Greatest Season in School History Ends in NCAA College Cup Semis

Greatest Season in School History Ends in NCAA College Cup Semis

Cary, N.C. – UMBC's greatest varsity athletic season came to an end, as the six-time national champion Virginia Cavaliers edged the Retrievers, 1-0, before a partisan UMBC crowd in the NCAA College Cup semifinal match at WakeMed Stadium.  

"That was an amazing crowd," said head coach Pete Caringi. "The whole town got behind us. Their enthusiasm says a lot about the school. It was an amazing run with an amazing group of players."  

Despite taking nine corners to just two for the 16th-seeded Cavs, UMBC conceded an early goal and could not get the equalizer.

"We have scored a lot this year on corner kicks," said head coach Pete Caringi ." We almost got a couple during the first half, and we had worked on it during the week.  We really thought that if we got a corner kick or a set piece we would score a goal. We were sending everyone forward, but the bounce of the ball just wasn't there." 

Virginia stunned UMBC with a goal in the fifth minute of play, the first allowed by UMBC in the tournament and 457 minutes of play. Pablo Aguilar dispossessed the Retrievers of the ball forty yards from the goal, and slid the ball to the right side, where Darius Madison beat red-shirt sophomore goalkeeper Billy Heavner (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) inside the far left post from 12 yards out.

UMBC junior midfielder Malcolm Harris (Damascus, Md./McDonogh) tried the counter quickly, but his slicing shot on goal in the 8th minute, but UVA goalkeeper Calle Brown made the save. Midway through the period, senior back Oumar Ballo (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) outleaped the UVA defense on senior Jordan Becker's (Pocomoke, Md.) corner, but headed the ball just wide of the upper right corner of the net.

The Retrievers got early corners in the second half, but could get no shots on frame. Virginia's defense sagged in and allowed UMBC very little room to operate in the scoring third of the field. The America East champion's best chances occurred in the 72nd and 81st minutes. On the first, senior forward Kay Banjo (Upper Marlboro, Md./Largo) unleashed a wicked drive from a deep angle on the right side, but the ball hit the right side netting. On the latter chance, senior back Spencer Williams (Germantown, Md./Watkins Mill) managed to get deep on the right end line, but his cross was scooped up by Cavs' goalkeeper Calle Brown.  

UMBC outshot Virginia, 5-3, and Heavner was not credited with a save in the game. Virginia's last shot occurred in the 27th minute of the game.

UMBC, which saw its ten-game unbeaten streak halted, finished the historic campaign at 14-5-5.  

Notes: The Cavs' goal was the earliest scored vs. UMBC in 2014… Navy scored in the 10' in UMBC's previous loss, a 2-0 setback on Oct. 21… UMBC went 457 minutes without permitting a score, dating back to the America East championship game versus Hartford… The Retrievers are the first America East Conference soccer team to reach the national semifinals.