The Massachusetts men's soccer team opens Atlantic 10 play this weekend, traveling to VCU and George Mason. Friday's game against the Rams at Sports Backers Stadium will follow a VCU women's game and is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday's contest at A-10 newcomer GMU will start at 1 p.m.
Live streaming video will be offered for both games via the Atlantic 10 Digital Network. You can click the links above to watch them for a fee. Free live stats are available using their links above as well.
UMass enters league play with a 1-8-1 overall record. The Minutemen picked up their first win of the season on Sept. 28 when they defeated Siena 5-2 at home. Last week UMass played an exhibition against the Winstars Soccer Academy from Canada, claiming a 4-0 victory.
The Minutemen are averaging just under a goal per game and have a 1,65 goals-against average - both of which are ranked 11th in the league.
Individually, junior F Josh Schwartz has four goals and a pair of assists for 10 points. In the A-10, he ranks tied for sixth in points per game, third in goals and sixth in goals per game.
Redshirt freshman Nick Ruiz has earned every decision this season and posted a 1.69 GAA, a .770 save percentage and 5.7 saves per game. He leads the league in saves and ranks ninth nationally.
The Last Time Out For UMass - 5-2 Win Over Siena
Josh Schwartz re-emerged as the top offensive threat with two goals and two assists, while Mark Morris added a pair of scores in leading UMass to it's first win of the season. The five goals are the most in a game since a 5-0 win over Saint Joseph's in 2003. They are also tied for the sixth-most in Division I this season.
VCU is 4-4-1 on the season and is coming off a non-conference win at home over No. 22 Saint Louis, 2-1. The Rams are 1-2-1 at home this year.
Andrew Wells has played every minute in goal and has a 1.38 GAA with two shutouts.
Six different players have scored with four different Rams notching game winners. Kharlton Belmar leads the team with three goals.
This will be the first meeting between the two schools.
About George Mason
GMU enters the weeend at 5-2-1 overall and will play Rhode Island on Friday night. They opened the season with three wins before going 2-2-1 over the past three weeks. The Patriots are 4-0-1 at home this year.
Wes Server leads the team with four goals, nine points and three game winners. Jannik Eckenrode has three goals.
True freshman Steffen Kraus has a 0.73 GAA and has allowed just six goals thus far. He has four shutouts as well. His GAA ranks 34th nationally and third in the A-10.
UMass won the only previous game with Mason, claiming a 2-1 win at the UNC Tournament on the opening weekend of play in 1986.
Josh Schwartz Named A-10 Player of the Week - Sept. 29
Josh Schwartz scored two goals, including the game-winner, and had two assists in UMass' 5-2 win over Siena. It was the Minutemen's first win of the year after starting 0-8-1. His six-point day was a career-high, was the second highest in the league this year and extended his season totals to four goals and two assists. He moved from tied for 12th in the A-10 in goals to a tie for third place. His 10 points rank sixth-best in the league. The junior forward now has 26 career points on 11 goals and four assists, along with three game-winning goals.
He is the second Minutemen player to earn a weekly award this year, following goalkeeper Nick Ruiz's Rookie of the Week honor after the opening week of the season. The last UMass player to earn player of the week was Chris Piekos on Oct. 11, 2010..
Nick Ruiz Named A-10 Rookie of the Week - Sept. 3
Nick Ruiz was named A-10 Rookie of the Week after posting a 0.44 goals-against average as he made 16 saves, including a career-high nine in a 0-0 tie against Evansville. He also made six saves in 95 minutes of a 1-0 overtime loss at Bradley, who was (and still is) receiving votes in the NSCAA top 25. Both Evansville and Bradley received multiple first place votes in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll.
He is the first Minutemen player to earn a weekly award since Connor Devivo took home Rookie of the Week honors on Oct. 25, 2010.
Schwartz Named Preseason All-Atlantic 10
Junior F Josh Schwartz was among 27 players named to the preseason Atlantic 10 All-Conference team by College Sports Madness. Schwartz was listed among the four second team forwards and the only UMass player.
The Annapolis, Md. native led the Minutemen with five goals, two assists and three game-winners a year ago. He was also named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District team.