November 2, 2013

Men’s Soccer Preview: Beacons Travel to RIC with Playoff Dreams on the Line

BOSTON, Mass. - The phrase "it all comes down to this" truly describes men's soccer must-win match tomorrow afternoon as they face Rhode Island College at 1 p.m. in Providence, R.I. with the final spot in this year's Little East Conference tournament on the line.

WHAT'S ON THE LINE

With a win or a tie the Beacons will earn the fourth-seed in this year's tournament.  If successful it will mark the first LEC tournament appearance for UMB since 2006 and first postseason showing since 2011 when they competed in the ECAC tournament.

Rhode Island College will be looking for their first trip back to the LEC postseason since the 2011 campaign when they entered the tournament as the fourth seed.  They are also looking to earn their first conference title since 2008 as well. 

HISTORY BETWEEN THE TWO

The history between UMass Boston and Rhode Island College has been a back-and-forth affair every time the two squads stepped onto the pitch.  In the 31 meetings between UMB and RIC, the Anchormen have defeated the Beacons 19 times.  UMass has recorded a combined 10 wins when facing their long-time rival.  The two squads also share two ties as well. 

Going into tomorrow's match, the Anchormen are riding a two-game win-streak, with the Beacons last win coming in 2010 in the form of a 2-1 overtime victory.  Last season, the Anchormen defeated the Beacons by the score of 1-0, while the year before that RIC earned a 2-1 decision in a wild contest.

SCOUTING THE ANCHORMEN

Going into Saturday's match the Anchormen carry an overall record of 7-5-5 and are 2-2-2 in the Little East Conference.  Emmanuel Asiedu leads the team with nine goals, four assists, and 22 points.  Behind him are Camilo Estrada and Jose Zarraga who each have seven goals this season.  Anderson Monteiro sits second on the team in helpers with three followed by Estrada, who has a pair.

Goalkeeper Chris Moura has played a majority of the minutes this season and boasts a record of 5-5-5 which includes four shutouts.  In over 1,400 minutes Moura has tallied 79 stops and has allowed 23 goals against for a 1.47 goal against average. 

As a squad, the Anchormen are ranked fourth in the Little East in points with 91 (5.35 ppg), goals with 32, and goals per game with 1.88.  They are also fifth in assists (16) and assists per game (0.94).  Their combined goal against average of 1.45 has them sitting third, while their 94 stops is second most this season.  A very physical team, the Anchormen lead the LEC in fouls averaging over 13 per game. 

SCOUTING THE BEACONS

UMass Boston has been making history all season long under first year head coach Jake Beverlin.  Currently sitting with 11 wins, the Beacons have produced only the eighth 10+ win season in program history.  They will step onto the pitch tomorrow with a record of 11-6-1, 3-2-1 in the LEC. 

Leading the Beacons throughout the 2013 campaign has been the one-two punch of Marcus Pizzetti (Malden, Mass.) and Edmilson Barros (Boston, Mass.).  Contenders for All-Little East Conference First Team honors the very capable duo have recorded 23 goals and nine assists for a whopping 55 points respectively.  Pizzetti was named the Offensive Player of the Week this past Monday, with Barros also earning conference honors throughout his first season with the Beacons.

Behind them is Rolando Barbosa (Fogo, Cape Verde) who sits with eight goals and two assists.  Junior captain Douglas Silveira (Revere, Mass.) is ranked second on the team with four assists, and has also found the back of the net three times.  Combined a total of 13 different players have registered at-least one point this fall.

Not to be outdone the Beacons backline has been just as impressive led by two-time LEC Goalkeeper of the Week Alfonso Rosales (Revere, Mass.) and sophomore sweeper Dylan Hawkins (North Easton, Mass.).  Another dangerous combination these two players have anchored a Beacons defensive third that is allowing 1.45 goals against per game going into Saturday.  Rosales currently sits tied for second all-time at UMass Boston for wins in a season with 11.  He also has four shutouts and has made 85 saves in 1,655 minutes of playing time.

In the LEC the Beacons offense leads the conference in points, goals, and assists.  To date they have tallied 111 points in 18 games played.  They have found the back of the net 42 times and have dished out a total of 27 assists. 

The Beacons five combined shutouts is third most in the conference, while their 85 total saves ranks them fourth. 

WHAT'S NEXT

The winner of tomorrow's match will face the top-seeded Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth next Wednesday in North Dartmouth, Mass.  A start time will be announced following the conclusion of tomorrow's match.