai said to expect “…an emotional night, for us seniors as I look to close out my three years plus with UMBC.”
A regular season filled with goals, nail-biting games and two consecutive ranked weeks comes to a close, in what should a chilly but emotional night at Retriever Soccer Park.
UMBC 2-0 Stony Brook
Albany 2-1 Binghamton
UMBC @ Albany Nov. 4th