Nov. 6, 2008
Postseason Prospects On The Line vs. Billikens Friday, 49ers Sunday
Looking for a shot at the Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship title and a berth to the A-10 Tournament, the UMass men's soccer team (7-6-3, 5-1-1 A-10) has a pair of critical matches at Rudd Field this weekend beginning Friday against No. 10 Saint Louis (9-2-5, 5-2-0 A-10). On Sunday, the Minutemen will host Charlotte in the regular-season finale at 1:00 PM.
Prior to the Charlotte match, UMass will honor its senior class of Tony Bassett, Chris Brown, Mike DeSantis, Prince Ofosu, and Zack Simmons.
UMass has run its current unbeaten streak to six games after a pair of road wins at La Salle and Fordham last weekend to improve to 5-1-1 in league play, good for a second-place tie in the A-10 standings.
Friday's and Sunday's games will be the final two home games of the regular-season. The Minutemen are 12-2-1 in the friendly confines of `Fort Rudd' dating back to last season.
All-time, UMass is 1-2-0 against Saint Louis and 1-1-2 against Charlotte - two of the newest members of the Atlantic 10. Last season, UMass defeated Saint Louis in Missouri as part of a six-game win streak that propelled the Minutemen into the A-10 and NCAA Tournaments. Following the 1-0 win over the Billikens, the Minutemen fell at Charlotte, 1-0, but did defeat the 49ers in the A-10 Championship game to earn the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
The Minutemen are riding a six-game unbeaten streak, including four straight victories, after picking up a 2-0 win at La Salle last Friday and a 2-1 win at Fordham last Sunday.
Senior forward Prince Ofosu leads the team in goals (5) and points (11) which are both career highs. Sophomore Ben Arikian and junior Mark DeSantis rank second and third on the team with 10 and 8 points, respectively. Keeper Zack Simmons continues to be strong in goal for UMass with a 0.88 goals-against-average and an .810 save percentage. Defenders Dan Lepone and Chris Brown have started every game this season on the back row.
UMass vs. The Atlantic 10
Since becoming a league member in 1987, UMass is 106-68-17 all-time versus the Alantic 10 Conference. UMass has won three regular-season titles and two tournament titles in that time. Last season, UMass was 6-3-0 in league play and won the A-10 Tournament. This year, UMass is 5-1-1 in conference action.
All-time, the Minutemen are currently behind on Rhode Island in terms of all-time conference wins (117 for the Rams) and rank fifth in win percentage (.592) among current members. Of the 18 teams who have been members of the Atlantic 10 for soccer, UMass is one of six remaining teams of the original 1987 league: Rutgers, Penn State, Rhode Island, UMass, George Washington, West Virginia, Temple, St. Bonaventure, and Saint Joseph's.
Frequent Flyer Miles
On the Minutemen's last four-game road trip, UMass has logged enough frequent flyer miles to earn a few free trips. All told, the Minutemen have traveled 2,750 miles to Wake Forest (North Carolina), the University of Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure (upstate New York), and Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pa.). The round trip to Wake Forest totaled 1,388 miles, the trip to URI was 238, St. Bonaventure adds 407 miles, while Duquesne is 540 miles. The trip from St. Bonaventure to Duquesne adds another 177 miles to the grand total. By comparison, a cross country trip from Boston to San Francisco would be 3,100 miles - just 400 miles more than what the Minutemen have traveled the past four games.
All told, UMass has played 11 of its 16 games so far on the road this season.
Minutemen Show Depth In Scoring Column
The Minutemen have netted a total of 19 goals this season from 10 different players. Senior Prince Ofosu, sophomore Ben Arikian and junior Mark DeSantis are the only players to have scored multiple goals. Bryant Craft, Sam DeNormandie, Chris Roswess, Stuart Thomson and Chris Vaccaro each scored their first career goals this season.
He Likes To Score In Pairs
Junior forward Mark DeSantis tied his career-high when he netted a pair of goals at St. Bonaventure. The two goals were his first of the season. DeSantis also started the 2007 season with a pair of goals in the win over Dayton (10/12) - his first career goals. DeSantis finished the 2007 season with four goals and six assists for 14 points. For his career, he now has seven goals, 10 assists, and 24 points in 61 career games.
Attendance Mark One Of UMass' Best Ever
A College Cup berth has made the Minutemen a popular commodity in 2008. To date, over 12,000 fans (an average of 1,000) have shown up to the 16 games so far. The high for the season is 5,935 for the Boston University game. That mark currently stands as the sixth highest attendance nationally for a men's soccer match this season. At the ODU STIHL Classic, 1,846 fans came out for the UMass/Old Dominion game.
TOP MEN'S CROWDS OF 2008
1. Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara (Oct. 17), 11,705
2. UCSB-Wake Forest (Sept. 21), 7,408
3. Maryland-Wake Forest (Sept. 26), 6,500
4. South Carolina-Clemson (Aug. 29) 6,102
5. Maryland-Duke (Sept. 19), 6,083
6. Boston Univ.-Massachusetts (Aug. 31), 5,935
7. Saint Louis-Missouri State (Sept. 27), 5,785
8. Connecticut-West Virginia (Oct. 3), 4,407
9. Creighton-Gonzaga (Aug. 29) 4,071
10. UC Santa Barbara-UC Davis (Oct. 11), 4,007
Minutemen Pitch Five Shutouts So Far This Season
The Minutemen earned their first clean sheet of the season against Siena (9/6) with the 1-0 blanking of the Saints. UMass also blanked Vermont (9/28), Duquesne (10/19), George Washington (10/26), and La Salle (10/31). In the last 81 games, the Minutemen have pitched 29 shutouts (1 of every three games).
Arikian Critical In UMass Wins
Sophomore midfielder Ben Arikian has been instrumental in six of UMass' seven wins for the Minutemen this season. Arikian scored the game-winning Golden Goal at Boston University (8/31) just eight seconds into the second overtime period. Against Siena (9/6), he served a direct kick into the box finding Chris Brown for the game-winning goal in the 89th minute. In the win at St. Bonaventure (10/17), he was credited with the game's opening goal. As a freshman, he tallied two goals and a team-high six assists to earn Soccer America All-Freshman Second Team honors and Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team accolades.
Simmons Improving Upon UMass Records
In 2007, keeper Zack Simmons re-wrote the UMass record book for goalkeepers. In 2008, Simmons is looking to put those numbers out of reach for his successors. He holds the career record for wins (39), shutouts (28), and saves (366). He is also closing in on the career goals-against-average of 0.96 with his career average of 0.99 GAA.
Simmons Moving Up On NCAA Charts As Well
With 7,330 minutes of game action logged, Simmons has cracked the NCAA Career Goalkeeper Minutes Played list. With five regular-season games remaining, Simmons is on pace to log just over 7,500 minutes for his career. That total would place him 18th all-time in NCAA history for minutes played by a goalkeeper. All told, he has just missed two games in his career (79 games played).
Iron Men Set Games Played Record
UMass defender Chris Brown and midfielder Mike DeSantis set the all-time UMass career games played record last Friday at La Salle when they suited up for their 80th career matches.
This weekend, the pair will play in career games No. 82 and No. 83. For Brown, he has started all 81 consecutive games leading into the weekend. DeSantis has 75 career starts under his belt.
Jeff Deren (1999-02) - UMass' all-time leading scorer and a two-time All-American - previously held the record with 79 career games.
Keeper Zack Simmons is just behind Brown and DeSantis with 79 consecutive matches.
The `Fort Rudd' Advantage
Few home fields yield such a distinct advantage as Rudd Field, aka FORT RUDD. At home UMass is 40-17-6 since the facility opened in 2002. All told, UMass has pitched 22 shutouts at home and outscored opponents by a 117-74 margin. The Minutemen have scored four or more goals at home on 10 occasions, while allowing that total just once.
Last season, UMass was an amazing 9-1 on the home pitch - including three NCAA Tournament wins. A Rudd Field record 1,863 fans showed up for the NCAA Quarterfinal game vs. Illinois-Chicago.
Sophomore Bryan Hogan scored the 100th goal in Rudd Field history on Oct. 14 in a 2-1 win over A-10 rival Xavier.
Koch Captures Win #250 As Head Coach
Head coach Sam Koch is in his 18th season at UMass and is the winningest coach in the program's 76-year history. Against George Washington, he captured win for #250 of his overall coaching career. His career win total in Amherst stands at 194, while his overall coaching win total is 252 games. Among active NCAA coaches, Koch ranks 21st in overall career wins.
Simmons Twice Named Preseason All-American
Coming off a school-record season where he set career marks for wins (32), shutouts (23) and saves (302) and the single-season record for goals-against-average (0.79), keeper Zack Simmons was named to the Soccer America Preseason All-America First Team and the College Soccer News Preseason All-America Third-Team.
Four Named To Atlantic 10 Preseason Team
Chris Brown, Mike DeSantis, Bryan Hogan, and Zack Simmons were each named to the 2008 Atlantic 10 Men's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team as announced by the league in early July. UMass led the way with four players named to the All-Conference Team.
Minutemen Ranked To Begin The 2008 Season
UMass began the season ranked No. 13 in the NSCAA/adidas Preseason Top 25 National Poll. Additionally, the Minutemen were ranked in four other collegiate soccer preseason national polls. UMass finished the 2007 season ranked No. 4 nationally - its highest ever national ranking.
Soccer America #15
College Soccer News #22
Coburn, McGrath Named To UMass Athletics Hall Of Fame
The University of Massachusetts Athletic Department has inducted five new members into the George "Trigger" Burke UMass Athletic Hall of Fame, making up the class of 2008. The quintet was honored on Friday, October 3, 2008 at a dinner held at the UMass Student Union Ballroom, and they were also recognized at the UMass-Delaware football game the following day. The 2008 Hall of Fame Class was Jack Canniff (ice hockey coach 1967-79), Thomas Coburn (Class of 1974, men's soccer), Jack Foley (Class of 1957, men's basketball), Edward McGrath (Class of 1949, soccer, basketball, baseball), and Ron Wayne (Class of 1971, cross country, track and field).
Streaming Video Live From Rudd Field
The UMass Media Relations Department is proud to announce that the 2008 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 2008 Season
The UMass Media Relations Department offers fans the chance to purchase photos from the 2008 men's soccer season. Simply go to UMassAthletics.com, find the photo you like in our photo galleries and fill out the order form. You have your choice of 4x6, 8x10 and new this year, 11x14 prints - 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!