December 13, 2013

Caringi, Ballo, Dacres Rewrite UMBC History Books as Trio Named NSCAA All-Americans

Kansas City, Kan. - UMBC men's soccer continues to rewrite its history books in the wake of their remarkable 2013 season.

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America has announced the 2013 NSCAA/Continental Tire Men's All-America Teams for all three NCAA divisions and a record number of three Retrievers headline the Division I list.

Senior Pete Caringi III (Perry Hall, Md./Calvert Hall) becomes the first Retriever student-athlete to earn NSCAA First Team honors in program history. Junior back Oumar Ballo (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley/CCBC-Essex) received Second Team honors, while senior midfielder Kadeem Dacres (Rosedale, N.Y./Mercer County CC) was tabbed to the Third Team.

Prior to the 2013 selections, only a pair of UMBC Division I players had earned All-America status. Fullback Bobby Wagner earned Second Team honors in 1993 and midfielder Levi Houapeu landed on the Third Team in 2010.

The only other UMBC student-athlete to earn first team honors was striker Ray Ford, who was selected to as an NCAA Division II team member in 1978.

With today's announcement, UMBC's NSCA All-America list grew from seven members to ten.

The 2012 and 2013 America East Striker of the Year, Caringi scored 27 goals over the last two seasons. The Baltimore native was named the Most Outstanding Player in the 2013 America East Championships and finished his career with 37 goals (fourth on the all-time list) and 91 points (fifth all-time).

Caringi's father, UMBC head coach Pete Caringi, Jr., earned honorable mention All-America honors at the University of Baltimore in 1977.

Ballo was a lock-down central defender for the 16-1-3 Retrievers. He earned America East Defender of the Year recognition and first-team all-conference honors in 2013.

Dacres excelled in his two-year tenure at UMBC, which culminated as he was tabbed America East Midfielder of the Year in 2013. He scored two game-winning goals in league play and another in the league semifinals.

"I am thrilled for the guys and very proud of their accomplishments," Caringi, Jr. said. "It is certainly a reflection of how well the team performed this season and a huge credit to our soccer program."

UMBC won its third America East title in the last four years and became the first program in school history to compete in and host an NCAA Tournament contest. The Retrievers were nationally-ranked in the top ten in the NSCAA and most media polls throughout the entire second half of the campaign.  

Caringi, Ballo, and Dacres and others announced as NSCAA award winners will be recognized Saturday, Jan. 18 at the annual All-America Luncheon, held in conjunction with the 2014 NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia.

Founded in 1941 and based in Kansas City, Kan., the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to educate coaches, encourage excellence and serve the soccer community.

The NSCAA is the world's largest soccer coaches' organization with members at every level of the game. The membership is primarily made up of coaches, but also includes administrators, referees and others in the soccer industry. The NSCAA provides its members ways to enhance the game of soccer by providing a national education program, interaction and networking opportunities, and membership benefits.

For more information about the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, visit the NSCAA website at NSCAA.com.