BALTIMORE- UMBC junior forward Pete Caringi III (Perry Hall, Md./Calvert Hall) tied a school record with four goals in a game as the Retrievers clinched a spot in the America East Tournament with a resounding 7-1 victory over visiting Hartford.
UMBC won its fourth straight game and improved to 9-4-4 overall and 3-2-1 in league play, while Hartford fell to 7-8-1, 1-4-1.
Caringi equaled the mark of Ted Lawler, who netted four goals in a 1995 game vs. UMES. He became the third player in the country to score four goals in a game this season. The America East's scoring leader entering the game now has seven goals in his last two home appearances, eight in his last four contests and a league-high 13 on the season.
"He has scored goals his entire life and is very confident right now," head coach Pete Carnigi, Jr. said of his son. "It just seems like everything he hits is going in."
The seven goals scored by the Retrievers is the most since they also found the net seven times vs. St. Francis (Pa) in a 7-1 victory in October of 2000.
UMBC gradually gained control of the game as the first half wore on. In the 38th minute, sophomore midfielder Mamadou Kansaye (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) sent a pass into the box where it was knocked down by the hand of a Hawk defender. Caringi took the ensuing penalty kick and his shot straight down the middle eluded UH goalkeeper Viltsu Tuumi.
The Retrievers doubled the advantage on a terrific passing play in the final minute of the half. Sophomore back Jordan Becker (Pocomoke, Md./Pocomoke) worked a give-and-go with junior forward Kadeem Dacres (Rosedale, N.Y./Mercer County CC) and Becker's serve from the left side found Carnigi, who headed it past Tuumi from seven yards away with 26 seconds left in the half.
Senior back Liam Paddock (Worcestershire, England/Chase Technology) made it 3-0 just 1:37 into the second half, heading in a corner kick from Kansaye.
The Hawks kept coming at UMBC and capitalized at 49:00, when freshman forward Javoni Simms redirected Rohan Roye's pass into the far left corner of the net from close range.
But Caringi struck in the 62th and 70th minutes to put the game away for the hosts. His third goal of the game came after a steal by sophomore midfielder Stephen Ho (North Potomac, Md./Wooton). Ho laid the ball off to senior midfielder Milo Kapor (Toronto, Ont./Emily Carr), who sent a through ball back to Ho. Caringi kicked in Ho's deft centering pass from five yards out.
The record-tying goal was the result of a set play, as Caringi, camped at the back post, headed in Kansaye's free kick.
Junior back Travis Dennis (Bowie, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) and freshman forward Michael Scott (Fife, Scotland) each scored their first career goals in the 80' and 83' minutes respectively to cap the scoring.
UMBC has clinched at least the No. 3 seed for the championship, which begins on Nov. 3 and could be No. 2 seed with a win Saturday over Binghamton and a Stony Brook loss or tie at Vermont.
"We were down two weeks ago, but I am proud of the way the guys fought back," Caringi said of the four-game winning streak.
UMBC outshot Harford, 15-13 and Saunders was called on to make six saves. Tuumi recorded a pair of stops for the Hawks.