Baltimore, Md.-- UMBC men's soccer had a banner year in 2018, making their first appearance in the America East Championship game since their 2014 run to the College Cup. The Retrievers finished the season at 10-6-4, 4-3-1 AE, earning the five seed in the conference tournament. Several Retrievers earned all-conference honors, as once again, Retriever Soccer Park proved to be one of the toughest venues in all of college soccer.
Strong Attendance Numbers:
-The Retrievers once again finished in the top 20 in the nation in attendance, finishing 16th with an average of 1,346 fans per contest. In total, 14,806 patrons visited Retriever Soccer Park during 11 home matches.
-This is the sixth time since 2012 that UMBC is ranked in the top 25 in attendance. The highest the team has been ranked was back in 2015 when they finished 13th nationally. Last year, the Retrievers were 14th as UMBC earned the Top 20 ranking four years in a row from 2012-15.
"We have some of the best fans in the country. Our university, staff and students always show great support. Our athletic department works together with us to provide the best atmosphere and to fill the stand each and every night," head coach Pete Caringi said.
Dawgs Back in AE Title Game:
-UMBC made a return trip to the America East playoffs, reaching the championship for the first time in four years. The Retrievers played the last five games on the road in a span of 16 days, including three in the conference tournament as the five seed.
-The Retrievers advanced past Vermont on penalty kicks in the first round, setting up a meeting with top-seeded Stony Brook. UMBC got a late goal against the Seawolves to advance to the title tilt. However, UMBC would fall, 5-0, to New Hampshire to end the season.
"Our guys worked hard to get to the conference final. It was a great accomplishment even though we did not get the result we would have liked. We will take the experience from this year, and build on it for 2019," Caringi said.
Stellar Play at Home:
-UMBC finished the year with an 8-2-1 record at Retriever Soccer Park, continuing to prove that Retriever Soccer Park is one of the toughest venues in college soccer. The Retrievers' home losses this year came against Air Force, 2-0, in early September - a team which made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament - and Vermont.
-Since 2010, the Retrievers have had just one losing season at home, going 3-5-2 in 2016. Over that span, UMBC is 64-19-19 at Retriever Soccer Park in 102 matches.
-Sophomore Cesare Marconi (Loano, Italy) and junior Jon Bell (Silver Spring, Md./Richard Montgomery) earned a place on the America East All-Conference Second Team, leading a team of five Retrievers to earn all-conference honors.
-Both Marconi and Bell are on the all-conference team for the first times in their careers. Marconi led the Retrievers with 14 points on five goals and four assists. Bell returned from a knee injury early in the year, and recorded an assist in 2018 from the back line. Bell was also named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Northeast Region First Team in December.
-Quantrell Jones (Baltimore, Md./Kenwood) and Jordan Ehart (Severna Park, Md./Mount St. Joseph) were named to the All-Rookie Team. Jones took over goalkeeper duties late in the year and posted stellar numbers in net. He played in 13 matches, giving up 14 goals (1.05 GAA) making 36 saves (.720 save pct) to go along with five shutouts and a 7-2-2 record. Ehart played in 16 games, making 15 starts, playing on the back line. He started the year on the outside before moving inside late in the year.
-David Harris (Waimanalo, Hawaii) earned a spot on the All-Academic Team. Harris has a 3.52 GPA, majoring in biological sciences. Harris played mostly on the back line for UMBC, recording one shot in 15 matches.