By Everett Ramone Burris
Assistant Sports Editor
It was a triumphant night for UMBC men’s soccer seniors as they dominated the University of Vermont Catamounts 5-1 in their last home game at Retriever Soccer Park. The win clinches a share of the America East title for the second consecutive season.
“The best way to honor our seniors was to play our best soccer of the year,” said Coach Pete Caringi.
It truly was the seniors who carried the team on this night, led by native Ohioan midfielder Michael DiCesare. DiCesare, who has a knack for stepping up and putting the ball in the net in big games, scored three goals to help nab the conference championship. DiCesare’s hat trick was his first three goals of the season.
Junior Michael Scott and sophomore Michael Burgos bookended DiCesare’s scoring effort, Scott netting one in the 17th minute and Burgos scoring in the 74th.
Not Since Pete Caringi III in 2012 versus the University of Hartford has a Retriever scored a hat trick. This game was also a milestone game for the Retrievers as a team, as their five goals were the most scored since the same Hartford game in 2012.
UMBC hasn’t loss an America East match in its last 22 games. At home the Retrievers have run off 12 victories and two ties. Their last loss being to Vermont in the 2012 season only makes Saturday’s victory even sweeter.
A three-save performance and near shutout by red-shirt sophomore goalkeeper Billy Heavner allowed UMBC to stay on the offensive attack as they outshot Vermont 17-6.
The Retrievers played well throughout the brisk night, moving the ball crisply and getting great touches by senior midfielder Mamadou Kansaye and junior Malcolm Harris. The senior out of Largo, Kay Banjo also added an assist to the stat column, aiding DiCesare to his second goal.
The Retrievers could not ask for a better send-off into the post-season, as they will host one of the America East Tournament semi-final games on Wednesday, Nov. 12.
With a record ten seniors leading the way, UMBC will look to not only repeat their conference tournament success but make a push in the NCAA tournament this year and make it a truly memorable year of Retriever soccer.