Sept. 4, 2010
Harvard Visits Rudd Field To Open Home Slate
The 10th-ranked Harvard Crimson visit Rudd Field on Labor Day as the UMass men's soccer team opens its 2010 home schedule after a 1-1 double overtime draw at Boston University on Wednesday. The game is the first of 11 home dates for the Minutemen this season. Kick-off is set for 3 PM and admission, as always, is free to all. Free men's soccer posters and schedule cards will also be available at the game!
Fans can follow the game from UMassAthletics.com with GameTracker Live Stats or by watching online through Boston University's All-Access Streaming Video. Additionally, the game will be tape-delay broadcast on CBS3 Now (Comcast Digital Channel 293).
The Crimson host No. 13 Stanford on Saturday to open its 2010 season. Harvard posted a 14-4-1 record last year with a trip to the NCAA Tournament before eventually bowing out to Maryland in the third round. The Crimson are without the services this season of forward Andre Akpan who scored the Golden Goal in 2008 to knock UMass out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round. Akpan was drafted in the second round of the MLS draft last January by the Colorado Rapids while teammate Kwaku Nyameke was selected in the fourth by the Columbus Crew.
UMass (0-0-1) is coming off a 1-1 double overtime draw at Boston University this past Wednesday in the season opener for both teams. Bryant Craft
, in his first game as a starting forward, scored the game tying goal just 64 seconds into the second half, while keeper Chris Piekos
made six saves including three in overtime. Michael Bustamante put the Terriers on the scoreboard first at 7:35 of the first half when he converted a penalty kick for his first goal of the season.
UMass is led in the midfield by Hermann Watch List Candidate and preseason All-American Ben Arikian. Andrew Henshaw anchors the defense and is coming off an NSCAA All-Regional performance last season. Springfield native Chris Roswess is UMass' top scoring threat at forward.
Defense will once again be the key to the Minutemen's success during the season. UMass led the Atlantic 10 last season in goals-against-average (0.77) and was one of the top 25 teams nationally. Offensive production will certainly be a focus for the Minutemen as they tallied just 15 goals last season while allowing 14.
Out of 18 regular-season games, the Minutemen will be at home 11 times beginning Sept. 6 against Harvard. A weekend series against UCF (9/17) and national power Indiana (9/19) will kick-off an eight-game home stand.
UMass has been picked to finish sixth in the Atlantic 10 Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll as announced by the league in July. Saint Louis was selected to defend its 2009 league title followed by Charlotte.
Three Minutemen have played in over 60 career matches for UMass: Stuart Amick, Ben Arikian and Chris Vaccaro. Arikian, a two-time preseason All-American and Hermann Watch Candidate, leads the team with 65 appearances while Amick and Vaccaro have played in 64 and 63 games, respectively. Arikian's 35 points (9 goals, 17 assists) leads the team as do his 5 game-winning goals. Amick is the team's second leading career scorer with 16 points (6 goals, 4 assists). Chris Piekos leads the clubs goalkeepers with a career 0.70 GAA, a .867 save percentage, and a 4-3-3 record.
UMass is 3-15-3 all-time against Harvard with the last win dating all the way back to Nov. 6, 1985. Since then, UMass is 0-6-1 against the Crimson.
Next Up: At Fairfield
The next game on the schedule for UMass will be a trip to Fairfield - a team which UMass has not played since 1993. All-time, the Minutemen are 8-1-1 against the Stags. That will be the last non-conference road game and the last road game period until Oct. 16 when UMass travels to Atlantic 10 rival Rhode Island.
UMass has started 2010 in much the same vein as 2009. Last season, UMass opened the season against Boston University playing to a 1-1 double overtime draw. Seven games last year were 1-0 games, while five other games reached double overtime. UMass was 2-5 in 1-0 games and 0-2-3 in overtime matches. In A-10 play, UMass was 2-4-0 in one goal games and 0-0-2 in overtime matches.
Undefeated With A Goal
Going into the season, it was well documented that UMass needed to score goals this year to improve upon 2009. Although the cliché says defense wins championships, for UMass, scoring even just one goal last year put the Minutemen in the win column. With one of the top defenses in the country, even just one goal was made to stand as the game-winner. UMass was 6-0-2 last year when scoring at least one goal. In each of the six losses and one tie, UMass failed to score. With the Boston University game in the books, UMass is unbeaten this year when scoring at least one goal as well.
A Good Start Is Key
The first half was a key to success for UMass as the Minutemen outscored opponents 8-to-4 despite being outshot 71-to-95 in 2009. Things were a bit closer in the second half with UMass outscoring opponents 5-to-4, while the Minutemen did not score any goals in overtime.
Set And Score
UMass used a variety of methods and players when scoring goals last year. Of the 13 goals scored, seven came off set pieces - either throw-ins, corners, free kicks, etc. Seven different players scored a goal last season with five of those hitting game-winning goals.
UMass Top D-Unit In A-10
Last season, UMass was the top defensive units in the league despite having mostly new faces on the back line and in goal. The Minutemen led the league in goals allowed (14), goals against average (0.82), and ranked 6th in shutouts (6). Nationally, UMass ranked 22nd (among 203) in goals against average.
Big Shot Ben
Senior midfielder Ben Arikian has shown throughout the course of his career that he is an impact player. The West Islip, N.Y. native has played in 63 career matches at UMass scoring nine goals while adding 17 assists for 35 points. He has five career game-winning goals. Last season, he factored into four game-winning goals either scoring or setting up the go-ahead tally. In 2008, Arikian scored or assisted the game-winning goal in eight of UMass' 10 wins.
The UMass defensive back four turned in some excellent outings in 2009 as has become the hallmark of the team over the last several years. The Minutemen return all four starters from last season on the back line: Andrew Henshaw, David Key, Dominic Skrajewski, and Mark Dangleis. Morgan Brandso and Michael Doherty also played significant minutes on defense as well.
Strong In Goal
The Minutemen have a great strength defensive with a pair of national caliber keepers in goal. Chris Piekos and Shane Curran-Hays each return to mind the nets for 2010. The duo split time in goal last season with Piekos posting a single-season school record 0.68 goals against average to go along with a .868 save percentage. Curran-Hays was not far behind with a 0.90 goals against average and an .811 save percentage.
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 Reaches Yet Another Milestone
Head Coach Sam Koch enters his 20th season at UMass and his 26th season overall as a head coach. Last season, he picked up his 200th win at UMass following the 3-0 shutout of Colgate. For his career in Amherst, he is 204-139-37. His overall coaching record now stands at 262-192-52 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 45-22-7 since the facility opened in 2002. All told, UMass has pitched 25 shutouts at home and has won nearly 70% of its Atlantic 10 matches in the friendly home confines. That home field advantage will be key this year as the Minutemen will host 11 home games including eight consecutive.
Streaming Video Live From Rudd Field
The UMass Media Relations Department is proud to announce that the 2010 men's soccer regular-season home games will once again 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.
UMass/CBS3 Now To Air 100 Games In 2010-11
UMass and CBS3 Now have partnered to bring fans in Western Mass 100 games to be televised on the digital television channel. Fans can watch a selection of field hockey, soccer, football, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, softball and baseball games on CBS3 Now which can currently be viewed on Comcast Digital Channel 293.
Order Photos From The 2010 Season
The UMass Media Relations Department offers fans the chance to purchase photos from the 2010 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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!