The UMBC men's soccer squad (13-5-4) became the university's first intercollegiate athletic program to advance two rounds in NCAA Division I postseason competition by virtue of a 1-0 second round victory over fourth-ranked and host Maryland on Nov. 23 in the 2014 NCAA Men's Soccer Championships. The Retrievers will now face their second Atlantic Coast Conference foe in the tournament when they travel to Kentucky to take on the Louisville Cardinals on Sunday, Nov. 30. The contest gets underway at the brand new Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium at 6:00 p.m. Links for live stats and the ESPN3 streaming broadcast are available via www.umbcretrievers.com and UMBC Front Row, the Retrievers' mobile site.
NOTING THE RETRIEVERS
UMBC junior midfielder Malcolm Harris scored in the 70th minute and the Retrievers advanced to the third round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship with a 1-0 victory over the No. 4 seeded Maryland Terrapins before a spirited crowd of 3,776 at Ludwig Field.
It is the first time a UMBC Division I team has advanced this far in a national tournament. The Retrievers reached the match in College Park after advancing past Wake Forest, 3-2, in penalties, after 110 minutes of scoreless soccer.
The Retrievers vaulted from an unranked team to No. 10 in the nation in the weekly Top Drawer Soccer poll.
UMBC was last ranked in the early portion of the season after starting the year at 3-0-1. The Retrievers were No. 11 in the Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News polls and were at No. 19 in Soccer America. The NSCAA poll had the Retrievers at No. 14 as of Sept. 9.
UMBC (13-5-4) is now unbeaten in eight consecutive games, while Maryland's 11-game unbeaten streak was halted and they finished the campaign at 13-6-3. Maryland had reached the third round of the NCAA Championships in each of the past 12 campaigns.
The Retrievers are the first America East team since 1996 to advance to the NCAA 3rd round. .
UMBC has competed in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in the aforementioned years with a victory over Princeton in 2010, and advancement via penalty kicks in the last three years. The Retrievers are seeking their first appearance in the regional semifinals.
UMBC is enjoying a season-high eight-game unbeaten streak.
UMBC red-shirt sophomore goalkeeper Billy Heavner was presented with the inaugural America East Elite 18 award. The award recognizes the student-athlete competing in the championship match for his high academic and athletic achievements. Heavner is maintaining a 4.0 GPA, financial economics. Heavner (now 10-1-2) leads America East in goals against average (0.59) and save percentage (84.3). He is ranked 8th in save percentage and 11th in goals against average in the latest NCAA statistics.
SF F Kay Banjo leads the America East Conference in points (1.20) and assists per game (0.30). He is tied for 33rd nationally with 22 total points and is tied for 23rd with four game-winning goals.
SR B Jordan Becker, who contributed a pair of assists in the 3-1 victory over Vermont, has now played in 81 career contests, moving him into a tie for first place (Louie Karko, 1997-2000) on UMBC's all-time list. If he sees action versus Louisville, he would become the program's all-time leader.
In 24 seasons under Head Coach Pete Caringi, UMBC is 155-47-30 (.733) at home and the Retrievers are 95-21-24 (.764) in 140 games on the Bermuda turf of Retriever Soccer Park. The Retriever mentor has an overall record of 259-149-58 (.618) during his tenure on Hilltop Circle and in 32 years as a head coach, he is 429-176-66 (.691).
Senior BK Oumar Ballo is the first UMBC Division I player to earn All-America honors (NSCAA Second Team) as a junior. Ballo was the 2013 America East Defender of the Year and a First Team all-conference defender. He was just one of eight defenders named to the 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. He has scored a career-best three goals in 2014, including the game-tying score in the America East title match.
Senior Mamadou Kansaye will serve as team captain for the 2014 Retrievers. He was a tri-captain, along with Pete Caringi III and Phil Saunders in 2013. Kansaye (3g, 7a) earned America East First Team honors in 2013 and currently has four goals and six helpers in 2014. Kansaye is third in America East in points per game (0.78). His 19 career assists with the Retrievers are now tied for tenth place on UMBC's all-time list.
INSIDE THE SERIES
UMBC has never faced Louisville on the soccer field, moreover, the two universities have not faced off in team competition in any intercollegiate sport.
The Retrievers just squared off against another ACC opponent when they advanced past Wake Forest last week. Against common opponents in 2014, Wake defeated Louisville, 1-0, in overtime in Winston-Salem and both sides recorded a victory over Maryland by identical 1-0 scores. (UMBC also played a second contest versus the Terps, resulting in a 0-0 draw.)
UMBC IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Retrievers are unbeaten (2-0-5) in their last seven NCAA Tournament games, but have failed to advance in three out of the five draws… UMBC has won both penalty kick shootouts in first round competition, but dropped all three in the second round… the meeting versus Wake Forest was UMBC's third against an ACC school in post-season play and the contest vs. the Cardinals will be No 4… the Retrievers fell at Duke, 4-3, in overtime, in 1999 and drew at UNC (0-0) two seasons ago… UMBC hosted the universities' first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament contest when the 16th-seeded Retrievers entertained UConn in brutally cold and blustery conditions in 2013… Besides the hero last Sunday (Malcolm Harris) Geaton Caltabiano is the lone current Retriever who has scored a goal in the NCAA Tournament, while Kansaye had a pair of assists in the contest versus the Huskies… UMBC has not allowed a goal on the road in NCAA competition in five consecutive games and 588 minutes since Princeton scored in the 32' in 2010.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS
No. 13 Louisville received a bye into the second round of the tournament, after falling to Clemson, 2-1, in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. Freshman midfielder Tim Kubel scored in the 87th minute to lead the Cardinals to a dramatic 2-1 victory over 19th-ranked Saint Louis in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Championship on Sunday night at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium. After the visiting Billikens scored in the 68th minute, sophomore Andrew Brody pulled Louisville even less than three minutes later after finishing a cross from inside the six-yard box.
Kubel leads four Cardinals in double figures' scoring with seven goals and five helpers. Three of his seven goals (3/3) have occurred on penalty kicks. Junior forward Ricardo Velazco has six goals on the campaign after scoring seven times and adding nine helpers in his first season (2013) at Louisville. Senior goalkeeper Joachim Ball has six shutouts on the season and a goals-against mark of 0.91.
Louisville is 7-2-3 at home in 2014 and is 6-2-2 in its last ten contests.
UMBC is now 10-0-5 in the month of November in the past three seasons.
UMBC is now 47-31-14 in 12 America East seasons, which includes a mark of 30-9-6 in games at home and 17-22-8 on the road in league play.
UMBC's road unbeaten streak was extended to 11 (7-0-4) with the draw at Maryland on Sept. 5, 2014. That breaks the previous longest in school history, which was recorded in the 1999 campaign (6-0-2).
UMBC played before 7.284 fans at Maryland's Ludwig Field on Sept. 5, the fourth-largest crowd in UM history.
UP NEXT: The winner of the contest will take on the winner of the Xavier at Creighton match in the regional finals (quarterfinals) on Dec.5 or 6.