Men's Soccer to Face Host Princeton in First Round of NCAA Championships

Nirav Kadam (UNCG, 2008) is one of two Retrievers with previous NCAA Tournament experience
Nirav Kadam (UNCG, 2008) is one of two Retrievers with previous NCAA Tournament experience

The UMBC men's soccer team will face host Princeton in the first round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championships on Thursday, Nov. 18. Kick-off time is set for 7:00 p.m. at Roberts Stadium in Princeton, N.J.

Should the Retrievers advance, they would take on 12th-seeded William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.  on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 2:00 p.m.

The Retrievers advanced to their first NCAA Championship since 1999 after earning an automatic berth by capturing the America East title. UMBC (11-4-3) played New Hampshire to a scoreless draw, but prevailed in penalty kicks, 5-4, at UMBC Soccer Stadium on Nov. 13.

UMBC lost only one contest in its last 11 outings, posting a 7-1-3 mark since October 2.

Princeton (13-3-1) started the season at 1-3-1, but has won 12 consecutive games heading into the tournament. The Tigers posted a perfect 7-0-0 Ivy League record.

"They have been on quite a roll in the month of October, and are a very good team," Head Coach Pete Caringi said. "They play a similar style to us, so it should be a pretty exciting match."

UMBC and Princeton have never met in men's soccer. In fact, the Retrievers have only played one Ivy League school—the Penn Quakers. The Retrievers won two of three matches vs. Penn, but the last match was in 1999.

UMBC advanced to its first NCAA Championship in 1999. The Retrievers were undefeated during the season and edged Mount St. Mary's to win the Northeast Conference title.  UMBC then played at Lafayette in an NCAA Play-In game and advanced to the tournament in the same manner as they did on Saturday—via penalty kicks.

The Retrievers, who owned the country's best record that year at 19-1-1, were matched up with top-seeded Duke in the first round in Durham, N.C. UMBC led, 3-1, in the second half, but lost a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime decision.

The two teams faced one common opponent this season in Fairleigh Dickinson. Princeton defeated the Knights, 1-0, while FDU edged UMBC, 2-1 in late September. Both games were played in Teaneck, N.J.

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