The UMBC Retrievers (12-5-4) make the short trip to College Park, Md. to face fourth-ranked Maryland (13-5-3) in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Soccer Championships. The contest gets underway at Ludwig Field at 5:00 p.m. Links for live stats and free streaming video will be available via www.umbcretrievers.com and UMBC Front Row, the Retrievers' mobile site.
NOTING THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC advanced past ACC foe Wake Forest, 3-2, in penalty kicks on Thursday night in Winston-Salem, in the first round of the tournament. The Retrievers and Demon Deacons fought to a scoreless 0-0 draw in regulation, before junior Michael Scott hit the game winner in the fourth round. RS sophomore goalkeeper Billy Heavner made one save and the Deacons drew woodwork on two of their other four attempts.
Red-shirt freshman midfielder Gregg Hauck's goal with 14:22 remaining propelled the Retrievers to a 2-1 victory over visiting Hartford in the America East Conference Championship contest. The top-seeded Retrievers became the second league squad to win three consecutive championships and earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five seasons.
With four tournament tiles (in 12 years), UMBC trails only Boston University, with seven total America East championships.
UMBC dropped the first AE championship game final at Stony Brook in 2009, but have advanced in home efforts in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
UMBC has competed in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in the aforementioned years with a victory over Princeton in 2010, and advancement via penalty kicks in the last three years. The Retrievers are seeking their first appearance in the regional semifinals.
The Retrievers became the second team in league history to win regular season and tournament titles in back-to-back years. Boston U. achieved that feat in 1993-94.
UMBC is now unbeaten in its last 19 America East regular season contests (16-0-3) and is unbeaten versus its last 25 league foes (include playoffs), an America East record. At Retriever Soccer Park, UMBC is unbeaten in its last 16 (14-0-2) contests when playing America East foes.
UMBC is enjoying a season-high seven-game unbeaten streak.
The victory at Delaware was the 250th at UMBC for Head Coach Pete Caringi in his 24th season at the helm. Entering the season, UMBC mentor Pete Caringi was 31st in total victories amongst all active NCAA Division I coaches. He and his staff were named Coaching Staff of the Year for the second consecutive year by the league's coaches.
In 24 seasons under Caringi, UMBC is 155-47-30 (.733) at home and the Retrievers are 95-21-24 (.764) in 140 games on the Bermuda turf of Retriever Soccer Park. The Retriever mentor has an overall record of 258-149-58 (.617) during his tenure on Hilltop Circle and in 32 years as a head coach, he is 428-176-67 (.690).
Senior forward Kay Banjo leads the America East Conference in points (1.22) and assists per game (0.33). He is tied for 33rd nationally with 22 total points and is tied for 23rd with four game-winning goals.
At last count, Banjo's back-heel game-winning goal vs. Vermont in the America East semifinals had over 68,000 views on You Tube alone and hundreds of thousands of other views on various other video platforms.
Senior back Jordan Becker, who contributed a pair of assists in the 3-1 victory over Vermont, has now played in 80 career contests, moving him into a tie for third place (Billy Nelson, Darius Taylor) on UMBC's all-time list. If he sees action versus Maryland, he would tie all-time leader Louie Karko (1997-2000) at the top with 81 matches played.
RS sophomore goalkeeper Billy Heavner leads America East in goals against average (0.64) and save percentage (83.0). Heavner has now played in enough games to move into the national rankings and is 17th in save percentage and 12th in goals against average.
UMBC had been ranked No. 1 in its region for ten consecutive ratings periods (last eight weeks of 2013 season through Week No. 2 of 2014 season). After slipping from the regional rankings for one week, UMBC popped back up into the No. 7 slot in the Oct. 7 poll and climbed to No. 5 on Oct. 14. The most recent poll has seen UMBC at No. 4 in the East region.
UMBC led the nation in winning percentage (16-1-3, .875) in 2013. The 16 victories for UMBC were the most since also recording 16 in 2000 and the second-most in school history. The 1999 team led the nation in winning percentage and posted a record of 19-1-2.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Maryland leads the all-time series, 12-2-2, and the teams will meet for the second time in 2014 and the fourth time in the last four seasons.
On Sept 5, the two sides battled to a 0-0 double overtime draw at Ludwig Field. Red-shirt goalkeeper Phil Breno made six saves for the Retrievers in 110 minutes of action.
The Terrapins won the previous meeting, 3-1, in College Park in the 2012 campaign and captured a 4-3 overtime decision at Retriever Soccer Park when the series resumed after an 11-year hiatus in 2011. Prior to that, UMBC had posted its lone victory in College Park, a 2-0 triumph in 2000. The other Retriever triumph occurred in 1993, a 3-1 decision.
UMBC IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Retrievers are unbeaten (1-0-5) in their last six NCAA Tournament games, but have failed to advance in three out of the five draws… UMBC has won both penalty kick shootouts in first round competition, but dropped all three in the second round… the meeting versus Wake Forest was UMBC's third against an ACC school in post-season play… the Retrievers fell at Duke, 4-3, in overtime, in 1999 and drew at UNC (0-0) two seasons ago… UMBC hosted the universities' first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament contest when the 16th-seeded Retrievers entertained UConn in brutally cold and blustery conditions in 2013… Caltabiano is the lone current Retriever who has scored a goal in the NCAA Tournament, while Kansaye had a pair of assists in the contest versus the Huskies.
SCOUTING THE TERRAPINS
Junior midfielder Mael Corboz scored on a top-shelf, free kick from 25 yards to give the University of Maryland (13-5-3) its first-ever Big Ten Tournament championship with a 2-1 victory against Indiana last Sunday at Ludwig Field. The Terps won their third-straight conference title on Maryland soil after capturing the 2012 and 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament crowns in Germantown. Maryland brings an 11-game unbeaten streak into the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament.
Sunday's championship was Maryland's 31st conference title overall and seventh tournament crown. Corboz and sophomore goalkeeper Zack Steffen earned Big Ten Tournament Offensive and Defensive Most Valuable Player honors, respectively. Corboz leads the Terps with 10 goals and 23 points,while Steffen has started all 21 contests and posted nine shutouts.
UMBC is now 9-0-5 in the month of November in the past three seasons.
UMBC is now 47-31-14 in 12 America East seasons, which includes a mark of 30-9-6 in games at home and 17-22-8 on the road in league play.
UMBC's road unbeaten streak was extended to 11 (7-0-4) with the draw at Maryland on Sept. 5, 2014. That breaks the previous longest in school history, which was recorded in the 1999 campaign (6-0-2).
UMBC played before 7.284 fans at Maryland's Ludwig Field on Sept. 5, the fourth-largest crowd in UM history.
UP NEXT: The winner of the contest will take on the winner of the Saint Louis at Louisville match on Nov. 30.