Email This Page
UMBC Men's Soccer End of Year Report
The UMBC men's soccer program has just completed the best two-year run in school history. Over the past two seasons, UMBC has compiled a record of 34-6-1, earned two trips to the Northeast Conference Championship game, and garnered national rankings in both seasons. The 2000 season may have come to an untimely end, but the setback in the conference title game did not diminish the accomplishments of this team, which boasted ten outstanding seniors. The 2000 team was a constantly hunted squad which played its best when pushed to the wall. After an early season loss to Loyola ended a long Retriever home winning streak (16), UMBC came back four days later to blank Maryland, 2-0, in College Park. When UMBC dropped two straight NEC games after leading the last ten minutes, they responded with shuout wins over Monmouth and a strong St. Francis (NY) team. After a one-goal loss at LIU, the Retriever had to win out to earn a spot in the four-team NEC Championships. They proceeded to outscore their foes, 18-3 in the next four games to capture the #3 seed in the league tourney, and knocked off #2 St. Francis (NY), 2-0, before coming up short in the title game. For the year, UMBC spent five weeks nationally ranked, hitting a high of #14 in the adidas NSCAA poll on September 25. UMBC was also ranked as high as #2 in the South Atlantic region, and ended the regular season at #3, ahead of the likes of Maryland and Loyola. Morever, for the second straight year, UMBC was ranked in several statistical categories. As of October 30, the team offense was ranked 13th in the nation, scoring 2.67 goals per game, the shutout percentage was at .444, good for 19th (tied) in the nation and the Retrievers' winning percentage was tied for 17th at .778. Individually, many Retrievers made their mark on the Retriever and NEC history books. Senior forward Giuliano Celenza became the second player in league history to be honored as Northeast Conference Player of the Year for two consecutive seasons. In just two years, Celenza amassed 100 points (41g, 18a), becoming the second leading scorer in school history. He was ranked fourth nationally in scoring with 2.44 points per game as of October 30. In addition to Celenza, midfielders P.J. Wakefield and Matt Gormley (three straight all NEC selection) and defender Andy Wells (3 straight First Team All NEC selections) earned First Team honors, while senior fullback Bill Nelson earned Second Team All NEC honors. Moreover, sophomore goalie Brian Rowland set a school record with eight shutouts on the year, and senior forward Ryan Lampton became the eighth player in school history to score 25 goals. Ten seniors will depart, having left a tremendous legacy at UMBC. But, led by such team leaders as Wells, Wakefield, Rowland, Matt Joseph and James Hamilton, UMBC soccer still looks very strong heading into next season.