Cambridge, Mass. – America East Conference regular season champion UMBC captured four of the conference's major awards as the all-conference teams and superlatives were announced today.
UMBC senior forward Pete Caringi (Perry Hall, Md./Calvert Hall) was named America East Conference Striker of the Year, senior midfielder Kadeem Dacres (Rosedale, N.Y./Mercer County CC) earned Midfielder of the Year honors and junior fullback Oumar Ballo (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) was selected Defender of the Year.
Moreover, head coach Pete Caringi, Jr. and his staff was selected as the Coaching Staff of the Year. All voting was done by the league's eight head coaches.
Caringi, III, Dacres and Ballo each earned first team all-conference honors, along with Retriever junior midfielder Mamadou Kansaye(Baltimore, Md./McDonogh).
Senior goalkeeper Phil Saunders (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) and junior fullback Marquez Fernandez (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) were selected to the second team, while junior midfielderMichael DiCesare (Westerville, Ohio/St. Frances DeSales) earned All-Academic Team honors.
A unanimous selection, the younger Caringi earned the league's top striker honor for the second consecutive year. He is the first repeat Striker of the Year in the 12-year history of the award and the fourth Retriever to claim it in five years.A two-time America East Player of the Week in 2013, he led the conference in goals (10) and points (22) and climbed to fourth on UMBC's all-time goals chart with 34 career scores. Caringi also earned America East Fans' Choice Player of the Year honors for the second straight year.
Also a unanimous pick, Dacres shone throughout the campaign and is currently third in the conference in scoring with 16 points (6 goals, 4 assists). A second-team selection in 2012, Dacres posted game-winning goals as UMBC rallied for identical 2-1 victories at Hartford and Vermont.
A central defender, Ballo spearheaded the improved UMBC defense, which only allowed two goals in league play and none over the last four America East games. Ballo earned second team honors in his first season with the Retrievers in 2012.
Pete Caringi, Jr. earned his second top coaching honor in America East, duplicating the accolade from 2005. The Retriever mentor has an overall record of 244-144-53 (.614) during his 23-year tenure on Hilltop Circle. He is ably assisted by associate head coach Anthony Adamsand assistants Dan Louisignau and Sam DeBone, who have a combined 37 years on the Retriever bench.
Kansaye, a central midfielder, directs the Retriever offense and has added a pair of goals and four assists in 2013. He scored the game's lone goal in the critical 1-0 victory over UNH and expertly set up Dacres' goal with 12 seconds remaining in the 2-1 victory at Vermont.
Saunders earned his third conference honor in 2013. He was named to the league's All-Rookie Team in 2009 and was tabbed to the second team a year ago. The netminder has four consecutive shutouts and is sporting a 0.67 goals-against average (20th nationally) on the season. Saunders just earned America East Player of the Week honors and was the 2012 America East Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
In his first year in the black and gold, Fernandez has solidified the back line and has added three goals for the Retrievers, including the game-winning goals versus George Washington.
DiCesare is a repeat selection to the All-Academic team. He just scored his first career goal to give UMBC a 1-0 victory over Stony Brook and earn the conference regular season crown. DiCesare maintains a 3.67 grade-point average in the rigorous major of biology at UMBC.
Notes: Caringi III becomes the third Retriever to earn three first team America East honors… defender Marcus Gross (2003-05) and F/M Andrew Bulls (2009-11) were the others… He is the first Retriever to earn back-to-back Striker of the Year honors… Dacres is the fifth Retriever to earn Midfielder of the Year honors in the 10 years… Ballo follows in the footsteps of Liam Paddock, UMBC's first AEC Defender of the Year in 2012.