Caringi Nets First Goal of the Season; Men's Soccer Plays to 1-1 Draw With Tough VCU Squad

Phil Saunders has 15 saves through two games.
Phil Saunders has 15 saves through two games.

BALTIMORE- Junior forward Pete Caringi (Perry Hall, Md./Calvert Hall) scored in the 32nd minute and junior goalkeeper Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) made a career-high eight saves, but visiting VCU evened the game on a penalty kick and the teams battled to a 1-1 double overtime draw at Retriever Soccer Park.

The game was the first of two in the annual Holiday Inn Express BWI Classic. The Retrievers will meet Robert Morris on Saturday, while VCU takes on Navy in Annapolis. The Midshipmen defeated the Colonials, 2-0, in action this evening.

UMBC is now 0-0-2 in the early going, while VCU's record is 1-0-2. The game was played before an enthusiastic crowd of 1,085 in warm conditions in Baltimore.  

After a 0-0 double overtime draw against Radford on Saturday, the Retrievers broke through in the first half vs. the Rams. Senior midfielder Milo Kapor (Toronto, Ont./Emily Carr) corralled the ball in the middle of the field and sent sophomore back Jordan Becker (Pocomoke, Md./Pocomoke) down the left wing. Becker's left-footed cross found Caringi a step outside the six-yard box and the striker skimmed a header beyond the reach of Ram netminder Andrew Wells for his 11th career goal.

Less than four minutes into the second half, VCU knotted the game at 1-1. The Retrievers were called for a hand-ball at the far left edge of the box on an attempted VCU cross and Ram freshman back Dennis Castillo beat Saunders from the spot to the netminder's left.

VCU, which outshot UMBC, 23-11, threatened several times in the final 20 minutes, but could not get the go-ahead goal. Junior forward Jason Johnson hit the crossbar in the 70th minute and had his attempt in the 76th minute saved by Saunders. Saunders made his best stop of the night on a redirection by Castillo from close range in the 85th minute.

The Retrievers had three of the four overtime shots and the closest effort occurred in the 106th minute, when UMBC sophomore defender Oumar Ballo's (Baltimore, Md./CCBC-Essex/Archbishop Curley)10-yard  shot off a Kapor corner kick was blocked away by a VCU defender.

Johnson led all players with five shots, while three of Kapor's four attempts were on goal. Wells made five saves for the visitors.

The draw was UMBC's first-ever result with VCU, which leads the series, 3-0-1.  The 0-0-2 start is the first-ever in UMBC's 27-year Division I soccer history.