UMBC earned the No. 1 seed for the first time in program history.
UMBC earned the No. 1 seed for the first time in program history.
Courtesy: America East Communications

2013 Women's Soccer Championship Bracket Set

Release: 10/27/2013

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A year after finishing in last place, the UMBC women’s soccer team will be the No. 1 seed in the 2013 America East Women’s Soccer Championship which begins with the quarterfinals on Thursday, October 31, as the conference regular-season came to a close on Sunday.

UMBC and Stony Brook tied for the regular-season title with identical 6-2-0 records for 18 points in the conference, giving both teams their first regular-season championship. UMBC earned the No. 1 overall seed by virtue of holding the tiebreak over Stony Brook with a head-to-head win over the Seawolves during the regular season. Stony Brook will be the No. 2 seed in the championship and earned a first-round bye.

No. 1 UMBC and No. 2 Stony Brook will host semifinal games on Sunday, November 3. Maine finished the season 5-2-1 with 16 pts to earn the No. 3 seed, while Hartford (5-3-0, 15 pts) will be the No. 4 seed. Vermont (3-3-2, 11 pts) finished as the No. 5 seed with a double-overtime win against Binghamton. The Bearcats (3-4-1, 10 pts) will be the No. 6 seed.

The Retrievers (6-2-0, 18 pts) completed the best turnaround in America East history with a 2-1 comeback win over New Hampshire on Sunday. After a scoreless first half, Kirsten O’Neil gave New Hampshire a 1-0 lead in the 49th minute. The Wildcats held that lead until the 83rd minute when Nikki Boretti headed in a corner from Melissa Hummel to knot the game at one. The Retrievers scored again less than a minute later as Lilly Rydon finished a header off a rebound to give UMBC a 2-1 win. UMBC is the first team in conference history to be the No. 1 seed a year after finishing in last place. UMBC qualified for the America East Championship for the first time since 2005.

Less than an hour after the Retrievers earned the win, Stony Brook finished a dramatic double-overtime victory against Maine to tie UMBC for the regular-season title. The Seawolves took a 1-0 lead into halftime after Stella Norman scored on a direct kick in the 26th minute. Maine tied the game in the 56th minute with a goal by Eve L’Abbe. The score remained that way until the second overtime. Stony Brook goalkeeper Ashley Castanio kept the game tied in the 102nd minute, making a tremendous kick save off a shot by Lisa Bijman. On the ensuing attack, Elise Pratt connected on her first goal of the season, heading in a cross from Priscilla Wiggins to give Stony Brook the 2-1 win and the No. 2 seed. It is the seventh time in eight seasons Stony Brook has qualified for the America East tournament.

Maine took the No. 3 seed with the loss with 16 points in the standings, while Hartford grabbed the No. 4 seed with 15 points after having a bye on Sunday. The Black Bears are making their 10th trip to the tournament in the last 11 years. Hartford is making its fourth-straight championship appearance.

Binghamton, New Hampshire and Vermont were all battling for the final two spots in the championship on the final day of the season, with the matchup between the Bearcats and Catamounts having a major impact. In that game, Bre Pletnik gave Vermont an early 1-0 lead on a goal in the 15th minute. Binghamton tied the game before half, as Michele Galvin tallied in the 38th minute. The contest remained tied until the 108th minute when Vermont’s Nikki McFarland scored her fifth goal of the season, giving the Catamounts the No. 5 seed with 11 points. Binghamton took the No. 6 seed with 10 pts and New Hampshire was eliminated with nine points after the loss to UMBC.

Binghamton is making its second appearance in the last three years in the championship, while Vermont has now qualified three-straight seasons.

Visit America East’s Championship Central throughout the tournament for previews, links to in-game coverage and postgame reaction. The 2013 Championship Game will be available exclusively on AmericaEast.TV and produced by Pack Network.

Quarterfinals - Thursday, October 31
No. 5 Vermont at No. 4 Hartford, 6 p.m.

No. 6 Binghamton at No. 3 Maine, 1 p.m.

Semifinals - Sunday, November 3
Vermont/Hartford winner at No. 1 UMBC, 1 pm

Binghamton/Maine winner at No. 2 Stony Brook, 2 p.m.

Final - Saturday, November 9 or Sunday, November 10
Semifinal Winners at Highest Remaining Seed, TBD