#retriever50for50 - Celenza, Retrievers Stun the Terps

#retriever50for50 - Celenza, Retrievers Stun the Terps

Celenza's First Goal vs. the Terps

The moment at No. 48 is the first of five that occurred versus the University of Maryland. It took place on Wed., Sept. 13, 2000 on a perfect evening for soccer in College Park.

Two years earlier, the Terps routed the Retrievers, 6-1. In 1999, UMBC posted the best record in the nation (19-1-2) and made the school's first NCAA Division I trip in program history. But they did not play Maryland in '99 and, after starting the 2000 campaign 3-0, were coming off a disheartening 2-1, double-overtime loss to rival Loyola on the prior Saturday.

Senior forward Giuliano Celenza could have played ACC soccer, but competed for Essex Community College (now CCBC-Essex) and came to UMBC in the fall of 1999. He finished fourth in the nation in scoring with 22 goals and 54 points and earned CollegeSoccer.com All-America honors.

Still, Celenza and the Retrievers journeyed to Ludwig Field with a chip on their shoulders and one would imagine that Head Coach Pete Caringi reminded them of the beating that took place two years prior.

In a program blessed with a bevy of pure goal-scorers over the years, Celenza still resides at the top of the heap. He scored 41 career goals at UMBC while taking less than 200 shots (186 to be exact). In the 19th minute, the undersized striker scored a breathtaking goal. The Terps seemingly cleared the ball out of their penalty box area, with the ball bounding five yards outside the box. But Celenza retrieved it, juggled between two Terp defenders and cracked it out of the air from the right side just under the crossbar, stunning the Maryland team and partisan crowd and giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.

The Terps put on all kinds of pressure in the middle stages of the game, but could not solve goalkeeper Brian Rowland and the UMBC defense. Then, in the 74th minute, somehow, the Terrapin defense lost sight of Celenza on the right wing. On a counter, midfielder Matt Gormley found the open striker and Celenza bolted in and beat netminder Christian Lewis with a hard shot inside the near post to put UMBC in front, 2-0.

Maryland never recovered from that strike and UMBC recorded the shutout victory.