Pete Caringi has cut a historic soccer swath through Baltimore as a player and coach, and now he has added to his legacy with his 300th coaching victory in a little more than 21 years at Essex Community College and UMBC.
There are always many memorable moments for any coach who reaches the level Caringi has, but he said he will never forget that day in 1999 when the Retrievers beat Mount St. Mary's to capture the Northeast Conference championship.
That was the day Caringi had to make good on a promise to shave his mustache if UMBC won the league title, and he did it right on the UMBC field in front of fans, players, family members and members of the close-knit East Baltimore soccer community.
Oh, and don't forget his hair stylist, who was there to help the coach do the shaving.
"To enjoy something that important to me and the team in front of so many close friends and family was really special," said Caringi, whose team plays host to the first Battle of Baltimore tournament this weekend.
UMBC played the Blue Devils tough in Durham, N.C., before losing, 4-3, in overtime in the first round.
Caringi learned an attacking brand of soccer while growing up on Conkling Street in East Baltimore. The entertaining style has helped him attract many top players to UMBC.
"We call 1999 the 'Dream Season,' " said Caringi of that 19-1-1 team that almost pulled off a miracle in the NCAA tourney. "Just like the season  for the Maryland Bays when we won the American Professional Soccer League title [20-5 record]."
So just what went through Caringi's mind last Sunday at UMBC, where the Retrievers defeated Gardner-Webb, 3-0, to present him with the charmed 300th victory.
"I really wasn't concentrating on 300 because I still consider myself young enough  to coach many more games," he said. "It was a good milestone but it seemed more like a number to me. My main goal here is to take UMBC to national recognition in soccer."
Tigers on tear
Is eight enough?
Yes was the answer for the Towson University field hockey team, which opened its season Sunday with a school record-breaking 8-0 victory over St. Francis (Pa.) at Towson.
The eight goals broke the single-game mark of seven that was established six times since the school began playing field hockey in 1976.
Sophomore Julie Lambi scored three goals to lead the Tigers' show.
Honors for Bowie State
The Bowie State football team put on an impressive 34-7 performance in its season opener Saturday against West Virginia State, resulting in four Bulldogs receiving weekly Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association awards.
Center Marcus Skelton was named CIAA Lineman of the Week for helping clear the way for 191 yards rushing and 308 yards total offense.
Also honored were Kelvin Collins, who was the league's Offensive Back of the Week (15 carries, 95 yards and a 15-yard touchdown run); Charles Alston, who was the CIAA Defensive Lineman of the Week (11 tackles, one sack, three quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery); and strong safety Alonzo Corbett, who captured CIAA Rookie of the Week honors (nine tackles, one sack and one forced fumble).
Bowie's Henry Frazier III was the CIAA Coach of the Week.
UM volleyball hot
Lynnsy Jones was chosen the most valuable player of the Maryland Invitational volleyball tournament last weekend after leading Maryland to three consecutive match wins and the title.
Joining Jones on the all-tournament team were Terps teammates Carey Brennan and Lindsay Davey. UMBC's Taunya Woolery also was an all-tourney choice.
Mids' Sanchez sparkles
Matt Sanchez and the Navy soccer team are off to a 2-0 start, thanks to the junior forward's overtime goal that lifted the Mids to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Massachusetts on Sunday.
Sanchez had two goals in the championship game of the Navy Soccer Classic.
Battle of Baltimore
Site:UMBC Soccer Stadium
Towson vs. Navy, 1 p.m.
Loyola vs. UMBC, 4 p.m.
Consolation, 2 p.m.
Championship, 4:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $5; students, $3.