Men's Soccer Opens 2012 Season on Saturday Evening vs. Radford; Seniors Kapor and Paddock Tabbed Team Captains

Liam Paddock has started all 55 games he has dressed for in three seasons at UMBC.
Liam Paddock has started all 55 games he has dressed for in three seasons at UMBC.

Men's Soccer Outlook, 2012

The UMBC men's soccer team opens the 2012 season on Sat., August 25, when they entertain the Radford Highlanders. The opening kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. at Retriever Soccer Park. The game is available live on www.umbcretrievers.tv. UMBC students will have their first opportunity to get their Scratch-Off card with a chance to win free prizes by attending this contest.

TOP DOG: In 21 seasons under Head Coach Pete Caringi, UMBC is 127-45-23 (.710) at home and the Retrievers are 69-18-18 (.743) in 105 games on the Bermuda turf of Retriever Soccer Park. The Retriever mentor has an overall record of 219-139-44 (.600) during his tenure on Hilltop Circle.

UMBC lost seven of 11 starters from the 2011 squad. The Retrievers were 7-3-3 overall and 4-0-0 in league play through 13 games, but several injuries and disqualifications caused them to drop the final five games of the season.

SR M Milo Kapor (Toronto, Ont./Emily Carr) and SR B Liam Paddock (Worcestershire, England/Chase Technology College) have been named team captains of the 2012 Retriever men's soccer squad. Both players are four-year letterwinners. Kapor has started 34 games in three previous years and is tied for the active team leader with 10 career assists. Paddock has started all 55 games he has dressed for as a fullback during his tenure and the America East First-Team defender was also the league's Scholar-Athlete for the sport of men's soccer in 2011.

JR F Pete Caringi III is the only returning player to score more than one goal in 2011. A two-time America East All-Conference selection, Caringi has 10 goals and 10 assists in his first two seasons under the tutelage of his father. 

Redshirt JR GK Phil Saunders is hoping to reclaim his starting position. Saunders flourished as a freshman in 2009, starting all 20 games and posting six shutouts as UMBC raced off to a 9-0 start and national ranking.

UMBC celebrates its tenth season in America East in 2012. The Retrievers have earned three consecutive berths in the league championships for the first time in their league tenure.

UMBC's first win of the season will be the 400th in school history (45 previous seasons).

College Spots Madness tabbed Caringi, SR M Milo Kapor and SR B Liam Paddock to its preseason America East All-Conference First Team. SR M Dave Vaeth earned Second Team honors.

The UMBC men's soccer program was selected to finish fourth in the 2012 America East Conference race by the league's eight head coaches. America East men's soccer champion two of the last three years, Stony Brook  University is favored to finish the regular season atop the league standings. Stony Brook received six of seven possible first-place votes from the league's head coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own team, en route to 48 points. Boston University, last year's regular-season champion, was selected second after garnering 43 points and the other two first-place votes.

University of Hartford, last year's runner up, came in third with 32 points, followed by UMBC, just one point behind in fourth with 31 points, and University of Vermont in fifth with 22 points. University at Albany and Binghamton University tied for sixth place (17 points) while University of New Hampshire rounded out the eight-team poll (14).

Notes: UMBC was ranked 25th in the nation in home attendance in 2011 with 911 fans per game… Sixteen of UMBC's 18 goals last season occurred in the second half…UMBC is 15-1-2 in September home games since the 2007 season.

A GLANCE AT THE HIGHLANDERS: Radford finished at 9-8-2 a season ago, finishing the season with a winning record for just the second time in the last decade. Included in the Highlanders' victories was a 3-0 triumph over eventual America East tournament champion Stony Brook.

JR M Chel Ho Park Kim ted for the Big South Conference  lead with eight assists in 2011, which also ranked in the Top-20 nationally. JR M Luis Grande earned Second-Team All-Conference honors in his sophomore campaign. He scored eight goals and led the squad with 49 shots.

Radford had an impressive 1-0 victory at Wake Foreest in a scrimmage on Aug. 14, before falling to James Madison, 2-0, on Aug. 20.

INSIDE THE SERIES: Radford holds a 5-4-0 series lead, but the two teams have not met since 2000. The two schools were Big South rivals from 1992-98. UMBC snapped a four-game slide to the Highlanders with a 4-2 triumph to open the 2000 campaign. The teams have split four meetings in Baltimore.

UP NEXT: The Retrievers co-host the 2012 Holiday Inn Express BWI Classic with Navy on Thurs., Aug. 30 and Sat., Sept. 1. UMBC entertains VCU and Robert Morris respectively at Retriever Soccer Park.-both matches will begin at 7:00 p.m.