Fans of Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference soccer couldn’t have been happier to see the performance turned in by several of its former athletes Tuesday night at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, when the Retrievers hosted Navy (1-3-2).
UMBC won, 3-2, on Jordan Becker’s cross from the left side with 7:57 remaining in the second overtime and the 21st-ranked Retrievers (College Soccer News) improved to 6-0-0.
Before that goal by the Pocomoke High product, every other point was produced by players from the MIAA A Conference.
UMBC senior forward Pete Caringi III, a Calvert Hall graduate and Perry Hall native, came into the contest leading the nation in points per game (3.40) after scoring eight goals in his first four games.
Teammate Gaeton Caltabiano, a 2009 Mount St. Joseph graduate, arrived leading the nation in assists (5) and assists per game (1).
The pair teamed up for UMBC’s first goal, that tied the score 18:48 into the first half, but it was Caringi doing the feeding for his second assist in as many games.
Caringi tangled with a defender in the box, but battled through for the hard-nosed delivery.
“You just have to keep playing through until you hear a whistle, obviously, you stop, but I just kept trying to play it through,” Caringi said. “We were down at the time, so we were just trying to come back and give that little extra effort and I found Gaeton and he scored a great goal.”
The goal came after the Midshipmen struck first nine minutes into the opening half, with a pair of Catonsville products doing the damage.
Senior Dave Arnold, a Mount St, Joseph graduate, won a header beyond midfield and sent a through ball to streaking Jamie Dubyoski and the Catonsville resident deposited it past Perry Hall High alum Phil Saunders.
Dubyoski’s team-leading third goal was especially sweet for his faithful fans who witnessed it.
“I actually went to high school with a bunch of people that go here and they came out and my family is over there and I think my cousins are here,” said the Navy sophomore, who is proud of his MIAA soccer roots. “It’s been said the MIAA is one of the top conferences in the country, and when you have kids coming out and performing on the Division I level, it just proves it.”
UMBC took a 2-1 lead later in the first half when Caltabiano’s dead ball cross into the box was headed off the crossbar by Oumar Ballo (Archbishop Curley) and rebounded to Marquez Fernandez (McDonogh), who deposited it home.
Navy tied the game, 2-2, four minutes into the second half, thanks to hustle by Arnold.
After his header deflected off Saunders, Arnold charged in and finished the rebound.
In the process, he suffered a leg injury, was carried off the field and never returned.
The play of the two local players (Arnold and Dubyoski), didn’t go unnoticed by UMBC coach Pete Caringi Jr.
“Any time you get a chance to play against a guy you played against in high school, you always have that little more excitement, and to their credit, I thought both of those kids were excellent,” Caringi Jr. said.
“You could see they had a little bit extra. They wanted to get a win in their hometown and they played hard.”
Arnold and Dubyoski both played with relentless hustle in the physical contest, that was indicative of the way teams plays in the America East Conference that UMBC won last season.
Caringi, who was named Disney/NSCAA Player of the Week and College Soccer New Player of the Week twice already this season, felt the added pressure as well.
“I was more of a facilitator today, flicking balls through, finding Gaeton, but it doesn’t really matter what role I take as long as I take the right one to win,” said Caringi, whose 80 career points are tied for sixth all-time and 32 goals are seventh in program history. “This is probably the biggest backline we’ve played this year and I did feel more double-teamed today than I have all year.”
On the game-winning goal, that was set up by a width of the field cross from Caltabiano to Becker, Caringi was in perfect position for a crossing pass.
“I thought if it didn’t go in, I was there to touch it in. It kept curving, and it went in. It doesn’t matter how it goes in, it’s a matter of getting the win,” Caringi said.