UMBC Stadium Receives New Turf Surface

UMBC Athletics is currently installing a new turf surface at UMBC Stadium, with the project scheduled for completion in early August.

King Sports Construction is the contractor for the project, which will utilize Field Turf Revolution system. Coupled with FieldTurf’s patented heavy three-layer infill system and state-of-the-art SureLock coating method, the FieldTurf Revolution turf system has been designed to be the very best synthetic turf system with unparalleled player safety and turf drainage rates.

The surface will feature in-laid lines for lacrosse and the Retriever logo in the center of the field, while soccer lines will be painted on the surface. Retriever Soccer Park, which features a Bermuda grass surface, serves as the soccer program’s primary field, but the UMBC Stadium field may be used in poor weather conditions.

Moreover, King Sports will also install a new backstop netting system at UMBC Stadium.

The upgrade replaces Sportexe’s Momentum 51 synthetic turf, which was set up in the spring of 2005.

Phil Saunders Makes Professional Soccer Debut In Iceland

Former UMBC goalkeeper Phil Saunders has signed a contract with BÍ Bolungarvík of the Icelandic First Division. The former 2012 America East Tournament Most Outstanding Player made professional debut on July 19 and earned the victory in the team’s 6-4 victory over Tindastóll.

BÍ Bolungarvík stands at 4 wins, 6 losses and 2 draws with 10 games remaining in the league season, which concludes in mid-September.

Saunders is the lone American player on the squad. He joins Pete Caringi III (Oklahoma City Energy FC) and Kadeem Dacres (Arizona United FC) as three of UMBC’s four seniors from the 2013 America East title squad in the professional ranks.

“I am extremely happy for Phil and our UMBC soccer family,” said head coach Pete Caringi, Jr. “He has worked very hard for this moment and I can’t think of a more deserving player to represent UMBC. He will have left a soccer legacy along with fellow seniors Pete Caringi lll, Kadeem Dacres and Travis Dennis that will always be remembered for years to come.”

In 2013, Saunders was selected to America East Second Team and All-Championship Team for second consecutive season. He moved into second place on UMBC’s all-time shutouts list with 24, just one behind UMBC Hall of Famer Brian Rowland (’02).

Saunders finished second in the America East Conference and 19th in the country with a 0.70 goals against average. His career goals-against-average was 0.97 and the final record was 44-14-10 (.721).

Luke Ford Named Director of Men’s Basketball Operations

Luke Ford has been named Director of Basketball Operations for the UMBC men’s basketball program, head coach Aki Thomas announced in July, 2014.

The Charlottesville, Va. native graduated from the University of Virginia in May of 2014 with a bachelor’s degree of Arts in foreign affairs along with coursework related to basketball analytics, statistical analysis, psychology in sports and exercise, and management accounting.

During his four years at Virginia, Ford was the head manager for the men’s basketball team, which was named as a number one seed in the most recent NCAA Championships.

The newest member of the Retriever staff has also developed advanced metrics designed to improve player chemistry, shooting mechanics, and defensive strategy.

Ford also played four seasons of basketball at Albemarle (Va.) High School and served as co-captain during his senior season. He received the Patriot Award for his exemplary team leadership.

UMBC Welcomes Kala Andrews as Associate Athletics Director for Compliance

The UMBC department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation is pleased to announce the appointment of Kala Andrews as Associate Athletics Director for Compliance, effective July 1, 2014.

The position reports directly to the Athletics Director and is responsible to uphold UMBC’s dedication to excellence through monitoring, verifying and coordinating rules compliance with all NCAA, America East and university regulations and policies. At its core is the principle of university control and shared responsibility.

Since September of 2012, Andrews served as Associate Director of Compliance at the University of South Carolina. In that capacity, she was responsible for overseeing initial, transfer, and continuing eligibility for all 20 varsity sports. She also served as the athletics department liaison to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and University Housing, assisting with the admissions process for prospective student-athletes and all student-athlete housing assignments and issues.

Prior to her stint in Columbia, Andrews held the position of Assistant Director of Compliance at Ohio State University from January 2010 through September 2012.

A native of Pickerington, Ohio, Andrews received her undergraduate degree in 2007 from Miami University (Ohio), where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and history. She later received her Juris Doctorate from Capital University Law School in 2010.

Six UMBC Graduates Among Inaugural America East Presidential Scholar-Athletes

Six UMBC student-athletes were among the 48 America East student-athletes named to the conference’s inaugural Presidential Scholar-Athlete class for their outstanding academic achievements throughout their collegiate careers. Approved by the America East Board of Presidents last June and implemented for 2013-14 academic year, the Presidential Scholar-Athlete award recognizes graduating student-athletes who compiled a cumulative grade-point-average (GPA) of 3.75 or higher as an undergraduate student.

The Retriever honorees were tennis’ Kim Berghaus, swimming and diving’s Patty Hallberg, volleyball’s Robbin Lee, men’s soccer’s Corbin McCarron, cross country/track athlete Kirsten McGovern and baseball’s Luke Seppi.

In addition to registering a 3.75 GPA for their college career, honored student-athletes must have received their undergraduate degree in the academic year they are honored and have attended their institution for a minimum of two years. All six Retriever student-athletes graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Casey Cathrall Named UMBC’s New Director of Strength and Conditioning

UMBC has named Casey Cathrall as the new Director of Strength and Conditioning for its 19-sport intercollegiate athletic program, effective Tuesday, June 10.

Cathrall will be responsible for keeping UMBC athletes in peak physical condition by teaching and assisting them with skills and exercises that will help the student-athletes to improve their flexibility, mobility and fundamental strength to reach their athletic potential.

The Dalton, Pa. native most recently worked as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Florida International University (FIU) since December 2013, but has been working in the FIU strength and conditioning department since September 2013, initially as an intern. At Florida International, Cathrall was responsible for the conditioning for both the men’s and women’s soccer teams, as well as with the swimming and diving program. Cathrall also assisted the football program at FIU in their strength and conditioning efforts.

He also worked at the University of Miami (Fla.) as a volunteer strength and conditioning coach and as a graduate assistant during the Hurricanes’ 2012-13 ACC basketball regular season and postseason championship run.

Cathrall also has experience as a full-time performance intern with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, working with the organization from May-August 2013. As an intern, Cathrall helped implement workouts for tactical athletes such as FBI personnel, local SWAT teams, and various military personnel.

Along with having a multitude of experience in the strength and conditioning field, Cathrall has had success as an athlete as well. As a senior at Lackawanna Trail HS in Factoryville, Pa., he was named the league Basketball Player of the Year and went onto play three years of NCAA Division III basketball at Ithaca (N.Y.) College.

Cathrall graduated from Ithaca in 2012 with a degree in clinical health studies/physical therapy, along with a minor in exercise science. In addition, he earned an M.S.,Ed. in exercise physiology: strength and conditioning at Miami in May of 2014.

UMBC Swimming and Diving’s McKissick Featured in Sports Illustrated

UMBC Swimming and Diving rising sophomore Andrew McKissick (Ellicott City, Md./Mount St. Joseph’s) is featured in the “Faces in the Crowd” section of the June 23 issue of Sports Illustrated. The issue began hitting newsstands and mailboxes on Wednesday, June 18.

McKissick won the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim for the second consecutive year back on Sunday, June 8. The Retriever swimmer bested the field of over 600 competitors in the 4.4-mile open-water swim with a time of just under 90 minutes (1:29:35), which also beats his winning time of 1:31.46 from 2013.