Senior forward Pete Caringi III scored his 10th goal of the season in No. 7 UMBC’s 2-1 win against America East foe Hartford this past Saturday and is in a three-way tie for the Division I lead in that department. But he is not the only option on offense.
Senior midfielder Kadeem Dacres has scored five goals, junior midfielder Geaton Caitabiano has scored three times, and six other players have scored at least one goal this fall. Spreading the wealth on offense is a key reason why the Retrievers are 10-1-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the league.
“I’ve always said that to have a really good team, you need to have more than one goal scorer,” coach Pete Caringi Jr. said Monday. “And to have a great team you have to have at least three. Right now, Pete’s scoring, Kadeem’s scoring, Gaetan was scoring. If you look at our roster, we have more than one or two guys that can score. Having said that, we just looked at the game tape [against the Hawks] and saw that we had four breakaways that if we finish one more of them, we probably don’t have to sweat the game out. But that’s going to happen.”
Dacres’ five goals – the last of which proved to be the game-winner against Hartford – have already matched his total from last year. Caringi Jr. said Dacres has meshed well with his teammates in his second year since transferring from Mercer County Community College in New Jersey after the 2010 season.
“I just think he’s much more comfortable with our team,” the coach said. “He played well last year, and he had a great summer playing in the PDL [Premier Development League]. He got a chance to play on one of the best teams in the country [Reading United AC]. He’s always a confident player, but he came back for a second year to play with our group, and he just seems more comfortable now. He came back in great shape. So I think that combination has shown that he’s having a great year.”
Still, when the discussion centers on UMBC’s offense, it tends to shift to Carinigi III, who is locked in a tie with High Point junior forward Mamadee Nyepon and Northwestern sophomore forward Joey Calistri for the national lead in goals. His 10th goal of the season was his first score in four games – a span that had stretched back to the team’s 3-1 victory over Loyola on Sept. 21.
But his father said Caringi III was not desperate to end his personal drought.
“I think that defenses have adjusted and obviously, he has to adjust,” Caringi Jr. said. “As I’ve told him, ‘You’re not going to score every game.’ In the game against Delaware, he had a shot that was going into the corner and the goalie made a great save. Earlier in the year, we might have been fortunate that the ball was going in, but on that particular night, the ball didn’t go. So I think it’s understanding that you’re not going to score every game. And people know who he is. He’s the leading scorer in the country. People are going to be more aware of him, and you’ve just got to play through it. I definitely don’t think he was pressing. Then again, when people are asking him, ‘You haven’t scored since…’, you do start to feel a little more aware of it. But to his credit, I don’t think it showed in practice or games.”