Men's soccer collides with UMBC in the AE Semifinals
Nov. 6, 2012
2012 Stony Brook Men's Soccer
Game #18: America East Semifinals
Wed., Nov. 7 • Retriever Soccer Park • Baltimore, Md. • 7 p.m.
Stony Brook Seawolves (11-5-1, 4-3-0 America East)
UMBC Retrievers (10-4-4, 4-2-1 America East)
The Matchup: No. 3 seed Stony Brook seeks a return to the America East Championship final. Standing in its way is UMBC, the No. 2 seed and winner of a 1-0 match over the Seawolves during the regular season. The Seawolves are coming off a hard-fought 5-4 win over No. 6 seed Binghamton. The Retrievers had a bye in the first round and last played on Oct. 27, earning a 3-0 win over Binghamton. This is the 14th all-time meeting between these two teams, and the Retrievers lead 7-6-0. They have met twice in the playoffs with each team winning on its home field. Stony Brook beat UMBC in the final in 2009 at LaValle Stadium; UMBC beat Stony Brook in Baltimore in the 2010 semifinals. Stony Brook is searching for its first-ever America East Championship road victory.
The Opponent: The Retrievers are hot right now, winners of five straight matches. The team was sitting at 0-2-1 in the conference when they had a breakthrough against Boston University, beating the Terriers 5-1. Then came the five-game winning streak that surged them from potentially missing the America East Championship to receiving a first-round bye. A big part of this has been the offense, which has exploded for 18 goals during this winning streak, an average of 3.6 goals per game. Nine of those 18 goals have been scored by Pete Carinigi III, the America East Striker of the Year who leads the conference with 14 goals and 32 points. It hasn't been all offense, as UMBC has allowed the second-fewest goals in the league (17).
Last Time Out: In one of the wildest America East soccer matches in recent history, the Seawolves coughed up a 2-1 lead to Binghamton, found themselves down 4-2 with 20 minutes remaining, only to fight back and tie the game with 44.5 seconds remaining. Then in overtime, Will Casey got a touch in the box and buried the game-winner to lift Stony Brook past the Bearcats 5-4. Alejandro Fritz tied an America East Championship record with five points in the game on two goals and an assist, including the game-tying goal late in the second half. Raphael Abreu and Leonardo Fernandes also scored for the Seawolves.
Postseason History: Stony Brook is 6-3-3 all-time in America East Championship matches, and the team has advanced by penalty kicks in each of the three ties. The Seawolves are also undefeated in home playoff games with a 6-0-2 record.
America East Honors: The Seawolves cleaned up in the America East awards this season. Leonardo Fernandes was crowned America East Midfielder of the Year for the third consecutive season. He also was named first-team All-America East for the third straight year. Raphael Abreu, Berian Gobeil Cruz, Marius Krathe and Kyle Schlesinger were all named second-team All-America East. Alejandro Fritz and Martin Giordano were both named to the All-Rookie team, and Schlesinger was also placed on the All-Academic team.
In the Rankings: Stony Brook has been ranked in the NSCAA Northeast Region poll each week this season except for one. Here are the Seawolves weekly rankings.
Quite the Rankings Debut: In the NCAA's first RPI rating of the 2012 season released on Oct. 16, the Seawolves came in at No. 46, the highest ranked team in America East. RPI, which is the Ratings Percentage Index, is a formula used to rank all the teams in Div. I soccer and is a component of how teams are chosen for at-large berths into the NCAA Tournament.
Starting Fast the Key: Stony Brook is 18-2-1 under head coach Ryan Anatol when the team scores the first goal of the game. Both losses have come this season (Oct. 5 vs. Boston University, Oct. 27 at Vermont)
Leo the Lion: Senior Leonardo Fernandes is quickly rising up the Stony Brook Men's Soccer record book. As one of the program's most decorated student-athletes, he has posted some incredible numbers and earned some outstanding honors. Here's the list:
Keeper Records: After a 1-0 shutout at Albany on Sept. 29, senior Stefan Manz is now the all-time leader in career shutouts in program history with 18. He is also first all-time in goalkeeper wins in program history with 29.
America East Rookie of the Week: Martin Giordano was named America East Rookie of the Week on Sept. 24 for posting a goal and an assist in Stony Brook's 1-0-1 week. Giordano scored less than a minute into SB's match at Sacred Heart and then assisted on the game-tying goal at Central Connecticut.
America East Player of the Week: Following a three-goal, one-assist weekend Sept. 14-16, Leonardo Fernandes was named America East Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career.
Making the pass: Freshman Alejandro Fritz notched a pair of assists vs. Buffalo on Sept. 16, matching the program's all-time single-game record. It's the 12th time in program history it's occurred. Fritz also scored a goal two days earlier against Fordham, giving him a strong four-point weekend.
What a Start: Freshman Alejandro Fritz scored a goal on his first collegiate shot, and it represented the game-winner in a 5-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Aug. 24. The effort netted Fritz America East Rookie of the Week honors.
Preseason Pick: Stony Brook goes into 2012 as the favorite to repeat as America East champion. The Seawolves were picked first in the preseason coaches poll, receiving six out of a possible seven first-place votes.
Tough Schedule: Stony Brook has a tough 16-game schedule that includes eight matches against teams that finished in the top 100 in RPI last season.
Up Next: If Stony Brook wins, it will advance to the America East Championship final for the second consecutive season. The game will either be at top-seed Vermont Sunday at 1 p.m., or at home at LaValle Stadium Saturday at 7 p.m.