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Men’s soccer entertains on Senior Night

In the last home game of the regular season, the Retrievers overwhelmed their opponents with lots of showboating, lung-busting runs and nutmegs in front of 1,985 fans. Before the game, the six graduating seniors: defenders David Harris and Kyle Saunderson; midfielders Saif Arar, Patrick Jean-Gilles, Gielen and Marshall McCartney, were honored. Goalkeeping coach Sam DeBone, who is leaving UMBC after 23 years with the team, was also honored. They received applause and commemorative placards, which showed the player’s picture and the years they have spent at UMBC.

In the first half, the Retrievers dominated possession and had a lot of crosses into the box. The Colonials could not attack because they were under constant Retriever pressure. In the 12th minute, the pressure led to a goal as sophomore-forward Cesare Marconi intercepted a poor backpass from a GW defender and scored. That was Marconi’s team-leading 5th goal of the year.

UMBC was on top for most of the half and scored a second from a corner to make it 2–0. Sophomore-midfielder Matt Bailey finished off a chance in the 28th minute after a header from junior-forward Nick Gumbs was saved. The Retrievers out-shot the Colonials 12–1 in the half.

In the second half, UMBC came out strong again with tricks and flicks. They had taken four shots by the 68th minute. However, the Colonials gained a foothold on the game and scored in the 69th minute through Dylan Lightbourn. The Retrievers then scored five minutes later to effectively end the game as a contest. A GW defender handled in the box and Gielen scored the resulting penalty. The Retrievers would hold on from there and win the game by a score of 3–1.

“We went into field with the right mindset,” said goalscorer Marconi on the win. “Coach [Caringi] said we should take midweek games seriously. Now we have nine wins. We have to [win the next two conference games] to get the 11th win and get 1st place. To score the first goal, I was right there and I was ready. I’m happy for the three goals because it shows that our forwards are working hard to take our opportunities.”

“[My] goal is for [Coach Debone],” said Marconi on dedicating his goal to the departing coach. “He is leaving and that is why, when I scored, I gave him the ball.”

“I’m proud that we were able to win the game for the seniors,” said Marconi on the senior players. “Today was a big day and a good match. I’m happy for them and I wish them the best of luck.”

“The first half was our best half of the year by far,” said Coach on the team’s performance. “The defense played really well. We put on too much of a show in the second half. I am ecstatic about the three goals. I was hoping to see a couple more [since we had 17 shots].”

“They are a classy group of great student athletes,” said Caringi on the senior players. “I enjoyed being around them. I cannot say enough good things about the character of that whole group. I’m happy they won on the last day.”