UMass Faces Wildcats In Fifth Consecutive Home Game
The Minuteman soccer team hosts the New Hampshire Wildcats on Wednesday in the finale of a five-game home stand. UMass has won two of its last three games, including a double-overtime victory against Hartford (9/14). UNH earned its first victory of the season last Saturday with a 1-0 decision over Colgate.
UMass has posted a 2-2 record in the friendly confines of Rudd Field this season. The Minutemen have scored nine goals at home compared to just two on the road.
The last time UMass enjoyed five straight home games was in 2001 when the Minutemen won the Atlantic 10 and made it to the second-round of the NCAA Tournament. UMass posted a 5-0 record in those games.
Inside the Series
This marks the 40th all-time meeting between the two programs and is the third-longest series in UMass soccer history.
The Minutemen have played only Connecticut (62 games) and Rhode Island (46 games) more times.
These two programs have played each season for the last 39 consecutive years. The last time the Minutemen and the Wildcats did not square off was in 1964.
The first meeting between the two programs was on Nov. 12, 1965. UMass won the match 4-1 in its season finale capping a five-game win streak and finishing the season with a 7-3-0 record.
Closing In On No. 150
Head coach Sam Koch is just two wins shy of 150 for his UMass career. In his 15th season, he has the most wins of any men's soccer coach in program history. Among active collegiate coaches, Koch ranks among the top-50 with 206 victories in his 20 seasons on the sidelines.
Bullen Finds His Touch
After being held scoreless for the first three games of the season, junior Oral Bullen picked up three goals and an assist in the two UMass wins from last week. Against Hartford (9/14), he scored the second goal of the game, while against Siena (9/17) he tallied two goals to tie his career-high for a game.
The Brooklyn native had only scored two goals twice in his career prior to the Siena game (Birmingham Southern, 9/5/03; St. Bonaventure, 10/26/03). The Minutemen are 3-0 when Bullen scores multiple goals in a game.
Bullen now has 12 goals, five assists, and 29 points for his career - the most of any current UMass player.
Burns Gets Offensive
Senior goalkeeper Colin Burns acheived a first for his collegiate soccer career when he placed his named in the offensive portion of the box score against Siena (9/14). Burns boomed a free kick nearly 65-yards allowing freshman Matty LeMire to set-up Oral Bullen's third goal of the season. Burns tallied the first assist of his career on the play.
Recapping The Harvard Loss
Harvard scored two first-half goals to lead the Crimson to a 3-1 victory over the Minutemen in the championship match of the UMass Classic.
UMass freshman Matty Lemire scored the solo goal for the Minutemen in the 86th minute during a late rally. His second goal of the season found the back of the net just behind the right post.
With just over two minutes left in regulation, UMass was called for an offsides which negated a goal by Richie Higa (Honolulu, Hawaii).
Junior Oral Bullen, LeMire, and sophomore Rob Charest were named to the all-tournament squad.
Charest's Golden Goal Lifts UMass to 2OT Victory
Sophomore Rob Charest's golden goal in the 104th minute gave the UMass men's soccer team its first win of the 2004 season as the Minutemen defeated Hartford 3-2 in double overtime.
Charest scored two goals in the game and had one assist - on Oral Bullen's opening goal of the game - to pace UMass.
The Minutemen took a 2-0 advantage into halftime, but Hartford scored twice in the second half to tie the game. The Hawks first goal came in the 61st minute when Alon Lubezky scored his sixth goal of the season from the top left of the box. Harry Vasiliadis tied the game when he found the net for the Hawks in the 81st minute from five-yards out.
An offsides nullified a goal scored by Hartford's Sean Reynolds in the 83rd minute. The Hawks were denied another chance to score with eight-seconds remaining in overtime when Lubezky's shot from inside the box was saved by UMass defender Tim Kitchell.
Scouting The Wildcats
New Hampshire enters the match with a 1-1-3 record after picking up its first win of the season last Saturday against Colgate.
UNH has posted four goals on 71 shots (.056) this season, but have only given up four goals on 58 shots (.069).
Ross Fishbain leads UNH offensively with one goal and one assist. Three other players have one goal each this year.
Brian Levey has started four games for the `Cats picking up 18 saves and alowing just 0.68 goals against.
New Hampshire has played much of its season so far in the second half of games. After half-time, UNH has out-shot its opponents 47-to-36 and has out-scored its opponents 4-to-1.
The Rudd Field Advantage
Since its opening at the start of the 2002 season, Rudd Field has become one of the top home-field advantages in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Minutemen have posted a 14-6-2 mark (.700 winning percentage), including a 7-1-1 mark in 2003. In that span, UMass has outscored its foes 59-30 in the 22 games at home, including 21-5 in 2003. UMass posted five shutouts at Rudd Field in 2003 and have seven since the opening of the complex.
Koch certainly finds the month of October to his liking. In fact, the Minutemen saw a 22-game October unbeaten streak come to an end when Xavier defeated the Minutemen on October 10. The streak spanned back to Oct. 20, 2000, when Dayton defeated UMass, 3-1. Over the last five years, the Minutemen are 35-7-3 (.811 winning percentage) in the month of October.
Koch has named senior Colin Burns and juniors Craig Canavan and Oral Bullen as the captains this season.
Burns is a fifth-year senior that has recovered fully from a serious head injury during his freshman year. He is coming off a solid season as the UMass goalkeeper last season and will be counted on again this season.
Canavan is perhaps the most seasoned Minuteman. He spent five years in the United States Navy before joining the Minutemen last year. He is 28 years old and played for two seasons at New Hampshire before heading to the Navy.
Oral Bullen figures to be UMass' top offensive threat. He is the leading returning scorer with 20 points (8 g, 4 a)and scored two goals in UMass'3-1 exhibition victory over Montreal last Saturday.
Atlantic 10 Success
Sam Koch has had most of his success come against Atlantic 10 opponents. During his 13 years at UMass, Koch has posted a 79-39-8 record (.659 winning percentage) against Atlantic 10 opposition, and has a winning record against every team but one, Rhode Island. Against out-of-conference foes, Koch is 66-49-10 (.551 winning percentage).
A Look Back at 2003
UMass finished last season with an 11-7-1 record, its fifth straight 10-win season. It marks the longest successive 10-win streak in school history.
Three Minutemen, all seniors, were named to All-Atlantic 10 teams. Ptah Myers was a first-team selection, while Dan Colwell and Devlin Barnes were second-team honorees.
UMass recorded its best start in school history after 10 games at 7-2-1 and reached the program's highest national ranking ever, No. 13, on Oct. 6, 2003.
The Minutemen have one of the youngest rosters in the country. Only two seniors, Gabe Barnard and Colin Burns, dot the roster. All told, there are 17 freshmen and sophomores on the squad.