Thomas Ballenthin and the Friars will host Boston University and Michigan State this weekend at Glay Field.
Providence is coming off a narrow 1-0 defeat to now 22nd-ranked Brown in Monday evening's 2012 Ocean State Classic title game. The neutral site contest was played at the University of Rhode Island Soccer Complex in Kingston, R.I. Red shirt sophomore goalkeeper Keasel Broome (Claymont, Del.) finished with one save in the Friar goal and Broome, sophomore Brandon Adler (Montville, N.J.) and red shirt junior Wilder Arboleda (Pawtucket, R.I.) were named to the 2012 Ocean State Classic All-Tournament Team.
The Friars had advanced to the title game of the Ocean State Classic for the third consecutive season with an opening-round double overtime win at Bryant, 1-0. Arboleda netted the game-winning goal with 53 seconds to play, giving Providence Head Coach Craig Stewart his first career victory while leading the Friars. It also marked Broome's first career win in the Friar goal.
All told, Providence is 1-3-0 on the season, having dropped its season-opener to Northeastern, 2-1, in double-overtime (Aug. 24) and then dropping a 3-1 decision at Monmouth (Aug. 27). Arboleda, junior Anthony Baumann (Spring Hill, Fla.) and senior Keith Jecewiz (Smithtown, N.Y.) have scored the three Providence goals in the early going.
The Friars are coming off of a successful 2011 campaign, having finished the year with an 11-8-1 overall record and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the second-consecutive season. Providence returns four of its top five scorers from a year ago, including the team's leading scorer in sophomore Marcos Ugarte (Providence, R.I.), who tallied 15 points on six goals and three assists as a freshman. The Friars have advanced to the NCAA Championship in five of the last seven seasons and have put together a string of seven consecutive winnings seasons.
Boston University: The Terriers enter Friday's contest with a 1-3-0 mark. They opened the season with a 3-0 loss at 13th-ranked St. John's (Aug. 24) but then rebounded to knock-off 11th-ranked Boston College, 1-0 (Aug. 27). Most recently, BU dropped decisions at ACC foes Wake Forest and North Carolina. Against the 16th-ranked Demon Deacons, the Terriers fell 3-1 (Aug. 31), and then against the top-ranked Tar Heels, BU fell, 2-1 (Sept. 2).
The match versus the Friars will be the fifth of sixth straight road contests for the Terriers. Boston University's three goals have been scored by three different players, while Derek McCaffrey leads the team in scoring with a goal and an assist. In net, sophomore Nick Thomson has played all 360 minutes in the Terrier goal, making 18 saves while posting a .692 save percentage.
Last season, the Terriers posted a 9-9-0 overall mark, including a 5-2-0 record in America East play. In the America East tournament, BU advanced to the semifinals where it fell to Hartford, 1-0.
The Friars and Terriers last met on Oct. 4, 2011 in Boston, Mass. Boston University won at Nickerson Field, 1-0, on a late game-winning goal scored by Stephen Knox in the 88th minute.
Michigan State: The Spartans swing out east with a 1-2-1 record. Before taking on the Friars in Sunday afternoon, Michigan State will play at Ivy League foe Harvard on Friday, Sept. 7. The Spartans most recently fell to No. 2/4 Connecticut, 1-0, in East Lansing, Mich. on Sept. 3.
Michigan State opened the year with a 0-0 tie with Valparaiso (Aug. 24) and followed with a 1-0 double overtime loss at home to New Hampshire (Aug. 26). The Spartans then recorded their first win of the year at Bowling Green, 2-1 (Aug. 29). Senior Domenic Barone had a goal and an assist, including the game-winning strike, to lead MSU to the win. Junior Bryce Dobbins has played every minute of every game thus far in the Michigan State goal, posting a 0.69 goals against average to go along with 11 saves on the year.
Last season, Michigan State posted a 7-8-4 overall record, including a 2-2-2 mark in Big Ten play. The Spartans were then ousted in the Big Ten quarterfinals by ninth-ranked Indiana, 2-1.
The Friars and Michigan State played for the first time ever on Sept. 9, 2010, when the then 23rd-ranked Spartans recorded a 4-0 win in East Lansing, Mich. Current Providence senior Marc Cintron had two shots in that game.
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