Men's Soccer | 10/30/2018 1:54:00 PM
MEN'S SOCCER vs. RHODE ISLAND (SENIOR NIGHT)
Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 | 7 p.m.
Fairfax, Va. | George Mason Stadium
Mason (6-7, 4-3 Atlantic 10); Rhode Island (12-3, 5-2 Atlantic 10)
Rhode Island leads 4-3
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The Patriots will honor their seven seniors before Wednesday's game with a special on-field ceremony. Mason will recognize its seven seniors: Jordan Edwards
, Zion Gray
, Clark Gronek
, Graydon Hester
, Tolu Ibikunle
, Tomas Lapnas
and Agnar Sverrisson
. Edwards, Gronek and Lapnas have been with the program all four years.
SCOUTING RHODE ISLAND
The Rams (12-3, 5-2 A-10) have won six of seven, including a 2-1 victory over Saint Joseph's in their most recent outing on Saturday. The Rams are in second place in the Atlantic 10 standings, just one point behind leader VCU. Rhode Island has been ranked as high as 23rd in the United Soccer Coaches poll this season and is currently receiving 42 votes – just one spot outside the top 25. Senior Dominik Richter leads the Rams with eight goals, five assists and 21 points. Redshirt freshman Edvin Akselsen and junior Stavros Zarokostas have each scored seven goals.
The Rams lead the all-time series 4-3. The teams last met on Oct. 29, 2016, Rhode Island picking up a 3-1 victory in Kingston, R.I. Mason defeated URI 2-1 on Nov. 7, 2015, in the Rams' last trip to Fairfax.
A-10 TOURNEY IMPLICATIONS
Mason (6-7, 4-3) has locked up a spot in the A-10 Men's Soccer Championship for the first time in four years. The Patriots are currently tied with Saint Louis for fifth place in the conference. Mason's seeding for the eight-team tournament is still up in the air. The Patriots could finish as high as second or as low as eighth. A win against Rhode Island would significantly help Mason's chances in hosting a first-round game on Sunday. The top four seeds host the first-round contests before the semifinals and championship game shift to Saint Louis on Nov. 9 and 11.
Mason senior goalkeeper Clark Gronek
was named the A-10 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. It is the first such honor for Gronek, a native of Shaker Heights, Ohio. He made five saves – one shy of a career high – in a 1-0 victory over Davidson on the road on Saturday. He has posted four shutouts this season – the most by a Mason keeper in four years – and is 6-5 in the first 11 starts of his career.
LAST TIME OUT
The Patriots shut out Davidson in a 1-0 victory on the road on Saturday. Junior Daniel Damiani
scored the game-winning goal in the 26th minute off an assist from fellow junior Ryan Mingachos
. Senior goalkeeper Clark Gronek
made five saves, including one diving to his right in the final minutes, for his fourth shutout of the season – the most by a Mason keeper since 2014.
The Patriots will play in the first round of the A-10 Men's Soccer Championship on Sunday. Their opponent and location will be determined on Wednesday night after all of the other league games conclude.