BALTIMORE- For the second consecutive game, UMBC senior forward Pete Caringi (Perry Hall, Md./Calvert Hall) scored a pair of goals, leading the Retrievers to identical 3-1 victories. After netting a pair vs. Seattle on Friday evening, he scored two second half goals in sweltering conditions to give the hosts a 3-1 victory over UNLV in the Springhill Suites Arundel Mills BWI Kick-Off Classic at Retriever Soccer Park.
UMBC (2-0-0) takes the classic title with a +4 goal differential, compared to +3 from Delaware, which also posted victories over UNLV (0-2-0) and Seattle (0- 2-0).
Caringi scored career goals 29 and 30 in the game and has moved into a tie for ninth place on UMBC's all-time goal-scoring list.
Both team struggled with the conditions in the opening stage of play, but each side found the net in the final five minutes of the first half. UMBC midfielder Geaton Caltabiano (Lothian, Md./Mt. St. Joseph) was awarded a free kick after a Rebel handball just ouside the box in the 41st minute. He expertly hooked his shot around the UNLV wall and the effort eluded Rebel keeper Joe Vitale and tucked inside the left post.
But the visitors replied with just 1:20 to play in the stanza. Junior Salvadore Bernal beat his UMBC mark down the left goal line and his centering pass was redirected by sophomore back Corey Ackley past UMBC goalkeeper Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) from close range.
The game was knotted at 1-1 at the break, but it took the Retrievers just 23 seconds to take the lead for good. Junior midfielder Stephen Ho (North Potomac, Md./Wooton) hit a routine serve into the box, but Vitale mishandled it and Caringi pounced on the loose ball, tapping home the game-winning goal.
The 2012 America East Striker of the Year scored an insurance goal in the 67th minute. Once again, Ho created danger and he was loose on the right flank and crossed a ball into the box. Caringi was taken down in his effort to get to the ball and was awarded a penalty kick. Vitale went to his right, but Caringi's shot to the keeper's left along the ground found the goal.
Dating back to 2012, the Retrievers extended their unbeaten streak to 11 (8-0-3), which is the longest since a 21-game streak (19-0-2) in 1999.
UNLV outshot UMBC, 12-9, but there was only one save (Vitale) recorded in the contest.
Caringi recorded his sixth career multiple-goal effort as UMBC improved to 4-0-0 in career meetings with UNLV.
The Retrievers have now compiled a record of 22-4-6 in their kick-off classics since 1997.
UMBC gets back to action on Thursday, Sept. 5 when they host Central Connecticut State in the Hampton Inn BWI Classic opener. Kick-off time is 7:00 p.m.
Notes: Caringi was named the classic's Most Valuable Player, while Caltabiano, senior midfielder Kadeem Dacres (Rosedale, N.Y.) and junior back Oumar Ballo (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley/CCBC-Essex) also earned All-Tournament team honors.