Stony Brook, Vermont Advance To Women’s Soccer Semifinals With Wins Thursday
Stony Brook and Vermont each notched wins on Thursday to advance to the semifinal round of the 2012 America East Women's Soccer Championship. Stony Brook will face No. 2 Maine on Sunday at 1 p.m., while Vermont will travel to face No. 1 seed Hartford on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Stony Brook scored a pair of goals off set pieces in the first half and held on to upset No. 3 seed New Hampshire, 2-1, in Durham, N.H., on Thursday afternoon.
The Seawolves took an early 1-0 lead when Sa'sha Kershaw cashed in on a free kick following a hand ball on New Hampshire. Kershaw fired a low shot that deflected off a Wildcat defender and went into the left-side netting in the eighth minute.
New Hampshire had a chance to tie the game less than a minute later after a handball in the box by Stony Brook gave the Wildcats a penalty kick. Meghan Ledwith took the shot for New Hampshire, but was denied by a diving save by Stony Brook keeper Ashley Castanio.
Castanio made nine saves in the game, including four huge stops in the second half.
The Seawolves extended their lead midway through the first half, scoring off another set piece as Stella Norman found Larissa Nysch for a header on the far post off a corner kick that made it 2-0 Stony Brook in the 22nd minute.
The Wildcats would get one back before the break. Drea Nogueira found Jenna Shaddock down the right sideline who crossed it into the box, finding Tara Fraprie for a one-time finish to cut the deficit to 2-1 just before halftime.
New Hampshire put the pressure on in the second half, but could not find a way to even the game. Castanio made four stops, and the Wildcats hit the crossbar twice along with the post once.
Kirstyn Corder hit the crossbar on a deep blast in the 62nd minute, and then Corder and Ledwith were both denied on shots during a scramble in front of the net in the 74th minute. New Hampshire outshot the Seawolves, 27-12, in the contest.
The Seawolves move on to play No. 2 seed Maine in Orono on Sunday at 1 p.m. It is the fifth trip in the last six years to the semifinals for Stony Brook.
In a rematch of last year's overtime thriller, Vermont and Albany went to overtime once again, this time with the Catamounts coming out on top in penalty kicks in Burlington, Vt., on Thursday afternoon.
The win sends Vermont to its first America East semifinal since the tournament expanded to six teams in 2001.
Albany struck first, taking a, 1-0, lead just two minutes
into the contest on a goal by Aubrey Van Gorder, assisted by Shayla Bergeron. Van Gorder took a one-time shot from just outside the 18 and curled it into the right side net.
The Great Danes took the one goal lead into halftime, but
Vermont responded with a game-tying goal just two minutes into the second half. Haley Marks took a free kick from 30-yards out the hit off the bottom of the cross bar, but was finished off the rebound by a header from Bre Pletnik.
Neither team could breakthrough for the rest of regulation or either overtime, sending the game into penalty kicks.
Albany's Krista Fitzpatrick and Vermont's Pletnik each converted on the first shot for each team. The Catamounts took a one-goal advantage after the second round, as Marks converted on her kick, and Ally Ramos made her first of three-straight saves.
Vermont held a, 2-1, lead heading into the final kicks. Casey Marks evened the kicks at, 2-2, converting on the fifth kick for the Great Danes. But it was Midori Eckenstein who scored on the final kick for the Catamounts to give Vermont the 3-2 penalty kick win.
Vermont will travel to take on No. 1 seed Hartford on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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