BALTIMORE – UMBC Head Men's Soccer Coach Pete Caringi, Jr. announced today that former Retriever standout Phil Saunders, health administration, '15, will return to his alma mater as a volunteer assistant coach/goalkeepers coach for the 2019 season.
Saunders served as men's head soccer coach at CCBC-Catonsville for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He compiled a record of 16-17-4 in two seasons. Last season, the Cardinals won six of seven October games before a tough loss to Montgomery College in the NJCAA Region XX Division I Tournament semi-finals.
"Replacing a legend like Coach [Sam] DeBone is difficult, but we are very excited about Phil joining the staff," head coach Pete Caringi, Jr. said. "He was an outstanding player here and has built up a great reputation in the training of goalkeepers. To get a coach like Phil is a huge addition to our staff and program."
The Baltimore native is the most decorated goalkeeper in UMBC's Division I history. He earned America East All-Rookie Team honors in 2009 and second team accolades in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, Saunders recorded 10 shutouts, including a blanking of the final four Retriever foes of the year, as UMBC reached the NCAA Tournament Second Round. He earned 2012 America East Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors.
Saunders captained the 2013 squad, which led the nation in winning percentage (16-1-3, 87.5) and became the first UMBC squad to host an NCAA Tournament game. UMBC earned a national ranking of No. 5 during that campaign.
A graduate of Perry Hall High School where he played fullback, Saunders is UMBC's career leader in victories (44) and is second with 24 shutouts.
In 2014-15, Saunders competed professionally with Bi/Bolungarvik of Iceland and the Baltimore Blast of the MASL. He started all 12 games for his club in Iceland and was part of a Blast indoor squad that reached the championship. In the summer of 2018, Saunders earned National Player of the Week honors, leading Christos FC to a victory over the Richmond Kickers in the U.S. Open Cup.