Vermont Claims 1st Men's Soccer Regular-Season Crown Since 1989 As Bracket is Finalized
With its 2-1 overtime win against Stony Brook on Saturday, Vermont wrapped up its first America East men's soccer regular-season title in 23 years. The rest of the field was also decided on the final day of the regular season as Albany and New Hampshire picked up wins to earn the final two bids and UMBC won its fifth-straight contest to earn the No. 2 seed and quarterfinal-round bye.
The championship begins on Saturday, Nov. 3 with quarterfinal action. Third-seeded Stony Brook hosts sixth-seeded Binghamton at 12 p.m. while fourth-seeded Albany entertains fifth-seeded New Hampshire at 6 p.m. The teams that advance will play in the semifinal round on Wednesday, Nov. 7 with the Albany-New Hampshire winner playing at top-seeded Vermont at 1 p.m. and the Stony Brook-Binghamton winner playing at second-seeded UMBC at 7 p.m. The semifinal winners will meet for the America East title and a trip to the NCAA tournament on either Nov. 10 or 11 in a game that will be streamed live for free at AmericaEast.com.
Vermont (8-4-5, 5-0-2 AE, 17 pts.) fought back from a 1-0 deficit as Zach Paul headed home a score with just 2:53 left in regulation to force overtime and Charlie DeFeo ended it in the 99th minute to give the Catamounts their first regular-season crown and tournament No. 1 seed since 1989. UVM is just the second America East team to go unbeaten in conference play since 1997. Stony Brook (10-5-1, 4-3-0 AE, 12 pts.) got a goal from Martin Giordano in the 82nd minute but couldn't hold onto the lead and will be the No. 3 seed for the tournament.
UMBC (10-4-4, 4-2-1 AE, 13 pts.) earned the No. 2 seed for the second time in three years with its 3-0 win over Binghamton, its fifth consecutive win. Pete Caringi, Kadeem Dacres and Mamadou Kansaye all had goals for the Retrievers, who were also the No. 2 seed when they won the America East title in 2010. Despite the loss, Binghamton (6-10-0, 2-5-0 AE, 6 pts.) reached the tournament for the ninth time in 10 years by virtue of UNH's win over Boston University.
Albany (6-11-0, 3-4-0 AE, 9 pts) clinched a tournament berth and a home quarterfinal game with its 1-0 double-overtime win at Hartford (7-9-1, 1-5-1 AE, 4 pts.). Quintel Gates scored with just 2:01 left in overtime to give the Great Danes its best seed since 2008.
New Hampshire (6-7-4, 2-3-2 AE, 8 pts) also got an overtime goal to secure a playoff spot after missing out on the tournament last year. Alex Hussein scored in the 97th minute off a feed from Josh Bronner to down Boston U. (6-8,4, 3-2-2 AE, 11 pts.) and earn the No. 5 seed, which is where UNH was positioned in 2010 when it reached the America East title game.
Visit America East's Championship Central throughout the tournament for previews, links to in-game coverage and postgame reaction.
2012 America East Men's Soccer Championship
Quarterfinals - Saturday, November 3
No. 6 Binghamton at No. 3 Stony Brook, 12 p.m.
No. 5 New Hampshire at No. 4 Albany, 6 p.m.
Semifinals - Wednesday, November 7
Albany/New Hampshire Winner at No. 1 Vermont, 1 p.m.
Stony Brook/Binghamton Winner at No. 2 UMBC, 7 p.m.
Final - Saturday, November 10/Sunday, November 11
Semifinal Winners at Highest Remaining Seed, TBA