The end of the Fall 2015 semester is nearing for the Retrievers, and so is the end of this year’s season for UMBC’s men’s soccer team. Following such a historic season last year, the team entered Fall 2015 in full force.
The Retrievers won two of there first three games and tied the third. Scoring eight goals in those three contests.
The Retrievers ended at 11-6-3, 7 of which were in the America East Conference. In these games, the team scored 28 total successful goals, and executed 25 assists as well as 120 shots on goal. Senior forwarder Darius Madison was the top scorer of the team, who put 6 goals total in net. Senior forwarder/midfielder Michael Scott gave the most assists to the team, which also adds up to 6.
“We were coming off of a big year, so there was pressure on the group”, states Assistant Head Coach Anthony Adams, “And they handled it pretty well.”
“I’m real proud because when you get to the Final 4 and win 3 championships, you become more of a ‘big game’ for the other teams and that becomes a big pressure.” Caringi Jr. continues. “We handled it well because we won 11 games and that is impressive in a Division 1 League.”
Tying for second place, the Retrievers saw success in the America East Conference, having won three games, tying two, and losing two. And despite starting off slow, they picked up the pace and managed to make it all the way to the semifinals.
However, they lost the championship to Vermont in the intense match, which ended with a Vermont victory in overtime. This would be the first time in three years that UMBC didn’t receive the first place title.
UMBC was also unsuccessful to find a spot into the NCAA tournament this year. This would break a 3-year streak for the team.
“We were disappointed.” Caringi Jr. acknowledged. “But, this makes us determined to try again next year.”
He and Adams remain proud of the teams despite the losses and agree that with more practice and experience, especially for the younger players, there will be improvement for next year. Caringi Jr. informed that 8 starters from the year before had left the team, and because of this, there were many new young players on the team for the first time.
“The challenge of starting over with a whole new group was an accomplishment because I saw their growth throughout the year.” Said Adams, thinking back on his experiences with new players.
The Retrievers had the opportunity of having individual members of the team receive honors this season. Sophomore midfielder/back fielder Gregg Hauck and senior midfielder Malcolm Harris received first team All Conference honors. Harris was also given America East Conference Defender honors. Junior goalkeeper Billy Heavner was named the 2015 Division 1 Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year by Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). He and Scott were also given second team All Conference honors. Freshmen midfielder Patrick Jean- Gilles and back fielder Kyle Saunderson were given All Rookie Team honors.
As the Retrievers competed over these last few months, their support from their classmates was strong. Overall home attendance adds up to 20,064 spectators, 4882 of which were at the conference games. The average of the home attendance is 1,543 spectators.
Caringi Jr. would like to thank the team’s fans for their support. “We are ranked top 25th in fan attendance. And Lot 17’s support has been amazing. The overall atmosphere at the Retriever Soccer Park is as good as any in soccer.”
Adams announces, “The last 6 years have been a run of success with championships and record breaking crowds. We look forward to continuing.”