UMBC Head Men's Soccer Coach Pete Caringi and sophomore midfielder Matt Watson have earned top honors from the America East Conference in a vote conducted by the league's coaches. Caringi was named Coach of the Year by his peers as he led UMBC to a 6-2 America East Conference record and a second place finish in the regular season. Watson repeated as the conference's Midfielder of the Year, having won the honor in the only two seasons it has been awarded.
Watson and senior defender Marcus Gross were named to the America East All Conference First Team, while junior midfielder Kevin Mezzadra earned Second Team honors. Goalkeeper Steve King and forward Manuel Mariel were named to the league's All Rookie Team.
In his 15th season at UMBC, Caringi has compiled a record of 167-95-27 (.625). His teams have posted winning records in the last eight seasons and 13 of 15 during his tenure. This year's honor is Caringi's third at UMBC, as he was the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2002 and also earned NSCAA South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year in 1999.
UMBC improved from a tie for sixth place in 2004, missing its league's playoffs for the first time since 1994, to a second place finish this season.
Watson followed up his stellar freshman campaign, where he was named the league's Midfielder and Rookie of the Year, with another outstanding season. He scored three goals and leads the team with seven assists. The native of Redditch, England already has 16 career assists, 11th in school history.
Gross earned First Team league honors for the third consecutive year. He captained the team and led a defense which recorded six shutouts in America East play. The native of Barnstaple, Englandwas the league's Player of the Week and also was named to College Soccer News National Team of the Week on October 24.
Mezzadra, who entered the season with 12 points, leads the team in scoring with 14 points (6 goals, 2 assists). He had a pair of two-goal efforts vs. Davidson and Mt. St. Mary's and scored the game-winning goal vs. New Hampshire.
King burst onto the scene in the nets, recording shutouts in eight of his first ten collegiate starts. He was a two-time America East Rookie of the Week and has been ranked in the top five in the nation in goals against average for the past two weeks. Mariel, who missed most of September with a hamstring injury, scored all four of his goals vs. America East competition in October, including game winners vs.Albany and Boston University.