The UMBC men's soccer team hosts national powers Maryland and Penn State, along with nine other outstanding regional and conference foes as part of its 2011 fall schedule.
The Retrievers open the campaign by taking on Mount St. Mary's for the 19th time in 19 seasons as the Mountaineers visit UMBC on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 7:00 p.m. All eleven home games this fall are slated to be played at 7:00 p.m. under the new lights at UMBC Soccer Stadium.
The game against the Mountaineers starts a school-record, six-game, season-opening homestand. UMBC will host two other Northeast Conference teams, St. Francis (N.Y.) and Fairleigh Dickinson on Thu., Sept. 1 and Sat., Sept 3, as part of the Holiday Inn Express BWI Classic. The Retrievers then welcome local rival Towson on Wed., Sept. 7 and will play the 100thgame ever at UMBC Soccer Stadium on Sat., Sept. 10 when they entertain Navy.
The Maryland Terrapins, ranked No. 6 in the final 2010 poll and the 2008 national champions, pay their first visit to UMBC since 1995 on Tues., Sept. 13 to conclude the homestand.
The Retrievers hit the road for games at Loyola (Md.), Longwood, and La Salle before opening up the defense of their America East title by hosting Albany on Sat., Oct. 1. Bucknell, gunning for three consecutive NCAA Tournament trips, pays its first-ever visit to UMBC on Tues., Oct. 4.
UMBC faces road America East contests at Boston U., Binghamton and Vermont, and will also entertain New Hampshire and Stony Brook. Lodged in the heart of the league slate is a Wed., Oct. 19 non-conference contest vs. Penn State, who finished the 2010 campaign ranked at No. 18 in the NSCAA poll.
"We have the opportunity to play a top-ten caliber schedule at home with perennial national contenders Maryland and Penn State coming here, not to mention an NCAA tournament team in Bucknell, three strong Northeast Conference programs and excellent local teams like Towson and Navy," head coach Pete Caringi, Jr. said. "The benefit of having two great seasons is you now have the ability to host those type of teams. We will have to be ready to meet the challenge, game-in and game-out."
The 11-game home schedule is the most since UMBC entertained 12 foes in the 1999. The Retrievers won all 12 of those contests, finished with the best record in the country (19-0-1) and earned their first NCAA Tournament appearance. UMBC played a school-high 14 home games in 1991.
The Retrievers won their first America East Tournament title in 2010, posting a record of 12-4-4, and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. UMBC finished at No. 25 in the RPI, buoyed by wins at Penn State and Princeton, the latter occurring in the first round of the championships.
In 20 seasons under Caringi, UMBC is 122-41-21 (.720) at home and the Retrievers are 64-15-16 (.756) on the Bermuda turf of UMBC Soccer Stadium.
"Everyone is excited to play these games under the lights at our stadium, one of the best complexes in the country," Caringi said. "As coaches and players, we are looking forward to the challenge. For the fans, it should be a lot of fun to come out and watch."
Notes: UMBC is slated to play 16 of 18 games at night in 2011… The Retrievers have at least one previous meeting with all 18 foes… UMBC is 12-0-1 vs. Mount St. Mary's since a 1997 setback to the Mountaineers and have more wins vs. the Mount (21, 21-11-2) than any other program… Last year's scheduled contest at Loyola (Md.) was postponed due to weather, so the two teams will reconvene at the Ridley Complex in 2011… UMBC and UNH played 220 minutes of soccer last season, and neither team recorded a goal…The Retrievers won the America East title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament via penalty kicks, 5-4, over the Wildcats before a frenzied home crowd.
Sat. 27 vs. Mount St. Mary's, 7:00 p.m.
Thu. 1 vs. St. Francis (N.Y.) !, 7:00 p.m.; Sat. 3 vs. FDU !, 7:00 p.m.; Wed. 7 vs. Towson, 7:00 p.m.; Sat. 10 vs. Navy, 7:00 p.m.; Tue. 13 vs. Maryland, 7:00 p.m.; Wed. 21 at Loyola (Md.) 7:00 p.m.; Sat. 24 at Longwood, 7:00 p.m.; Tue., 27 at La Salle, 7:00 p.m.
Sat. 1 vs. Albany*, 7:00 p.m.; Tue. 4 vs. Bucknell, 7:00 p.m.; Sat. 8 at Boston U.*, 1:00 p.m.; Tue. 11 at Binghamton, 7:00 p.m.*; Fri. 14 vs. UNH, 7:00 p.m.; Wed. 19 vs. Penn State, 7:00 p.m.; Sat. 22 at Hartford*, 7:00 p.m.; Wed. 26 vs. Stony Brook*, 7:00 p.m.; Sat. 29 at Vermont, 1:00 p.m.
Sat., 5 at America East Championships, TBD; Wed. 9 at America East Semifinals, TBD; Sat./Sun. 12/13 at America East Championship Game, TBD