UMBC Ranked No. 19; Ballo Named to Hermann Watch List
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The two-time defending America East men's soccer champion UMBC Retrievers were selected No. 19 in the 2014 NSCAA/Continental Tire Preseason College Rankings, the organization announced Wednesday on the "2014 NSCAA College Soccer Review Show."
To go along with the preseason national ranking, senior back Oumar Ballo was named to the 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in NCAA soccer presented annually to one male and one female athlete. The winners will be announced Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, at the trophy presentation banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
The lists are compiled by the NSCAA Men’s and Women’s NCAA Division I All-America Committees, based on their analysis of returning All-America and All-Region players, as well as any prominent newcomers.
Ballo was one of only eight defenders named to the Watch List. In 2013, the sociology major was selected to the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Second Team All-America squad. He was also named America East Defender of the Year and to AE First Team and All-Championship team.
Ballo started all 22 games in 2013 and has now started 42 in a row in his two seasons for the Retrievers. He scored his first two collegiate goals last season, including a goal in the America East title game victory over Hartford.
UMBC alum and 2013 America East Offensive Player of the Year, Pete Caringi, III, was a Hermann Trophy semifinalist last year.
UMBC returns eight starters and 22 letterwinners from a squad which owned the nation’s best winning percentage (16-1-3, .875) a year ago. During the 2013 season, UMBC placed in the top ten in all media polls and the NSCAA poll. At its highest point, UMBC reached the No. 5 slot in Top Drawer Soccer, College Soccer News and the Continental Tire NSCAA Poll and climbed to a position of No. 10 in Soccer America. The program finished at No. 8 in the final NCAA RPI rankings.
The Retrievers open the regular season on Friday, Aug. 29 when they host Long Island University in the opening game of the Doubletree BWI Classic at Retriever Soccer Park.