Baltimore, Md.—UMBC men's soccer enters the national rankings for the first time since 2015, coming in at No. 16 in the Soccer America Poll. The team also received a vote in the College Soccer News and United Soccer Coaches' Poll this week.
UMBC has earned a national ranking eight times since 1999.
Earlier this week, sophomore back Trey Vinson (Manassas, Va./Forest Park) was named to Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week, helping the Retrievers to a 1-1 draw against No. 1 Maryland and a win against No. 12 New Hampshire.
"It is always an honor to be nationally ranked. We understand that there is a lot of season left, but it is nice to see our program get some national recognition, as we hit the tough conference stretch," head coach Pete Caringi Jr. stated on Tuesday.
The Retrievers earn the national ranking after drawing No. 1 Maryland, 1-1 last Tuesday and defeating No. 12 New Hampshire on Saturday, 1-0 to open America East play. The Retrievers got a big week from senior midfielder and co-America East Player of the Week Sammy Kahsai (Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern), who had an assist against Maryland and scored the game-winner against New Hampshire.
The last time the Retrievers were in the rankings, came back in 2015, when they were 25th the week of September 17. UMBC's first recognition occurred in 1999, the first year in which the Retrievers reached the NCAA Division I Tournament, when they reached No. 11.
In 2000, the Retrievers hit No. 14 and they closed the decade when they were No. 20 in 2009. From 2012-15, they spent time amongst the nation's best, hitting highs as No. 5 in 2013 and No. 4 in 2014 following their College Cup run.
UMBC has played four ranked teams so far this year, including three in a row the past week. The Retrievers took down then No. 19 West Virginia, 3-1, back on Sept. 13 before falling to then No. 12 Western Michigan, 2-0, a week later. The team then tied No. 1 Maryland, 1-1, and beat No. 12 New Hampshire, 1-0, last Saturday. The team going 2-1-1 against ranked teams is the best in the regular season against ranked opponents in program history.
"It is unprecedented to play that many ranked teams so early in a season, and we have had quite a run against the nation's best this year," Caringi said about the tough stretch.
Also this week, sophomore back Trey Vinson was named to Top Drawer Soccer's National Team of the Week, after helping the Retrievers to a 1-0-1 record. He was part of a back line that surrendered just one goal on 12 shots in front of America East Rookie of the Week Ciaran O'Loughlin (Birkenhead, England).
The schedule does not get any easier as the Retrievers will play the next two on the road at Binghamton on Saturday and at UMass Lowell next Wednesday. While the Retrievers are happy with the recognition, the Retriever mentor knows it is back to business having to play in a conference that was ranked third nationally last year.
"This ranking and the way we have played says a lot about our program, but we know we have to get back to business having to play a very good Binghamton team this weekend. There are a lot of good teams in this conference, and we have to be ready to play every game."
UMBC heads to Vestal, N.Y. for a Saturday night matchup with the Bearcats at 6 p.m. on ESPN 3.