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Archive for August 2009

Men’s Soccer vs. Virginia Tech Preview

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Projected Starters-

UMBC (0-0)-
F: Andrew Bulls (8 goals, 2 assists, 26 SOG)
F: Milo Kapor (FRESHMAN)
M: Dustin Dzwonkowski (2 goals, 2 assists, 6 SOG)
M: John Paul Waraksa (3 goals, 2 assists, 3 SOG)
M: Sean Rothe (0 goals, 1 assist, 5 SOG)
M: Levi Houapeu (1 goal, 1 assist, 12 SOG)
D: Joe Green (FRESHMAN)
D: Chris Williams (17 Starts)
D: Liam Paddock (FRESHMAN)
D: Vince Savarese (12 Starts)
GK: Phil Saunders (FRESHMAN)

Key Reserves:
F: Andy Streilein (4 goals, 2 assists, 20 SOG) * at Delaware
F: Matt Knight (Freshman)
M: Dave Veath (Freshman)
D: Jason McCarron (4 Games Played)
GK: Miguel Calderon (DID NOT PLAY)

Virginia Tech (0-0)-
F: Emmanuel Akogyeram (6 goals, 1 assist, 20 SOG)
F: Luiz Yamashita (2 goals, 3 assists, 4 SOG)
M: Clarke Bentley (0 goals, 3 assists, 4 SOG)
M: Robert Alberti (FRESHMAN)
M: Charlie Campbell (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 SOG) *3 games
M: James Gilson (6 goals, 4 assists, 17 SOG)
D: Craig Burrell (12 Starts)
D: Jeremy Williams (8 Starts)
D: James Shupp (19 Starts)
D: Jan Hausfield (5 Starts)
GK: Stefan Caulfield (13 goals allowed, 34 saves, 72.3 save%)

Key Reserves:
M: Austin Stewert (FRESHMAN)
M: Charlie McNew (FRESHMAN)
D: Antony Moulds (Played at Loughborough University in England in 2008)

**Note: the projected starters are just that, projected, and are based of personal observation and even guessing. The coaching staff has not released an starting line up and this roster is not a guarantee.

UMBC surely has a great match to start the season. Virginia Tech may be picked last in the ACC, but they are still an ACC team and they have plenty of talent. UMBC is not expected to do well this season but after beating Rider and a very good George Mason team the Retrievers look to be better than expected. Meanwhile, the Hokies just topped VCU, which historically always has a good team, in a spring game, so they are not expected to be very bad either. There are many interesting position battles for the soccer team and not only will we find out who the starters will be but we will also see if UMBC is as good as they played in the preseason scrimmages.


Who is it going to be: Calderon or Saunders?

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miguel (26)Phil Saunders (4) No position battle has been more heated than the battle for starting goal keeper.  The coaching staff has kept a tight lid on who the starter will be so it is pure speculation at this point.  Both have their positives but both also have reasons that could keep them out of the starting lineup come tomorrow.

Miguel Calderon (left) has been given a great chance to start the season and he has taken advantage of them.  In the spring season Calderon was given the starting position, mostly because there was no other options at goalie, but in the five games he started he recorded four shutouts.  The impressive part though was that two of the shutouts came against very good teams.  The first game was against a professional team, Division II Crystal Palace.  It does not matter if the game was completely meaningless for both teams but nobody wants to lose and Calderon did make very good saves.  The other impressive shutout was against Navy.  Navy has always had a good soccer team but what makes them good is that they are always in shape.  Their military training keeps them a very fit team and for Calderon to shut out a team as good as Navy in the offseason shows a lot.  He also started the first scrimmage, which was a 5-2 win over Rider.  While Calderon did give up two goals that he should have stopped, he also made some very good saves and showed good athleticism.

Phil Saunders (right) is the other man in contention for the starting goalie job.  He played defense in high school but he was the goal keeper for the Baltimore Bay’s when not playing fullback at Perry Hall.  Saunders has a lot of potential.  He has the potential to be one of the top goal keepers in UMBC history.  He only played in one game situation in the pre-season, as he was unable to play in the spring games because he was still in high school.  In the preseason though he started in the second scrimmage against George Mason and was amazing.  He only gave up one goal, which was a penalty kick from the 18.  The odds of stopping that goal is slim-to-none.  But other than that one goal he did not let anything through and really showed great athleticism in the game.

As said, the coaching staff has let nothing out about who is even leading the position battle so only speculation can say who will start.  Calderon could be the starter, as he has more experience, but Caringi is not afraid to send a freshman in early against a good team in a meaningless non-conference game to get him his licks early.

Written by Corey Johns

August 31, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Women’s Soccer Downed By La Salle 5-0

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F- Brook Piper
F- Rachel McKee
F- LeAnne Edgar
M- Megan McDonald
M- Sandra Vacarino
M- Elyse Bilardo
D- Erin Johnson
D- Aly Gazarek
D- Katie Gitlin
D- Christine Sadowski
GK- Mo Van Vlerah

Four shots and only three shots on goal, that’s all the women’s soccer team put up against La Salle. They were outmatched in both of the games they have played so far but to be outscored 9-0 is just not good. When the opposing team has five goals and your team only takes four shots it is impossible to win. Perhaps the team just really doesn’t have the talent it takes to win. If that’s the story then so be it, but they have decent players on the team. They went three forwards in hope to get more offense but it did not result in anything. The junior class is way to talented not to do something on the team. Megan McDonald, Sandra Vacarino, and Elyse Bilardo should all have goals by now, they are good players. Christine Sadowski and Erin Johnson are both above average defenders as well while sophomore goal keeper Mo Van Vlerah, who had four saves on the day, is not bad at all, she’s actually quite good. Hopefully this lack of success is just temporary and they get things together by conference play.

Women’s Soccer @ LaSalle Preview

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Projected Starters:

UMBC (0-1)-
F: Brooke Piper (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 SOG)
F: Rachel McKee (0 goals, 0 assists, 2 SOG)
M: Megan McDonald (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 SOG)
M: Danielle Kell (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 SOG)
M: Elyse Bilardo (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 SOG)
M: Sandra Vacarino (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 SOG)
D: Erin Johnson (1 Start)
D: Aly Gazarek (1 Start)
D: Katie Gitlin (1 Start)
D: Christine Sadowski (1 Start)
GK: Mo Van Vlerah (4 goals allowed, 6 saves, .600 save%)

Key Reserves:
F: LeAnne Edgar (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 SOG)
M: JoAnne Jackson (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 SOG)

LaSalle (2-0)-
F: Melanie Gamble (1 goal, 0 assists, 2 SOG)
F: Traci DePasquale (0 goals, 2 assists, 0 SOG)
M: Ally Kennedy (2 goals, 0 assists, 4 SOG)
M: Lauren Barker (0 goals, 0 assists, 1 SOG)
M: Kierstyn Mabey (1 goal, 0 assists, 4 SOG)
M: Amanda Komarnicki (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 SOG)
D: Sara Copare (2 Starts)
D: Becky McGuigan (2 Starts)
D: Jess Philips (2 Starts)
D: Carissa Mabey (2 Starts)
GK: Gabby Pakhtigian (0 goals allowed, 9 saves, 1.000 save%)

Key Reserves:
F: Dani Allizzo (0 goals, 0 assists, 0 SOG)
M: Morgan Golden (0 goals, 1 assist, 0 SOG)

LaSalle is another very good team that will test UMBC. While Mo Van Vlerah is turning into a good goal keeper, she can only do so much. For the last three season the team only has 44 goals in 56 games (Including the one game so far in 2009). That type of play absolutely has to stop. To win games you must shoot the ball. Even if it’s not a perfect shot you’re shooting and keeping the defense honest. If you don’t shoot they get confident that they are doing everything right…mostly because if you don’t shoot they are doing everything right. Shots do not have to be completely accurate or always go in. They just have to pressure the defense. If UMBC wants to pull out an upset over LaSalle they have to shoot and shoot and shoot. Eventually a shot or two will go in, but you cannot win with zero goals, which the team has had way too much in recent years.

Volleyball beats Long Island, Falls to Northeastern

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Match One: UMBC 3, Long Island 2

OH: Ashley Oscars
MB: Iman Kennedy
MB: Sarah Joy
RS: Ali Loynachan
S: Allie Spaay
L: Helen Smith

Ashley Oscars did what she does best, hit the ball. She racked up 20 kills, hitting 20.9%, and added nine digs to go with it.

Freshman Ali Loynachan added 10 kills and Iman Kennedy is proving Ian Blanchard right as she had 12 kills and the team’s only block.

But none of them could do what they did if it wasn’t for a great match by Allie Spaay, who proved she is a capable setter getting 55 assists.

While Pam Jarrett did not start she is certainly a great call off the bench and she racked up 21 digs.

Match Two: Northeastern 3, UMBC 2

OH: Ashley Oscars
MB: Iman Kennedy
MB: Sarah Joy
RS: Ali Loynachan
S: Kira Giles
L: Helen Smith

While UMBC did not win, Northeastern is a solid team and UMBC took them to the brink. Oscars had another fine offensive game with 13 kills while Loynachan one again impressed, earning 11 kills. They had 10 and nine digs, respectively. But against Northeastern the kills just didn’t come. Other than them, one 13 kills were recorded. Kira Giles set them up nicely, earning 43 assists.

Middle blocking is a slight worry right now. There has only been one block in two matches which accounted for 10 sets. That number must raise if UMBC wants to be successful.

Both Loynachan (21 kills, 15 digs) and Oscars (33 kills and 19 digs, inlcuding a double double) earned a spot on the all-tournament team.

Written by Corey Johns

August 30, 2009 at 12:54 am

Volleyball Madison Bingaman Memorial Tournament Preview

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Projected Starters:

Outside Hitter: Ashley Oscars (306 kills, 23 service aces, 220 digs)
Middle Blocker: Iman Kennedy (41 blocks, 56 Kills, 2 digs)
Right Side Hitter: Alyssa Lang (319 Kills, 44 service aces, 317 digs)
Setter: Kira Giles (759 assists, 15 service aces, 198 digs)
Libero: Pam Jarrett (396 digs, 24 service aces, 31 assists)
Setter: Allie Spaay (375 assists, 10 service aces, 76 digs)

Key Reserves:
OH: Sabrina Hoeks (102 kills, 22 service aces, 105 digs)
OH: Bianca Sande (INJURED IN 2008)
OH: Naomi Bush (FRESHMAN)
MB: Sarah Joy (40 blocks, 78 kills, 11 digs)
RSH: Ali Loynachan (FRESHMAN)
L: Helen Smith (34 digs, 9 service aces, 2 assists)
L: Brighid Casey (FRESHMAN)

The volleyball team may not have a better chance than this season to win a conference championship and make it to the NCAA tournament. They have a great mix of talented experience and youth still reaching their potential. The team will once again revolve around Ashley Oscars. Even though Alyssa Lang was arguably the best player on the team it is still based on Oscars. She draws defenders over to her side of the court and that opens up Lang on the right side. While the team will miss Sarah Ball they have plenty of options at hitter to make up for her. Sabrina Hoeks was having a great season until a knee injury ended it, Bianca Sande returns from a shoulder injury that kept her out in 2008, and freshmen Naomi Bush and Ali Loynachan are both hitters that Blanchard thinks can make an immediate impact.

At middle blocker the team will have to replace Bridget Scheetz, who was one of the best middle blockers in UMBC history. Iman Kennedy was very raw at the start of the season but eventually worked her way into a starting role towards the end of the season to earn the most improved player award. At 6-3 with a wing span that reaches near 7-5, she has the potential to have a breakout season if she progresses like she did last year. Behind her is Sarah Joy, Hoeks, Sande, and Bush.

There shouldn’t be any worry at setter this year. Senior Kira Giles has had a brilliant career while sophomore Allie Spaay is coming off a great freshman season and still has a lot more potential. It is possible that only one will start, which would be Giles, but Ian Blanchard will likely go with two, adding Spaay to the starting six.

The Libero’s, or defensive specialists, will be a very experienced group on the floor. Two seniors, Pam Jarrett and Helen Smith, are both solid options on the floor and have both has solid careers so far. Jarrett will once again be the starter while Smith is coming back from an injury. Brighid Casey will provide depth.

While it is unknown what formation Blanchard decides to start, he has plenty of talented options to fill any of them.

Bulls Scores Two Goals in 2-1 Win in Scrimmage aganst George Mason

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If UMBC plays anything like they have in the preseason scrimmages and spring ball they will be more than just a surprise, they can make a serious run at a championship. George Mason is a very good team. They 14-7-2 last year and made their way to the third round of the NCAA tournament only to lose to the soon to be national champions Maryland. This year they were unanimously picked to repeat as CAA champs after returning the majority of the players from last year and they are ranked No. 29 in the preseason polls. While it was a scrimmage, UMBC played much better technically than their last scrimmage, and that was without the rock in the middle of the field, Sean Rothe, who was kept off the field with a minor knee injury that Pete Caringi did not want to risk getting worse.

Andy Streilein got the start in his place and looked very good once again. He is very quick and very aggressive and will take shots for UMBC. He looks like he’s going to be a solid option off the bench for UMBC.

Andy Streilein started in place of the injured Sean Rothe and locked up a spot in the rotation off the bench.

Andy Streilein started in place of the injured Sean Rothe and locked up a spot in the rotation off the bench.

In goal Phil Saunders got his turn to show the staff what he can do. Saunders actually played very well. The goal he gave up was off a free kick from the 15 and the success rate of blocking that is slim-to-none.  He had some great saves as well and really looked impressive.  Personally I think the job is Miguel Calderon’s.  Saunders looked very good and he has a ton of potential but I think at least for the opening game against Virginia Tech Caringi will go with experience.  Then again he could try and get Saunders some early licks and tested against good teams.  Either way the job is completely up in the air and nobody will know who the starter will be until that first game comes.

Phil Saunders is battling Miguel Calderon for the starting goal keeper position

Phil Saunders is battling Miguel Calderon for the starting goal keeper position

On the offensive end, both of UMBC’s goals came from Andrew Bulls, who now has four goals in the two preseason scrimmaged.  In the spring Bulls netted eight goals and as expected, looks like he will be an absolute force at forward for UMBC.  sophomore’s rarely are considered for striker of the year, but with Cameron Keith out at Binghamton, it should be a good battle between Bulls, Hartofrd Carlos Villa, and Albany’s Claudio Dantas.  Bulls had the chance to score three.  His first attempt was just wide right but he came back aggressive.  He scored off a break away in the first half and in the second half off a free kick.  Caringi designed a perfect play that had three players run to fake the defenders, and Bulls just took a shot as the defensive wall openned up and he put a rocket kick in the back of the goal.

Andrew Bulls has scored four goals in two scrimmages.

Andrew Bulls has scored four goals in two scrimmages.

Defensively the team looked much better.  Liam Paddock really redeamed himself and had a phenomenal game, which naturally Chris Williams and Vince Savarese were lock down.  Joe Green may be moved to the bench though.  He was not overly impressive but it is ore to do with Jason McCarron having a great second half.  McCarron has really impressed the coaches this summer and very well may have pushed his way into the starting lineup.  Mike Gutowski however has missed his shot.  He played well in the last scrimmage but he has not been showing it in practice.  He did not get any time in the scrimmage against George Mason and may have put himself back on the bench fighting for minutes.

Overall it was a great showing for UMBC.  They played a lot of players and looked very good against a good team.  They definitely outplayed George Mason for the majority of the game, especially in the first half and really look like a sleeper in the America East Conference.