UMBC Men's Soccer will celebrate its appearance in the 2014 College Cup (NCAA national semifinals) with a banner unveiling before they christen the 2015 season against Fairfield in the Hampton Inn BWI Kick-Off Classic on Friday, August 28. The ceremony will take place just before the scheduled 7:30 kick-off. The game will be streamed live and for free on www.umbcretrievers.tv, with Paul Mittermeier on the call.
In addition, UMBC sports marketing will sponsor a bracelet giveaway if fans follow @UMBCSportsMktg on Twitter or RETRIEVERBELIEVER on Instagram! The offer is valid while supplies last, so arrive early! You can also pick up your FREE 2015 men's soccer schedule poster, magnets and schedule cards for the post-game autograph session.
The UMBC men's soccer program has been ranked No. 12 in the 2015 National Soccer College Association of America Division I preseason rankings. The No. 12 ranking is the top preseason mark for the Retriever program. Last season, Pete Caringi's squad, coming off back-to-back America East titles, was tabbed at No. 19 in the August poll.
The three-time defending league champions will welcome back 16 letterwinners and three starters from last year's 14-6-5 squad.
A season ago, UMBC became the first team in NCAA tournament history to win four consecutive road games and to post shutouts in four consecutive games to reach the College Cup.
With four America East tournament titles (in 12 years), UMBC trails only Boston University, with seven total America East championships. 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.
Head Coach Pete Caringi, Jr., is celebrating his 25th season at the helm of the Retrievers. In 24 campaigns, 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 260-150-59 (.617) during his tenure on Hilltop Circle and in 32 years as a head coach, he is 430-177-67 (.688).
Fairfield posted an 8-5-7 overall record a year ago and advanced to the MAAC tournament championship game. The Stags return a majority of their starters from a year ago, including goalkeeper Matt Turner, who returns after leading the nation in save percentage (.886) in 2014.
Fairfield finished the 2014 year as the nation's leader in shutout percentage (0.65) by posting a nation-high 13 shutouts.
Sophomore Angus Hastings earned a spot on the All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) men's soccer preseason team. The Stags were selected fifth in the coaches' poll, collecting 83 points. Offensively, sophomore Ben Wignall will anchor the forwards after leading the team in scoring as a rookie. The forward posted four goals in his 20 appearances, including two game winners.
UMBC has never faced Fairfield on the soccer pitch. The Retrievers do have a record of 18-7-2 versus current membership of the MAAC.
The Retrievers, who will play seven of nine games at home in August and September, welcome Central Arkansas to Retriever Soccer Park in the final game of the opening tournament. Delaware hosts UCA on Friday and Fairfield on Sunday.