KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Aug. 6, 2014) – UMBC senior back Oumar Ballo (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) was named to the 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, as announced earlier today by NSCAATV.com on the "2014 NSCAA College Soccer Review Show."
Head Coach Pete Caringi's UMBC Retrievers, the two-time defending America East Conference champions, were selected No. 19 in the 2014 NSCAA/Continental Tire Preseason College Rankings.
The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in NCAA soccer presented annually to one male and one female athlete. The winners will be announced Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, at the trophy presentation banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
The lists are compiled by the NSCAA Men's and Women's NCAA Division I All-America Committees, based on their analysis of returning All-America and All-Region players, as well as any prominent newcomers.
Ballo was one of only eight defenders named to the Watch List. In 2013, the sociology major was selected to the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Second Team All-America squad. He was also named America East Defender of the Year and to AE First Team and All-Championship team.
Ballo started all 22 games in 2013 and has now started 42 in a row in his two seasons for the Retrievers. He scored his first two collegiate goals last season, including a goal in the America East title game victory over Hartford.
Ballo's former teammate, Pete Caringi, III, was a Hermann Trophy semifinalist in 2013.
UMBC returns eight starters and 22 letterwinners from a squad which owned the nation's best winning percentage (16-1-3, .875) a year ago. During the 2013 season, UMBC placed in the top ten in all media polls and the NSCAA poll. At its highest point, UMBC reached the No. 5 slot in Top Drawer Soccer, College Soccer News and the Continental Tire NSCAA Poll and climbed to a position of No. 10 in Soccer America. The program finished at No. 8 in the final NCAA RPI rankings.
UMBC has road matches with a pair of teams ranked in the top 25, including at No. 2 Maryland (Sept. 5) and at No. 25 Navy (Oct. 21).
The Retrievers open the regular season on Friday, Aug. 29 when they host Long Island University in the opening game of the Doubletree BWI Classic at Retriever Soccer Park.