#retriever50for50 - Elite 2014 Men's Soccer Team Does Retriever Nation Proud at College Cup

#retriever50for50 - Elite 2014 Men's Soccer Team Does Retriever Nation Proud at College Cup

In as much as the #retriever50for50 countdown has been as balanced as possible, recognizing student-athletes and teams of different genders, eras and "national rankings", certain individuals and teams have warranted multiple mentions.

Such is the case for our moment ranked at No. 2. The 2014 men's soccer squad also came in at No. 5 for their upset victory at Maryland in the NCAA Tournament semifinals. That victory, while impactful, was only one chapter of seven in UMBC's post-season run.

And, while subsequent contests at Louisville and Creighton were vital components to the totality of the greatest season in UMBC Athletics' history, the moment at No. 2 occurred on Dec. 12, 2014 in Cary, N.C.

Yes, the Retrievers did not emerge victorious over eventual national champion Virginia in that College Cup national semifinal contest at WakeMed Stadium. Yes, the goal allowed by UMBC, its first and only score allowed in 457 minutes of play in the tournament, could have/should have been disallowed because of a UVA foul. Yes, it was a bitter pill to swallow because the Retrievers proved to the Cavaliers and an ESPNU audience (they had known it themselves all along) that they were an elite team and legitimately could have won the national championship.

But, for all of Retriever Nation to see their lads walk onto that pristine pitch with the sun setting on that Carolina evening, no one clad in black and gold could have experienced anything but pride in UMBC.

That's a moment.

When one of those players walking out onto the field – sophomore goalkeeper Billy Heavner - had received the NCAA's Elite 89 award for the top-achieving student-athlete in the championships, that's a moment.

When the ESPN cameras roll tape during Head Coach Pete Caringi's pre-game ritual and speech, that's a moment.

When a sea of black-and-gold clad alumni, faculty and staff, Coach Caringi's loyal subjects, etc. take over Raleigh-area hotel and business and totally overwhelm the other three schools combined, that's a moment.

And we didn't even mention the police escorts when the bus left UMBC's Stadium Lot, bound for Cary, or the one from the hotel to WakeMed Stadium before the game.  

Obviously, many players earned post-season honors in 2014 and several have gone on to play professionally. But we thought we would mention all members of that team because they all played a part in UMBC's greatest season in its first half-century of existence.

They are Michael DiCesare, Kennedy O'Shea, Gregg Hauck, Zach Wenger, Matthew Schwarz, Kay Banjo, Oumar Ballo, Jordan Becker, Michael Scott, Spencer Williams, Abdel Fonkako, Tom Paul, Cormac Noel, Christian Morales, Joseph Glos, Mamadou Kansaye, Stephen Ho, Michael Burgos, Billy Heavner, Todd Morton, Phil Breno, Patrick Pato, Malcolm Harris, Geaton Caltabiano, Josh LeMaster, Marquez Fernandez, Joseph Pratt, head coach Pete Caringi, associate head coach Anthony Adams, assistant coach Sam Debone, assistant coach Dan Louisignau, and athletic trainer Meghan Sullivan.