There were only two players in the America East Conference that were unanimous selections to the all-conference team. Those two players were Andrew Bulls and Levi Houapeu. After being one and two in the nation in goals and points, and two and three in the nation in assists, it comes as no surprise that they were selected to the first team all-America East Conference.
This season Bulls, UMBC’s first America East Striker of the Year, scored a national leading 15 goals, and 40 points while being third in the nation with 10 assists. He has been the highest scoring player in the nation since week one, when he was named the national player of the week by College Soccer News and NSCAA following a five goal – four assists week.
His 15 goals this year is the sixth-most in UMBC history, and the most since Derek McElligott in 2003.
While it is rare enough for a team to have one player with a double-double in a soccer season, UMBC had two as Houapeu was second in the nation with 29 points off 14 goals and 11 assists. This season he recorded two hat tricks and his 11 assists is tied for fourth most in school history.
The last America East midfielder of the year from UMBC was Matt Watson, who won the award in 2004 and 2005. This year also marks the first time since 2005 that UMBC had two first team all-conference players when Watson was joined on the team by defender Marcus Gross.
They were not the only two who received post-season honors. UMBC also had two freshman on the all-rookie team.
English import Liam Paddock has started all 16 games he has played this year, with the only missed game being due to a yellow card violation. He started each game at center back for the Retrievers and was a big reason for wins over Boston U and Albany when fellow center back and more experienced Chris Williams was out due to an injury.
Meanwhile, Saunders has started all 17 games in goal for the Retrievers and became the first freshman goalie to start the season opener since Soren Byskov did it in 1997. He has recorded 60 saves, a .750 save percentage, and six shutouts, including a four game stretch in mid-September, in which he was named back-to-back rookie of the year.