July 22, 2014

Phil Saunders Makes Professional Soccer Debut In Iceland

BALTIMORE –Former UMBC goalkeeper Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) has signed a contract with BÍ Bolungarvík of the Icelandic First Division. The former 2012 America East Tournament Most Outstanding Player made professional debut on July 19 and earned the victory in the team's 6-4 victory over Tindastóll.

BÍ Bolungarvík stands at 4 wins, 6 losses and 2 draws with 10 games remaining in the league season, which concludes in mid-September.

Saunders is the lone American player on the squad. He joins Pete Caringi III (Oklahoma City Energy FC) and Kadeem Dacres (Arizona United FC) as three of UMBC's four seniors from the 2013 America East title squad in the professional ranks.

"I am extremely happy for Phil and our UMBC soccer family," said head coach Pete Caringi, JR. "He has worked very hard for this moment and I can't think of a more deserving player to represent UMBC.  He will have left a soccer legacy along with fellow seniors Pete Caringi lll, Kadeem Dacres and Travis Dennis that will always be remembered for years to come."

In 2013, Saunders was selected to America East Second Team and All-Championship Team for second consecutive season.  He moved into second place on UMBC's all-time shutouts list with 24, just one behind UMBC Hall of Famer Brian Rowland ('02)

Saunders finished second in the America East Conference and 19th in the country with a 0.70 goals against average. His career goals-against-average was 0.97 and the final record was 44-14-10 (.721).