UMBC Seeded 16th For NCAA Tourney, Receives 1st Round Bye
INDIANAPOLIS - For the first time since the NCAA Men's Soccer College Cup bracket expanded to 48 teams in 2001, an America East team has received a first-round bye and will play at home in the tournament's second round. UMBC, America East's champion, is seeded 16th overall and will play the winner of Connecticut and Quinnipiac Sunday at Retriever Soccer Park.
This marks the 10th time in the last 13 years an America East team has played in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
UMBC (16-1-2), the sixth-ranked team in the nation, beat Hartford, 4-0, Saturday evening to win its third conference title in four years. Pete Caringi III, America East's Striker of the Year, for the second-straight year, scored twice and added an assist en route to earn Most Outstanding Player honors. HIs five points and two goals both tied single-game tournament records.
Unbeaten in its last nine games, the Retrievers will be the first America East team to host an NCAA game since 2008. UMBC is well balanced, ranking 10th nationally, averaging 2.05 goals per game and 13th, compiling a 0.65 team goals-against average.
UMBC has now advanced to the tournament's second round in three of the last four years, and been close to reaching the third round each previous time. In 2010, the Retrievers beat Princeton in the first round before falling in penalty kicks to William & Mary in the second round. Last year, the Retrievers advanced past Old Dominion in penalty kicks before falling in kick to North Carolina in the second round.
Overall, America East teams are 14-24-8 in NCAA men's soccer tournament play.