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The UMBC men's soccer team opens the 2019 on Friday, August 30 when they welcome the Incarnate Word Cardinals to Retriever Soccer Park. The #WelcomeWeek match kicks off a season-opening five-game homestand for the Retrievers. Student #RetrieverNation flags will be distributed and the game is sponsored by our friends at Buffalo Wild Wings.
All eleven home games this season start at 7:00 p.m. The game will be streamed on the America East Digital Network with Paul Mittermeier on the call.
Four of UMBC's five America East All-Conference honorees return for the 2019 campaign. Second Team members Jon Bell (Silver Spring, Md./Richard Montgomery) and Cesare Marconi (Genoa, Italy) and All-Rookie teamers Jordan Ehart (Severna Park, Md./Mount St. Joseph) and Quantrell Jones (Baltimore, Md./Kenwood) are expected to provide production and leadership at three of the four levels of the field for the Retrievers.
Jones earned seven victories in nets in 2018, the third-most ever for a Retriever freshman.
Marconi led UMBC in scoring last season with 14 points (5g, 4a). His 63 shots (3.15 per game, second in America East) represented nearly 26 percent of the team's totals and was 39 more than any other Retriever.
Despite missing nearly half of the 2018 campaign, Bell was tabbed to the 2018 United Soccer Coaches All-Northeast Region First Team. Since 2009, 14 different Retrievers have earned all-region honors and of those 14, nine have been named to the first team. Bell was recently named to the 2019 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List.
Thirteen of 26 players on the 2019 roster did not suit up in the black-and-gold a year ago. The coaching staff brought in 12 newcomers and Alejandro Arbelaez (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) returns after a year absence in 2018.
UMBC has been selected to place in a tie for third position in the 2019 America East Conference pre-season men's soccer poll, the conference announced today. The 2018 America East finalists received 34 votes along with UMass Lowell. The coaches tabbed defending champion New Hampshire as the pre-season favorite with 47 points and five of eight first-place selections. Last year's regular season champions, the Stony Brook Seawolves, earned 40 points and the remaining three first-place votes to land in second position.
UMBC reached the 10-victory plateau for the seventh time in the last ten years.
The 2018 season marked the sixth time since 2012 that the program has been ranked in the top 25 in attendance. UMBC finished 16th in total attendance, as 14,806 patrons filled the stands and hill at Retriever Soccer Park in 2018. The Retrievers finished just a spot lower in 17th in average attendance drawing 1,346 fans each during 11 games last year.
UMBC opens the season with five consecutive home matches and 11 games total at Retriever Soccer Park. The Retrievers will kick off the season at RSP for the 11th straight season – the last time UMBC did not open at home occurred in 2008 when they faced St. Mary's (Ca.) at the U.S. Naval Academy. UMBC opened with a school-record six straight at home in 2011.
The Retrievers will play three first-time opponents this season – Incarnate Word, St. Bonaventure and UC-Santa Barbara. They will face Hofstra and St. Peter's for the first time since 2002 and take on Liberty for the first time since 1997. Both the Pride and the Peacocks competed in their conference title games in 2018 and Sept. 14 foe Long Island –Brooklyn captured the Northeast Conference title and played in the NCAA Championships First round.
Scouting the Cardinals
University of The Incarnate Word, located in San Antonio, Texas, competed in the Western Athletic Conference in men's soccer. The Cardinals posted a record of 2-14-1 in 2018, with both their wins coming in league play (2-9).
UIW scored 11 of their 13 goals (1.0 gpg) in WAC competition in 2018. Senior Antonio Savi led the Cardinals with six goals on the season. He scored two goals each in back-to-back games, a 3-1 win over UMKC and a 3-2 setback to national power UNLV. Senior Kas Van Eekelen scored a goal and tied for the team lead with a pair of assists in 2018. Sophomore goalkeeper Carlos Mercado started 15 games as a freshman and posted a 2.53 goals against average.
This will be the first-ever meeting between UMBC and UIW.
UMBC hosts Hofstra on Sunday, Sept. 1. Kick-off time is 7:00 p.m.