Due to Hurricane Irene, the UMBC men's soccer team could not show off newly-lighted Retriever Soccer Park to an opening day crowd on Saturday, Aug. 27. That game was moved to daylight hours as UMBC came away with a 1-0 win over Mount St. Mary's, but all looks clear as the Retrievers are set to welcome another Northeast Conference foe- St. Francis (N.Y.) for a 7:00 p.m. showdown on Thursday, Sept. 1. The Terriers dropped their opener, 2-0, at No. 7 U. Conn last Friday.
HOME COOKING: The 2011 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.
In 20+ seasons under Caringi, UMBC is 123-41-21 (.722) at home and the Retrievers are 65-15-16 (.760) on the Bermuda turf of UMBC Soccer Stadium.
MORE SCHEDULE 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… 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.
TOP DOGS: Pete Caringi, Jr. has signed a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2015-16 academic year.
The Retriever mentor enters his 21st season as bench boss in 2011. He celebrated year No. 20 with aplomb, leading the Retrievers to an America East title and past No. 10 Princeton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. UMBC finished the campaign with the 25th-high RPI out of 204 Division I teams in the nation.
Caringi has the most victories of any soccer coach in school history and his 213 wins are the third-most of any Retriever mentor. He captured his 200th victory on the UMBC sidelines in the America East semifinal win at UNH on Nov. 11, 2009.
Caringi has 15 winning seasons in his twenty campaigns at UMBC heading into 2011. His all-time mark at UMBC is 213-131-41 (.606). In 29 years as a collegiate coach, he has never suffered back-to-back sub-.500 seasons.
Moreover, Anthony Adams has been promoted to the position of associate head coach. The Retriever alum ('97) enters his 15th year as Caringi's top assistant.
On five occasions, Adams has been named one of the nation's top assistant coaches byCollege Soccer News. He earned his fifth accolade after the 2010 season and in 2003, he was one of 27 college coaches in the nation to be honored as an Assistant Coach of the Year by AFLAC.
Bullish on Bulls: In 2010, senior forward Andrew Bulls (Millersville, Md./McDonogh) became the third Retriever to earn multiple America East First Team honors, duplicating his 2009 citation. He also earned NSCAA All Northeast Region Second Team honors. Bulls set an America East Conference all-time record with 15 assists-eight players, including Levi Houapeu, held the previous mark of 13. He finished third in the nation in assists (15) and assists per game (0.75) and his 15 helpers represent the second-best single season in school history.
Bulls became the first player in school history to record 25 goals (28) and 25 assists (29) in a career. His 85 career points are fifth on the Retriever all-time list- he stands just twoe points behind Houapeu and would need 22 more points in 2011 to become UMBC's all-time leading scorer at the NCAA Division I level.
The three-time America East First Team honoree finished second in the nation in scoring in 2009 with 2.05 points per game, recording 15 goals and adding 11 assists.
Bulls has been named to the 2011 College Soccer News Third-Team Preseason All-America squad. He has previously earned a high honor from College Soccer News, cited as a Third-Team All-American after his stellar 2009 campaign.
Moreover, Bulls was selected to the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List for the 2011 season. He is one of 42 players in the country to be listed and this marks the second consecutive year that the Retriever standout has recognized among the nation's top players.
Finally, the Retriever senior is among 25 men named to Soccer America's Preseason All-American squad.
Update: Bulls assisted on Jordan Becker's game-winning goal in the 59th minute of play as UMBC edged Mount St. Mary's, 1-0, in the opener on Aug. 27. The assist was the 29th of Bulls' career, surpassing James Hamilton, who recorded 28 from 1998-2001.
GOLDEN GLOVES, PART II: Senior netminder Dan Louisignau was tabbed Second-Team All-Conference by the America East coaches in 2010. He finished the year second in the conference in goals against average (0.87), save percentage (.845) and saves per game (4.73). Louisignau's 84.5 save percentage was tenth-best in the nation.
In the 1-0 win over Mount St. Mary's, Louisignau posted his sixth career shutout in 14 starts for the Retrievers.
THE APPLE DOES NOT FALL FAR: Caringi (the player) was named to the America East Conference All-Rookie team and Second-Team All-Conference by the America East coaches in 2010. He was first UMBC freshman to be named to one of the all-conference teams (first or second) since Matt Watson was selected in 2004.Caringi tied for fourth in the America East Conference with 17 points and tied for fifth with six goals.
HONORED: Freshman forward Jordan Becker (Pocomoke City, Md./Pocomoke) was named America East Conference Men's Soccer Rookie of the Week for games ending Aug. 28. Becker scored the lone goal as the Retrievers edged visiting Mount St. Mary's, 1-0, in the opening game for both teams. The former Pocomoke High School standout was the lone UMBC freshman to earn starting nod in his first intercollegiate contest.
OTHER PLAYER NOTES: Sophomores Stephen Ho and Spencer Williams and freshmen Joseph Glos and Michael DiCesare joined Becker in making their intercollegiate debuts vs. Mount St. Mary's… Becker, Glos and Caringi had two shots apiece in the game, but junior midfielder Dave Vaeth led the hosts with three… 17 players saw action for the Retrievers vs. Mount St. Mary's.
TEAM NOTES: The win over Mount St. Mary's extended UMBC's unbeaten streak to ten, dating back to Oct. 15 of last season… They also extended their winning streak to nine and unbeaten streak to 14 vs. the Mountaineers. UMBC leads the all-time series, 22-11-2…UMBC has won six consecutive opening games and has not lost a home opener since 2002.
INSIDE THE SERIES: UMBC holds a 5-2-2 series edge over their former NEC rivals, but has not won since the two teams were league foes (2002). The two teams played to a scoreless draw in 2007 and the Terriers won a 2-1 overtime decision at Navy in 2008. Dan Bulls scored UMBC's goal in that contest. The Retrievers had won five straight contests from 1999-2002. UMBC is 2-0-1 vs. the Terriers in Baltimore.
A GLANCE AT THE TERRIERS: The Terriers return 14 players, including six starters from the 2010 squad. That team posted a 5-9-3 mark and finished eighth in the Northeast Conference.
Sophomore forward Gabriel Bagot and junior midfielder Adam Maabdi will be looked upon to start a "French Connection" of their own. Last season, Bagot recorded four goals, one assist and nine points in thirteen games played. Maabdi, on the other hand, looked to pass more with his explosive speed as the Frenchman recorded a team-leading six assists in 2010.
St. Francis (NY) dropped a 2-0 decision in their season-opener at #7 ranked UConn in Storrs, Connecticut on Saturday afternoon. The Terriers allowed an own goal right before halftime and UConn's Carlos Alvarez gave the hosts an insurance marker in the 76th minute. Tyler Clarhaut made three saves in goal for St. Francis in his debut.