No. 3 Maryland men’s soccer was held scoreless for the second time this season on Friday against No. 6 Michigan State, but the Terps’ defensive dominance continued in another scoreless draw. Maryland has gone 508 minutes without conceding a goal, holding opponents scoreless for five straight matches.
After starting the Big Ten schedule with two wins and two ties, the Terps will take a quick midweek break from conference play to take on UMBC Tuesday night for the fourth meeting in the last 10 years.
The Terps are 14-3-3 against the Retrievers all-time, but lost 1-0 at Ludwig Field in the 2014 NCAA Tournament after drawing 0-0 in the regular season. The last time Maryland traveled to play UMBC, the Terps won 4-3 in double-overtime in 2011.
The Retrievers are 4-1 at home this season, but are coming off a loss on Saturday in Baltimore to No. 12 Western Michigan. They did, however, upset No. 19 West Virginia at home earlier this season.
UMBC Retrievers (5-2-1)
2016 Record: 5-9-3, 0-7 America East
Head coach Pete Caringi. Three years after leading the Retrievers to a College Cup appearance, Caringi enters his 27th year at UMBC. He’s the third coach in UMBC athletics history to lead his program for at least 25 seasons. He helped the Retrievers to three straight America East titles from 2012-2014.
Players to watch
Junior defender Kyle Saunderson, No. 5. After not scoring in each of his first two seasons, the defender already has three goals this season. Two of his three scores were game-winners against Bryant and West Virginia, and all of them have come during home matches.
Senior midfielder Gregg Hauck, No. 13. The veteran has nine goals and seven assists in 57 games as a Retriever. He has two goals already this season with more shots on goal than he had all last season. He scored a game-winning goal in overtime earlier this season against Monmouth.
Generating opportunities. One of the more impressive UMBC statistics is its 7.8 corner kicks per game. The Retrievers also average over 16 shots and have had fewer than 10 shots in a game just once this season. Even in two games against ranked opponents, they have 25 total shots.
A young goalkeeper. Ciaran O’Loughlin hasn’t been a weakness this season and has played well in his first eight collegiate games, but playing against Maryland will be his toughest test yet. He’s the only freshman Retriever to start this season, allowing nine goals with 25 saves. He’s only been forced to make 3.1 saves per game, so he’ll likely be pressured more often than ever before.
Three things to watch
- Maryland shouldn’t overlook its local foe. Even though UMBC hasn’t played teams comparable to the ones Maryland has faced, the Retrievers have played two ranked opponents. They beat No. 19 West Virginia 3-1 before losing their last game, 2-0, against No. 12 Western Michigan. Midweek games in the middle of conference play aren’t always easy, and the Retrievers have already won four games at home this season.
- Can the Terps turn more shots into goals? The Terps have 60 shots in their last four games, but have only five goals to show for it. Maryland had 20 shots in its draw against Michigan State on Friday, so this game could be a good opportunity to put the ball in the net before hosting Northwestern this weekend.
- And the obvious: When is this shutout streak going to end? If the Terps hold UMBC scoreless on Tuesday, it’ll be their sixth consecutive shutout, which would set a program record. Since UCLA’s 79th-minute goal on Sept. 1, 508 minutes have gone by without a score on Dayne St. Clair and the Terps defense. Average soccer fans might not enjoy low-scoring soccer games, but this streak is getting absolutely entertaining to follow.