Aug. 31, 2009
Tuesday's Match: The Terriers
Tuesday's season-opening match features a pair of 2008 NCAA Tournament Teams as UMass hosts Boston University at Rudd Field. Kick-off is schedule for 3:30 PM and admission is free to all. The Terriers are the reigning America East Conference Champions, while UMass won the Atlantic 10 Regular-Season title in 2008. UMass is led by All-Atlantic 10 forward Mark DeSantis and All-American midfielder Ben Arikian.
The Terriers return 10 of 11 starters from a year ago and were picked 23rd in the College Soccer News preseason poll and 24th in the NSCAA poll. While Boston University returns nearly all of its offensive scoring numbers, the preseason pick to win America East also returns a stingy defense led by keeper Hrafn Davidsson who posted a 0.813 goals against average and eight shutouts.
The Minutemen return the bulk of their offensive output from a year ago with the exception of Prince Ofosu who led the team with five goals. Defensively, UMass will need to find a replacement for All-American keeper Zack Simmons.
Nailbiters Vs. The Terriers
The Minutemen were able to play just one exhibition game this season as the match schedule at No. 12 Connecticut was cancelled due to inclement weather. Two weeks ago, UMass defeated Adelphi 2-1 at Rudd Field. Sophomore forward Chris Roswess scored both goals for UMass in the second half after the game was deadlocked 0-0 at halftime. The Panthers scored the first goal of the game in the 63rd minute before Roswess was able to equalize in the 70th minute. He hit the game-winner three minutes later.
If Tuesday's match is anything like the last three meetings with Boston University, fans are in for a treat. Last season, it took dramatic performances from Ben Arikian
and Prince Ofosu
as UMass won 3-2 in double overtime in front of 5,935 fans at Nickerson Field. Ofosu scored twice, including the game-tying goal with three seconds left in regulation, while Arikian skimmed home a shot from 25-yards out for the game-winner.
In 2007, UMass hosted BU twice at Rudd Field and earned two wins including a 2-1 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament which sparked a run all the way to the College Cup for the Minutemen.
This will be the 41st all-time meeting between the two clubs as UMass now leads the series 21-13-5.
Arikian Earns Preseason Honors
Junior midfielder Ben Arikian's stock continues to rise heading into the 2009 regular-season. Over the summer, the 2008 Atlantic 10 Midfielder of the Year was named to the A-10 Preseason All-Conference Team, the CSN Preseason All-America Second Team and the Hermann Trophy Watch List - the top collegiate soccer honor. Arikian led UMass in scoring in 2008 with 15 points (4g, 7a) and factored into eight of the Minutemen's game-winning goals.
DeSantis Leads Offense
Senior forward Make DeSantis is one of UMass top returning offensive players with 26 career points on eight goals and 10 assists in 66 games. Last season he started all 21 games scoring four goals and adding two assists.
Forward Chris Roswess, midfielder Bryant Craft and defender Andrew Henshaw are three sophomores who the Minutemen will look to for big seasons this year. Roswess played in all 21 games last season with 11 starts and two goals - both game-winners. In the exhibition match against Adelphi earlier this year, he scored both goals for the Minutemen in a 2-1 win. Craft is a speedy midfielder and compliments Arikian and Chris Vaccaro. He started 19 of 21 games a year ago with a goal and an assist. Henshaw started 15 of 18 games in the back and is a strong, physical presence at 6-1, 170 pounds.
Players To Watch For
Junior midfielder Matt Hess and sophomore defender David Key will likely be inserted into the starting rotation after starting a combined two games in 2008. In his career, Hess has been a regular reserve seeing action in 31 games. Key played in just three games last season, but was a highly touted defender out of Chaparral High School in Parker, Colo.
New Look Minutemen
UMass has just 13 returning players on the 25 man roster heading into the 2009 season. Of the 12 newcomers, nine are freshmen with three sophomores. Physically, however, this is one of the larger UMass teams with an average height just under 6-feet.
A Keeper Among Them
For the first time in four years, UMass will have a new man between the pipes with the graduation of All-American Zack Simmons. Junior Chris Piekos and redshirt sophomore Shane Curran-Hays are the top returning keepers, while 6-5 freshman Brian Frame out of Delaware looks to be a presence for the future. Curran-Hays has been Simmons' understudy for the last two years and is a technically gifted keeper, while Piekos, a former Special Forces Marine, is a large, athletic, physical presence at 6-1, 220 pounds.
Commonwealth Well Represented
Almost half of the 2009 squad hails from Massachusetts (12) with a heavy mid-west flavor to the balance of the team. The Minutemen feature players from Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
Koch Approaches Yet Another Milestone
Head Coach Sam Koch enters his 19th season at UMass and his 25th season overall as a head coach. Last year, he picked up his 250th career coaching win. Entering this season, he needs just three to pick up his 200th win at UMass. For his career in Amherst, he is 197-132-33. His overall coaching record now stands at 255-185-48 between his stints at UMass and Stanford.
The `Fort Rudd' Advantage
Few home fields yield such a distinct advantage as Rudd Field, aka FORT RUDD. At home UMass is 42-18-6 since the facility opened in 2002. All told, UMass has pitched 23 shutouts at home and has won nearly 70% of its Atlantic 10 matches in the friendly home confines.
Leverone Named To UMass Athletics Hall Of Fame
The University of Massachusetts Athletic Department will induct six new members into the George "Trigger" Burke UMass Athletic Hall of Fame, making up the class of 2009: Danielle Henderson `99 (softball 1996-99), Charles Leverone `60 (gymnastics, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, soccer, swimming & diving 1956-60), Bob Marcum (athletic Director 1993-2002), Joe McLaughlin `79 (football 1976-78), Hilary Rose `97 (field hockey 1993-94, 96), Paula Wilkins `94 (women's soccer 1990-93). Leverone lettered in five sports including soccer and won the Lojko Award his senior year (best three-sport athlete at UMass) in 1960.
Streaming Video Live From Rudd Field
The UMass Media Relations Department is proud to announce that the 2009 men's soccer regular-season home games will be streamed live over UMassAthletics.com this year. Along with live video of games, make sure to check out UMass All-Access Multimedia for player profiles, interviews with head coach Sam Koch, and much more. You can sign up for an All-Access Pass by clicking on the Multimedia link at UMassAthletics.com.
Order Photos From The 2009 Season
The UMass Media Relations Department offers fans the chance to purchase photos from the 2009 men's soccer season. Simply go to UMassAthletics.com, find the photo you like in our photo galleries and click the tab that says Buy Now. You can choose from several different size options, custom framing, even an exciting new Gallery Canvas Wrap - all shipped directly to your door. Make sure to capture your favorite memory of the season to proudly display your Maroon & White pride!
Free Soccer E-Newsletter
Fans, want to get all the latest information on the UMass men's soccer team? Sign up today by contacting John Sinnett (email@example.com) in the UMass media relations department. You will receive weekly notes, feature stories, postgame recaps, box scores and more delivered straight to your inbox. It's the best way to keep up with the Minutemen, so sign up today!