The No. 7 UMBC men’s soccer team rebounded from its first loss of the season with a 2-1 decision against America East foe Hartford this past Saturday.
The Retrievers improved to 10-1-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the league and distanced themselves from the memory of a 1-0 double-overtime setback to Delaware last Tuesday.
“I thought it was a real big win – anytime you win a conference game on the road,” coach Pete Caringi Jr. said. “They had a great crowd, a great atmosphere, and they had been on a pretty good run. It was a physical game. It’s probably their best team that they’ve had in a long time. So I think to come away with a win, we were all excited.”
UMBC’s next contest is at William and Mary, which is 5-3-1 and has won four of its last five games.
“They’re very good,” Caringi said of the Tribe, which boasts upset of then-No. 1 Creighton and then-No. 1 North Carolina in a span of nine days last month. “I know last week in the national RPI which is the main barometer of where you are, we were [No.] 3 before our loss and they were [No.] 5. So this is a game between two really good teams. They’re very good at home. They’ve had a great run of success against teams that are nationally ranked. So it’ll be a great challenge for us. It’s a great test, its our last non-conference game and ideally at this time of the year, you rarely focus in on a non-conference game, but our mentality is going to be, we’re going to go down there and we’re going to play our regular game and we’re going to try to get a result.”
Caringi said he doesn’t think it will be necessary for him to remind the players that William and Mary, which was ranked just outside of the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Top 25 poll, upended Creighton and North Carolina.
“I think most of these kids are pretty well-tuned to the media,” he said. “They all have instant messaging and their phones with them. So they have instant access to everything. So I think they’re pretty aware of that. All along, what we’ve done is approached how we want to play and who we are. We don’t try to blow up the other team too much and we don’t try to undervalue them. I think we’ve been consistent with that all year, and everybody knows how good they are and how well they’ve done. I think we’ll respect them, but at the end of the day, I think we’re going to go down there and try to get a result.”