Hens Hit The Road Twice for CAA Action This Week, Wednesday at Towson, Saturday at UNCW
October 25, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- With its home conference schedule completed, the University of Delaware Men’s Soccer team will hit the road for this week’s Colonial Athletic Association games.
The Hens open the week with a mid-day tilt at Towson University on Wednesday. Game time is set for 3 p.m. at the Towson Center Soccer Complex. On Saturday, the Hens head to Wilmington, N.C. to face the Seahawks of UNCW. That game will be played at 7 p.m. at UNCW Soccer Stadium.
This week it is essential to continue to focus on clinching a CAA slot and to get back to the tournament, which waits just around the corner. Our last 3 games are on the road and all will be a difficult,” said sixth-year head coach Ian Hennessy, who logged his first double-digit win season. “The simple truth is there are no easy games in the CAA and history has repeatedly shown this. The spirit of the group continues to be positive and I hope they can continue to draw upon this in the coming week to get the one victory that I feel will lock up a playoff slot.”
A live statistical feed will be available for Saturday’s game on BlueHens.com. Please navigate to the men’s soccer home page and select Schedule/Results in the Related Links on the right side of the page. The Live Stats link is located in the Multimedia column of the schedule.
Saturday night’s win gave the Hens their 10th of the season, just one shy of the school record of 11, set in 1984 and 1985.
Delaware, which has already locked up a winning season in 2011, will look to advance to a conference tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history.
With its two goals over William & Mary, Delaware has posted the most team goals (30) under Ian Hennessy, who took over in 2006. The 2011 Hens are one of nine teams in the history of the program, which is in its 85th season, have scored 30 or more goals. The team accomplished that feat in 14 games, third fewest games needed to hit 30 goals in a single season.
With four games left on the schedule and a team scoring average of 2.14 goals per game, Delaware could tie the school scoring record of 38, set in a 16-game season in 1982.
Another piece of history was made on Saturday night as the Hens knocked off William & Mary for just the second time in program history. Both victories came under Hennessy. The win was also the first time Delaware knocked off the Tribe in Newark.
Among the Tops in the Country:
With the stunning upset of perennial CAA favorite William & Mary, Delaware jumped up two spots in this week’s NSCAA South Atlantic Regional Rankings, grabbing the No. 7 spot. Delaware is the third-ranked CAA team in the region, just behind Old Dominion (2) and James Madison (4). The seventh-spot represents the highest regional ranking for Delaware this season.
After this week’s RPI was released, Delaware moved up 13 spots to the No. 32 slot out of 203 NCAA Division I teams in the country, moving Delaware into the 16-percentile. The No. 32 RPI ranking is believed to be the highest Delaware has achieved for men’s soccer.
This Week’s Honors:
Senior forward Evans Frimpong (above at right) has earned a pair of weekly honors, announced on Monday. The speedy forward was named CAA Co-Player of the Week, earning the first conference weekly honors of his career. The Preseason All-CAA selection was also named one of CollegeSoccer360.com Primetime Players.
Delaware has now earned four weekly conference accolades, two National 5 & 10 Best of the Blue Hens Athlete of Week honors, two national Team of the Week selections and one regional team of the week nod.
Home, Sweet Home:
Delaware Mini-Stadium has been a place of comfort for the Blue Hens over the last two seasons, where Delaware has a combined 10-1-0 record in conference action. Overall in the last two seasons, Delaware is 13-4-0 at home, including both CAA and non-conference games.
Scoring comes naturally at Delaware Mini-Stadium as the Hens have tallied 18 goals in home conference games the last two years, averaging 1.6 goals per game. Senior Evans Frimpong has six goals and a helper in CAA games the last two seasons while fellow senior Kyle Ellis has two goals and four assists for eight points.
James Madison and Old Dominion currently sit atop the CAA standings with 21 points apiece. Delaware is close behind with 15 points and tied with William & Mary. Northeastern has 13 points in fifth place while Georgia State and VCU are tied with 12.
The Series: Towson
Wednesday’s game will be the 31st meeting between Delaware and Towson. The two schools have meeting at least once in each of the last 27 seasons. All-time, Towson controls the rivalry, which is separated by just 58 miles, 25-3-2.
Last season, Delaware nabbed a 1-0 win, which proved to be crucial to the team’s push for the playoffs. The goal, scored by current now-coach Jon Scheer and assisted by current senior Kyle Ellis, snapped a four-game scoreless skid against Towson. The win was the first for UD since 1997, a span of 13 meetings. During that time, the Tigers collected 11 wins with just one tie.
Ellis is the only member of the team that has a career point against Towson, picking up one last season with the game-winning assist a year ago.
The Series: UNCW
Satuday’s showdown with UNCW will be the 10th meeting all-time. The series began in 2002 when Delaware joined the CAA. The Seahawks have been competing in the CAA since 1984.
Delaware has won just one match in the previous nine meetings and that win came last season. Delaware’s 1-0 win over UNCW, the second of three 1-0 season-ending wins to claim a spot in the CAA tournament, came about on a Vincent Mediate goal in the 48th minute.
In the first eight meetings, UNCW controlled the action, shutting out the Hens in the first three games. Delaware has since scored a goal in five of the most recent six games, including an active three-game streak. Delaware will look to buck the low scoring trend, never putting away more than one goal against the Seahawks.
Mediate and Darren O’Connor are the only two Hens currently on the squad with goals against UNCW.
Scouting the Hens (as of 10/25/11):
Delaware notched its third win in a row on Saturday, knocking off defending CAA champion William & Mary 2-0 for the first time ever in Newark. Evans Frimpong posted both goals en route to his multiple weekly honors.
Delaware’s top three offensive threats are among the top players in the country, including Roberto Giménez who is ranked in eighth in points per game (2.18), the three-time CAA Rookie of the Week is 20th in total points (24), 13th in goals per game (0.82), 26th in total goals (9), 10th in assists per game (0.55) and 32nd in total assists (6).
Joining Giménez in the rankings is Evans Frimpong, who sits in 15th in points per game (1.86). He is also 15th in total points (26) and goals per game (0.79) while being ranked No. 14 in total goals (11). Frimpong has the four assists, good enough for 129th in the rankings.
The two are one of the top offensive duos in the country, ranking second as a pairing in both total points and total goals, trailing John Stertzer and Casey Townsend of Maryland, which was ranked No. 1 in the most recent NSCAA National Rankings.
Kyle Ellis is also amongst the nations elite. His 1.0 points per game rank him 99th while he is 105th in total points (14). He is 87th in goals per game (0.43) and 79th in total goals (6.0).
In goal, Kris Devaux (above at left) is 59th amongst keepers with a goals against average of 0.979. He is also No. 65 with a 79.1 save percentage and101st in saves per game (3.78)
As a team, Delaware’s offense ranks ninth in the country, averaging 2.14 points per game. The Hens 30 goals are 17th nationally and by allowing 1.22 goals per game, Delaware is ranked 102nd.
One of the Hens’ top stats however, is their Won-Lost-Tied percentage, which ranks 16th at 75.0 percent.
Scouting the Tigers (as of 10/25/11):
Towson is coming off of a big 2-1 win over UNCW on Saturday, the Tiger’s first conference win of the season, improving to 2-10-1 overall and 1-7-0 in the league.
Phil Martinelli, Towson’s second leading point getter, scored the game-winning goal against UNCW in the 64th minute. On the season, he has nine points on three goals and three helpers, trailing Olakunle Banjo’s 10 points (4g, 2a).
Christian Hoffer is the only other Tiger with multiple goals, scoring three with one assist for seven points. Five Towson players have one goal apiece.
John Steele has been the majority starter in the goal for Towson this season, getting the nod on 10 occasions. He has played in 860 minutes, making 38 saves (73.1 percent) and allowing just 1.47 goals per game.
Steele is backed up by Angelo Vitertti, who has made two starts and logged 218 minutes with 14 saves as well as Nathan Moran, who has played in 126 minutes and made six saves.
Scouting the Seahawks (as of 10/25/11):
The Seahawks slipped 3-11-1 overall and 1-7-1 in the CAA after dropping a 2-1 decision at Towson on Saturday. Thomas Driver scored the lone UNCW goal.
Daniel Roberts is UNCW’s lead scorer, earning seven points on one goal but a whopping five assists. Driver is the top goal scorer, tallying three on the year for six points. Jacob Vancompernolle also has six points on two goals and a pair of assists. Three Seahawks have four points on two goals. The trio is comprised of Etienne Boulanger, Shawn Guderian and Jack Ward.
Between the pipes for UNCW, Brandon Miller has played every minute of Seahawk soccer this season, putting in 1,370 minutes worth of action. He has made 57 saves in that time, facing 189 total shots from opponents. He has a goals against average of 1.71 and stops 68.7 percent of the shots he faces.
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