BALTIMORE—Despite the return of 11 starters to the UMBC lineup, it was a trio of newcomers that sparked the Retrievers' men's soccer team in a 5-3 victory over visiting VMI in the opening contest for both teams.
Junior transfer Nirav Kadam (Germantown, Md./Northwest/UNCG) was named America East Player of the Game, scoring a goal and adding two assists. Senior transferDanny Shannon (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora/American U.) scored the game's first goal and added an assist, while freshman Pete Caringi III (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) scored a pair of goals in his collegiate debut.
UMBC is now 18-2 in 20 season openers under head coach Pete Caringi, Jr.
Senior forward Levi Houapeu (Germantown, Md./Watkins Mill), who led the nation in scoring in 2009, added a goal and an assist. Junior forward Andrew Bulls (Millersville, Md./McDonogh) added a pair of second-half assists.
UMBC took a 3-0 halftime lead, and the Keydets did not close within a pair of goals during their three-goal second half.
Shannon scored on UMBC's first shot of the game, arching a shot from 21 yards away into the upper left corner of the net in the 19th minute. He had the primary assist on UMBC's second goal in the 29th minute, as he tapped a short pass to Houapeu, who buried a shot from 13 yards away into the lower left corner of the cage.
The younger Caringi entered the game late in the first half and knocked in junior Kingsley Onwuka's (Baltimore, Md./Kenwood/CCBC-Essex) crossfield pass from close range.
VMI's Amir Shihata beat the UMBC defense down the right wing and got the Keydets on the board in the 50th minute. At 5-foot-4, Kadam scored his first Retriever goal on a header, redirecting Bulls' perfect serve from nine yards out in the 58th minute.
VMI's Matt Seinfeld cut the UMBC lead to 4-2 with a blast from 19 yards away in the 80thminute, but Caringi responded with a tap-in off a Bulls shot and save 100 seconds later. Keydet reserve forward Aaron White completed the scoring in the 83rd minute of play.
UMBC starting netminder, sophomore Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) played the first 45 minutes and earned the win. He made one save and did not allow any VMI scores. Senior Brian Sowell went the distance for the Keydets, making four saves.
UMBC outshot VMI, 17-9, and improved to 3-0-0 against the Keydets in the all-time series.
The Retrievers host Wofford in the second game of the UMBC-Navy Kick-Off Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 4:00 p.m. VMI will take on Navy in Annapolis on Saturday evening.