Somerset, NJ -- Robert Morris senior midfielder Rhian Dodds (Hamilton, Ont./Sir Allen McNabb) was selected the Northeast Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Year in a vote by league head coaches. One of the league's top playmakers, Dodds has been a key figure in the resurgence of the Colonials' program in recent years. Central Connecticut State freshman forward Jorden Holder (Oxon, England) claimed Rookie of the Year accolades, while UMBC's Pete Caringi was named NEC Coach of the Year. Caringi, a two-time NEC Coach of the Year recipient, led UMBC to an 8-1-1 mark in conference play this year, as well as a share of the NEC regular season title.
The 2002 NEC Men's Soccer Championships will be hosted by UMBC this weekend in Baltimore, Maryland. On Friday, November 15, #1 seed Long Island will take on #4 Robert Morris at 11:00 a.m. in a semifinal matchup. The second semifinal is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., and features #2 UMBC versus #3 Fairleigh Dickinson. The championship game will be held on Sunday, November 17, at 12:00 p.m., with the winner receiving the NEC's automatic bid to the NCAA men's soccer tournament.
UMBC placed a league-high three players on the all-NEC first team, including sophomore forward Derek McElligott (Baltimore, MD/Greater Christian Grace Academy), junior back Justin Nall (Midlothian, VA/Midlothian) and senior goalkeeper Brian Rowland (Toronto, Ont./York Memorial). McElligott, the 2001 NEC Rookie of the Year, rebounded from a broken leg over the summer to once again post some big offensive numbers for the Retrievers. McElligott paced the NEC in scoring (12 g/4 a/28 pts.) and also ranked among the league leaders in goals per game (0.63) and points per game (1.47). Nall helped spearhead a squad that allowed just four goals in conference play this year, as UMBC rode its defense to a share of the NEC regular season title. Rowland rounds out the UMBC first team contingent following an outstanding season between the pipes for the Retrievers. Rowland leads all NEC netminders in goals against average (0.86) and shutouts (10), while his ten shutouts this season established a new UMBC single season record.
UMBC junior midfielder Michael Joseph (Baltimore, MD/Calvert Hall) emerged as one of UMBC's top performers this year, as he ranks second on the team in scoring with 12 points (4 g/4 a). Joseph earned Second Team honors.