Oct. 6, 2010
UMass Hosts Xavier & Dayton To Start League Play
The UMass men’s soccer team opens Atlantic 10 play this weekend with a pair of matches against Xavier and Dayton. The Minutemen host the Musketeers on Friday and the Flyers on Sunday (Noon).
UMass enters the match with a 1-3-5 record overall, while Xavier is 3-2-3 riding a four-game unbeaten streak after a 1-0 win on Tuesday against IUPUI. Dayton is 4-4-1 after going 2-2-0 in the last four games.
UMass is in the midst of an eight-game home stand. So far on the year, UMass is 1-3-3 at home.
Fans can follow the game from UMassAthletics.com with GameTracker Live Stats or by watching online through UMass’ All-Access Streaming Video. Additionally, the games will be broadcast on CBS3 Now (Comcast Digital Channel 293).
The Minutemen are coming off a 2-2 draw against Siena last Sunday. After going down 2-0 early in the second half, UMass battle back thanks go goals from Bryant Craft and Stuart Amick to knot the game and force the extra sessions. Both defenses settled in during the overtimes leading to the draw.
For UMass, this was the sixth double overtime match of the season totaling 119 minutes, 35 seconds of extra time.
Xavier enters the match as one of the more defensive-minded teams in the Atlantic 10 having only allowed four goals in 8 games. Justin Marshall has started 7 matches in goal and is posted a 0.39 goals-against-average, a .906 save percentage, 5 shutouts and a 3-1-3 record. The Musketeers have scored five goals on the year from five different players.
The Minutemen are 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 also one of UMass’ top scoring threats at forward.
Three Minutemen have played in over 70 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 73 appearances while Amick and Vaccaro have played in 72 and 70 games, respectively. Arikian’s 40 points (9 goals, 22 assists) leads the team as do his 5 game-winning goals. Amick is the team’s second leading career scorer with 20 points (8 goals, 4 assists). Chris Piekos leads the clubs goalkeepers with a career 0.86 GAA, a .846 save percentage, and a 4-5-7 record.
Vs. Xavier & Dayton
UMass is 8-6-0 all-time against Xavier with the last meeting a 1-0 win for the Minutemen in 2009. The two teams did not face each other last year as part of the A-10 schedule rotation (along with Dayton). The Minutemen are 8-7-1 against Dayton with the 2009 meeting a 1-0 double-overtime loss to the Flyers. The lone tie between the two clubs occured in the 2007 Atlantic 10 Tournament Quarterfinals where the Minutemen advanced on penalty kicks (4-3) en route to the league championship, and NCAA Tournament berth and an eventual run to the NCAA College Cup.
Arikian Moves Up The List
With 22 assists in 73 career matches, senior Ben Arikian is now tied for 4th all-time at UMass for career assists. The Hermann Watch List selection is tied with Kurt Manal (1984-86) and Andy Bing (1984-87). Arikian needs two more assists to move into a tie for third place (Mike Butler (1994-97) and six to tie for first with Yuri Morales (1999-2002).
Arikian Among NCAA Leaders
With 5 assists on the year, Ben Arikian is tied for 18th nationally in assists per game and is 13th in total assists. Matheus Braga of Penn State leads the country with 10 assists.
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.
This year UMass has played in six double overtime matches posting an 0-1-5 record in those games. The Minutemen have played almost a full 120 minutes extra this season.
All non-overtime games this year have come down to the final seconds with UMass winning or having a chance for a goal in the final minute of play. The game-winner against UCF was scored with 41 seconds to go. In the losses to Harvard & Indiana, UMass had shots in the final 60 seconds but were unable to score. Against Indiana, Andrew Henshaw’s shot with 15 seconds to go hit the right post to prevent the equalizer.
Nearly 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. Until the Harvard match this season, UMass was unbeaten in 18 games when scoring a goal - the last loss when scoring a goal was at New Hampshire (2-1). Indiana handed UMass its second loss of the year when the Minutemen were able to score.
A Good Start Is Key
The first half last season was a key to success for UMass as the Minutemen outscored opponents 8-to-4 despite being outshot 71-to-95. 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. In 2010, UMass trails its opponents in the first half 5-4, but are even in the second half (7-7). The overtime goal against New Hampshire was the first extra time score allowed this year.
Set And Score
UMass used a variety of methods and players when scoring goals last year. Of the 15 goals scored last year, 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. In 2010, five of UMass’ 11 goals have been scored in set-piece situations.
UMass Defense Working To Find Groove
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. This year, UMass ranks 8th in the Atlantic 10 with a 1.32 goals against average after allowing 13 goals in 9 games (8th most in the league).
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 73 career matches at UMass scoring nine goals while adding 22 assists for 40 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, and Indiana.
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 204-142-41. His overall coaching record now stands at 262-195-56 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 45-25-10 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!