BALTIMORE – A year after finishing in last place, the UMBC Retrievers completed the best turnaround in America East women’s soccer history by claiming the program’s first title with a, 2-1, win over Stony Brook Saturday night in Baltimore.
The Retrievers (13-5-2) had totaled 11 wins over the last six years, but won their 13th game of 2013 on Saturday night behind goals from Nikki Boretti and Jessy Brown. UMBC is the first program in America East history to win the league crown after finishing in last place the year before.
Neither team could find a way to score early despite creating quality chances. Stony Brook had the better of the chances early, as Larissa Nysch had a shot from 12 yards out go just over the bar and Christina Fluman had a goal taken away on a sliding save by Lauren Kadet.
Stony Brook (11-6-2) broke the 0-0 deadlock in the 40th minute, as Nysch scored her league-leading 11th goal of the year off a feed from Maxie New. New played a ball over the UMBC defense that was collected by Nysch and fired into the right-hand side of the net.
UMBC responded quickly, striking less than two minutes later to tie the game at one. Boretti was able to capitalize on a scramble in front of the net after a header by Brown and pushed the ball just across the goal line in the 42nd minute.
The score remained tied at one until the 59th minute of action. With UMBC applying pressure on Stony Brook’s defensive half, the Retrievers created a scramble inside the penalty area. Brown was able to get her foot on a clear attempt that went over Stony Brook keeper Ashley Castanio’s head and into the net to give UMBC a 2-1 lead.
Brown went on to be named the tournament Most Outstanding Player. She was joined on the All-Championship team by teammates Alexa Quaranta, Kadet and Boretti.
Stony Brook had three players selected to the All-Championship team including Nysch, Castanio and Ahriel Fernandez.
The victory moved the No. 1 seed to 16-2-1 all-time in the America East Championship and has defeated the No. 2 seed in the final in 10 of the 11 meetings.
UMBC will make its first trip to the NCAA tournament. The Retrievers find out their opponent during the 2013 NCAA Selection Show on NCAA.com at 4:30 p.m. ET on Monday, November 11.
All-Championship Team Jessy Brown, UMBC - Most Outstanding Player Nikki Boretti, UMBC Alexa Quaranta, UMBC Lauren Kadet, UMBC Larissa Nysch, Stony Brook Ashley Castanio, Stony Brook Ahriel Fernandez, Stony Brook Nikki McFarland, Vermont Connie Gormley, Binghamton Maggie Malone, Maine Lisa Bijman, Maine Stephanie Santos, Hartford Raelynn Mikell, Hartford