Retriever Athletics Newsletter
Winter 2020
Alumni Spotlight
John Paul Waraksa

Men's Soccer, 2007-10
Bachelor's Degree: History; Minor in Psychology
Post-Grad: Juris Doctor Law Degree

Current Job: Claims Specialist- Social Security Administration
Current Home Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Q: What is your greatest UMBC athletic memory?
A: "My greatest athletic memory was our senior year beating Princeton in the first round of the NCAA tournament. We were underdogs and went to their home field and beat them. Although I believe we could’ve advanced further in the tournament that year, our team came together and I am proud of what we achieved."

Q: What did your athletic experience at UMBC teach you?
A: "My athletic experience at UMBC taught me a lot about teamwork and hard work. I use this experience every day in the workplace to continue to set goals and achieve them. My athletic experience taught me the importance of coming together as a team and sacrificing for something bigger than yourself."
Denise Schilte-Brown

Women’s Soccer, 1993-96
Bachelor’s Degree: Economics
Master’s Degree: Coaching (VCU)

Current Job: Head Coach, USF Women's So ccer
Current Home Location: Tampa, FL

Q: What impact did UMBC athletics have on your life?
A: “My best friends from UMBC are still my best friends! UMBC gave me a chance of a lifetime hiring me as the youngest dDivision I head coach in the country, now after 23 years I am still coaching! So blessed the day I signed to be a Retriever.”

Q: What is your best memory of UMBC?
A: “Every moment of my four years! I wish I could stay in college forever!”

Q: Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
A: “I coach with my husband and I have twin 14-year old’s.”
Jake Klim

Men’s Track & Field / Cross Country, 1998-2002
Bachelor’s Degree:  Visual & Performing Arts (emphasis on film/video); Minors in Art History and History

Current Job:  Producer, Smithsonian Enterprises 
Current Home Location:  Kensington, MD 

Q: What is your greatest UMBC athletic memory?
A: “We seemed to be in the midst of "growing" or "transition' years throughout my tenure at UMBC, so I don't have any "championship" memories so to speak. However, as someone who loves the outdoors, having Patapsco State Park at our doorstep everyday was a real treat. I have countless memories getting lost and exploring the park during long runs on Sunday mornings, followed by a massive brunch at the dining hall.”

Q: How has your UMBC athletic experience helped shape your future?
A: “I took five years off from competitive running after I graduated college, then helped build a national-caliber post-collegiate team in Washington, D.C. As a two-time captain of the Retrievers cross country team, the leadership qualities I developed at UMBC definitely played a factor as I pooled together other like-minded post-collegians interested in continuing their competitive running careers.”
Sara Parkinson

Women’s Cross Country, 2008-11
Bachelor’s Degree: Geography and Political Science
Master’s Degree: Managing the Creative Industries from University of St Andrews, Scotland
Current Job: Business Owner - Freckle Digital Marketing Agency 
Current Home Location:  Brisbane, QLD, Australia 
Q: What is your greatest UMBC athletic memory?
A: “Performance-wise, my most significant UMBC Athletic memory would be winning the America East Conference indoor 5km title in 2009. I still remember this race to this day and the sheer amount of pain and determination I had to endure to get to the finish line first. Personally, my most significant memory would be those shared with others on the track and field/cross country team. Everyone became lifelong friends who I still keep in contact and regularly see even though we live in different countries.”
Q: How did your UMBC Athletic Experience help shape your future?
A: “It grew my confidence tremendously and showed me what hard work and determination could do for you. I came to UMBC with very low expectations of my ability, to go away with multiple school records and personal best's I didn’t even think were possible, demonstrated to myself what I was capable of when you put your mind to it. Whenever things get tough or put a ceiling on my ability, I always think back to my time at UMBC when I exceeded any expectation I set on myself heading into the UMBC Athletic program. I’ve used this over the past few years starting a business.”
Paola Rojas

Volleyball, 2014-18
Bachelor’s Degree:  Business Technology Administration (BTA)

Q: Tell us about your experience at UMBC and how it has impacted your life.
A: “UMBC was a big challenge but it also was a great experience. At UMBC I learned so much about diversity, acceptance, and embracing who you are. Learning those things made my experiences at UMBC a unique one. UMBC impacted me on a personal and professional level. Personally, UMBC helped me be a better person, to believe in myself self and what I’m capable of when facing tough situation. Professionally, I received one of the best educations anyone could get with the necessary tools to work at the highest level, where we could face a lot of competition.”

Q: What was your best memory at UMBC?
A: “My best memory at UMBC is definitely my senior day. Coach Robertson had a speech prepared for us seniors after the match and she did a part of it in Spanish just so my family could understand. I will never forget that moment.”

Q: Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
A: “People don’t know it but I’m a professional dancer!”

Q: What are you doing now?
A: “As of right now, I'm at home (Puerto Rico) playing pro [volleyball] and playing for the national team.”
Athletics Department Announcements
Meet Brian Barrio, Director of Athletics, Physical Education & Recreation
Brian joined Retriever Nation ealirer this month. He comes to UMBC after serving as Director of Athletics at Central Connecticut State University and in other leadership positions at the University of Nevada, Pepperdine University, University of Southern California, and the America East Conference. We are excited to have him as part of the Retriever family! Read more about Brian by clicking the link below.
UMBC Alumni Reunion &
Men's Basketball
Alumni Day
The 2020 Alumni Reunion & Men's Basketball Alumni Day on January 11th was a great success with over 200 alumni and friends in attendance. We celebrated the 40th anniversary of the 1979-1980 men's basketball team for their historic season. Thanks to those of you who joined us! Click the links to the right to read more about the 1979-80 team and to view photos from the day.
2020 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction
UMBC Athletics will induct six new members into its Hall of Fame on April 10, 2020. The 22nd annual dinner and inductions will take place at the UMBC Event Center. The class of 2020 consists of Cornelia Carapcea, '09, women's tennis, Levi Houapeu ,'15, men's soccer, Mohamed Hussein , '14, men's swimming, Terry Kimener, '08, men's lacrosse, Mercedes Jackson , '15, women's track and field, and Steve Levy , '85, director of athletic communications. Click the link below to read more about the inductees.
Upcoming Athletics Events
Save the Dates!

Men's Lacrosse Bull Roast
Saturday, February 1 • 5:00 p.m.
The Annapolis Elks Lodge

Spirit Alumni Day
Saturday, February 15 • 1:00 p.m.
UMBC Event Center

Athletics Alumni Happy Hour
Thursday, February 27 • 5:00 p.m.
Details and registration information coming soon.

UMBC Alumni Reunion & Women's Basketball Alumni Day
Saturday, February 29 • 1:00 p.m.
UMBC Event Center
Details and registration information coming soon.

Athletics Hall of Fame
Friday, April 10 • 6:00 p.m.
Details and ticketing information coming soon.

Men's Soccer Alumni Game
Friday, April 24 • 6:00 p.m.
Retriever Soccer Park

Men's Soccer Alumni Golf Tournament
Friday, May 8
7:00 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. Shotgun Start
Woodlands Golf Course

Retriever Golf Tournament
Friday, June 12
8:00 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Shotgun Start
Turf Valley Resort

Winter Sport Schedules
Remaining Home Competitions
Wed. Jan. 29 vs UAlbany, 7pm
Wed. Feb. 5 vs Hartford, 7pm
Sat. Feb. 15 vs UNH, 1pm
Wed. Feb. 26 vs Binghamton, 7pm
Tue. Mar. 3 vs Stony Brook, 7pm
Sat. Feb.1 vs Strony Brook, 1pm
Sat. Feb. 8 vs UMass Lowell, 12pm
Wed. Feb. 19 vs UAlbany, 7pm
Sat. Feb. 22 vs Vermont, 7pm
Sat. Feb. 29 vs Maine, 1pm
Fall Sports Recap
Women's Cross Country
UMBC women’s cross country finished the season in seventh place at the America East Championships, led by Margo Henley who turned in a 26th place finish. The Retrievers then turned in a 24th place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals. Morgan Casey led the Retrievers in two of their five meets early on in the year. Briana Roberts and Emmy Beyer also led the Retrievers as the top finisher in races late in the year.

Men's Cross Country
UMBC men’s cross country finished the season in eighth place in the America East at the conference championships with Michael Belmaggio finishing 36th in a very competitive field. The Retrievers then finished 23rd out of 25 teams at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals. Belmaggio led the Retrievers in four of their five meets during the year, including the last four of the campaign.

Women's Soccer
The Retriever women's soccer team picked up wins against Mount St. Mary's, 3-0, and a 2-1 comeback victory over Maine in conference play. Against the Black Bears, the Retrievers scored two goals in 47 seconds to earn the victory.

Sophomore Danielle Fuentes, who earned America East All-Rookie Team honors last season, was named to the All-Conference Second Team this year. Fuentes was tied for first on the team with 10 points off two goals and a career-high six assists, which ranked fourth among America East players. Fuentes is the first UMBC player to earn a first or second-team nod since the 2016 season when Alexa Quaranta was selected to the conference's second-team.

Kara Poole earned All-Rookie honors starting all 17 games and registering seven shots on the season, including a career-high against three against Longwood. 

Goalkeeper Jade Wilkins finished the season ranked first in the America East in saves per game with 5.80.

Men's Soccer
The men’s soccer team posted four victories of three goals or more, but four of five America East setbacks occurred by one goal and the Retrievers finished the campaign at 6-9-1 overall and 1-5-1 in league play.

UMBC averaged over 1,300 fans per game at Retriever Soccer Park and games versus eventual America East champion UNH (2,566, No. 5) on Homecoming, Incarnate Word (2,208, No. 9) both cracked the top-ten attendance marks for the Dawgs’ home venue.  

Senior fullback Jon Bell earned America East Second Team accolades. The league's coaches also tabbed midfielder Ryan Becher and defender Orlygur Omarsson to the All-Rookie team, while senior midfielder Nick Gumbs earned All-Academic team honors.
Becher tied senior Tre Pulliam for the team lead in scoring with 12 points. Another freshman, Dadi Ingason, knotted Becher and senior Colin Weyant with a team-best four assists. Earlier this month, defender Jon Bell was taken by the San Jose Earthquakes in the MLS draft.

The UMBC Volleyball Team showed great improvement in its second season under Cristina Robertson. Junior outside hitter Carmen Freeman (Memphis, Tenn.) became the first Retriever in two years to be named to the All-Conference First Team. She also joined redshirt junior setter Taylor Dunn (Virginia Beach, Va.) on the All-Academic team, marking the first time UMBC has had multiple student athletes named to the Volleyball All-Academic Team since 2013, and only the third time overall. The Retrievers also placed two on the All-Rookie team for the first time since 2015, as middle blocker Niki Khoshatefeh (Temecula, Calif.) and outside hitter Kamani Conteh (New Castle, Del.) were honored.

UMBC improved its conference upped its conference winning percentage from .250 to .400 and finished in a tie for fourth place in the standings, missing out on the playoffs by virtue of a tiebreaker. The Retrievers also improved in several statistical such as hitting percentage, blocks per set, aces per set and saw an increase in home attendance. The biggest match of the season occurred when UMBC upset two-time defending champion Stony Brook in four sets at the UMBC Event Center in front of a raucous crowd.