Men's Soccer Hosts Hofstra on Tuesday in CAA Championship First Round
Nov. 10, 2008
FAIRFAX, Va. - After closing the season with four consecutive victories, the George Mason men's soccer team enters the first round of the CAA Championship with the longest winning streak in the conference. The third-seeded Patriots will attempt to extend that streak and avenge a previous loss to Hofstra when they host the sixth-seeded Pride on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at George Mason Stadium.
Tickets to the match will be available at the gate and cost $5 for adults and $2 for youth and senior citizens. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $2 per ticket and may contact the George Mason Athletic Ticket Office on Monday for a group order. Orders can be placed by calling the ticket office at 703-993-3270.
George Mason needed a win on Friday at Old Dominion to clinch a spot in the CAA Championship. The Patriots took control of the match early and cruised to a 3-1 win over a Monarch squad that entered the match in a three-way tie for second place in the conference standings. With the win, Mason closed the regular season with a 10-6-2 overall record and 6-4-1 mark in CAA matches.
The win completed a remarkable turnaround for the Patriots, who leapt from a tie for ninth place in the conference standings with only three matches remaining in the regular season to the third seed in the conference tournament. At the time, the schedule didn't appear favorable as Mason had to play the top three teams in the standings to close the regular season. However, the Patriots played their best soccer of the season during the stretch, ending third-place Drexel's seven-match unbeaten streak with a 2-0 win on Oct. 29 and snapping first-place UNCW's five-match winning streak with a 1-0 shutout on Nov. 1 before Friday's win over second-place Old Dominion.
Hofstra was in a similar situation, needing to win just to qualify for the conference tournament. The Pride had a tough task, facing the top team in the CAA in UNC Wilmington, but rose to the occasion, defeating the Seahawks 1-0 in overtime in Wilmington, N.C. on a clutch goal by Justin Flood to clinch the final spot in the tournament. Hofstra wrapped up the 2008 regular season with a 6-8-4 overall record and 5-3-3 record in CAA matches.
George Mason's attack ranks in the top-five in the conference in shots, points, goals and assists. Senior forward Kwame Adjeman-Pamboe, the CAA Player of the Week on Nov. 3, has been on a roll recently, scoring four goals and tallying three assists in the past four matches, all Patriot wins. Adjeman-Pamboe leads the team in points (15), goals (5) and assists (5) this season. Mason's defensive unit is tied for second in the conference with seven shutouts. Junior goalkeeper Sean Kelley has started 16 matches with a 0.90 goals against average and 59 saves in nearly 1500 minutes of action.
Freshman Brett Carrington has been a sparkplug off the bench for the Pride, ranking among the conference leaders in points, points per game, goals and goals per game. Carrington is tied for fifth in the CAA in points (16), fifth in points per game (0.89), tied for second in goals (7) and tied for third in goals per game (0.39). Hofstra has a freshman in goal in Greg Cumpstone, who has posted a 1.22 goals against average, 46 saves and four shutouts in 11 matches this season.
In the team's only meeting of the 2008 season, Hofstra defeated George Mason 1-0 on Oct. 22 on a late score by junior midfielder Rory McCrea in the 85th minute. George Mason holds a 7-2-2 advantage in the all-time series with Hofstra. The only meeting between the two schools in the CAA Championship came during the 2006 season when they played in the title match. The Pride defeated the Patriots to capture the CAA title that season after winning the penalty kick shootout.
The winner of Tuesday's opening round match between Hofstra and George Mason will advance to the semifinal round of the CAA Championship, held on Friday, Nov. 14 at the home of the top seed, UNC Wilmington. Either the Patriots or the Pride will take on No. 2 seed William and Mary in the semifinal match. ODU earned the fourth seed in the tournament and will host the fifth seed, Northeastern, in the other opening round match on Tuesday. The winner of that match will play UNCW in the semifinals. The CAA Championship match will take place on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m.