Retriever Soccer Park, home to the UMBC men's soccer program and pictured here hosting 2,873 fans on Aug. 28, 2017 against Howard, was named one of the top nine places to watch a college soccer game, according to an NCAA poll on Twitter.
Retriever Soccer Park, home to the UMBC men's soccer program and pictured here hosting 2,873 fans on Aug. 28, 2017 against Howard, was named one of the top nine places to watch a college soccer game, according to an NCAA poll on Twitter. (UMBC Athletics)

The UMBC men’s soccer team, a perennial power in the America East Conference, has a venue that is just as impressive.

Retriever Soccer Park in Catonsville was named one of the top nine places to watch college soccer, according to an NCAA.com ranking.

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“In case you didn’t know, this soccer field boasts a Bermuda grass playing surface and currently holds the attendance record when UMBC played No. 1 Maryland on September 26, 2017,” NCAA.com’s Beth Maiman wrote. An announced sellout crowd of 3,766 watched the Retrievers and Terps settle for a 1-1 tie.

'The state of soccer in Maryland won': No. 3 Terps men, UMBC play to 1-1 draw

Twenty minutes of overtime could not separate two teams of local players intimately familiar with one another.

Last season, UMBC ranked 14th nationally in attendance, averaging 1,616 fans per game, which marked a program record.

“I’m happy to see that the rest of the country is finding out what is already known in Maryland, that Retriever Soccer Park is one of the best places in the country to watch college soccer,” coach Pete Caringi said in a statement. “It is a credit to our students, alumni, fans and the Baltimore soccer community. On top of that, we have one of the best student supporter groups in Lot 17.”

Retriever Soccer Park joined Creighton’s Morrison Stadium, Penn State’s Jeffrey Field, Wake Forest’s Spry Stadium, Akron’s FirstEnergy Stadium, South Carolina’s Stone Stadium, Kentucky’s The Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex, Texas A&M’s Ellis Field and Utah’s Ute Field on the NCAA’s list.

UMBC went 7-6-5 last fall and was ranked for the seventh time in the past eight seasons. The team will open the upcoming season Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at home against Temple.

The omission of Maryland’s Ludwig Field, which regularly ranks among the nation’s leaders in attendance, did not sit well with the program or its supporters. The Terps men’s soccer Twitter account snarkily suggested that the list was not legitimate and added, “Good try though” with a pair of laughing-face emojis.

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