For the fourth time in the last five years, the third and fifth-seeded teams in the America East Men's Soccer Championship advanced to the semifinals as third-seeded Hartford beat sixth-seeded Binghamton, 1-0, in overtime and fifth-seeded Albany overwhelmed fourth-seeded Vermont, 5-1, in quarterfinal action Saturday.
The Hawks and Great Danes both advanced to the semifinals where they'll play at second-seeded New Hampshire and top-seeded UMBC, respectively, for trips to the conference title game.
In the first game of the day, Albany (6-10-4) scored twice in the first 17 minutes of the game and never looked back en route to a 5-1 win over Vermont (9-5-4). Pomare Te Anau started the scoring in the 17th minute, one-timing a feed by Anthony Rozzano, a second-team all-leaguer, into the net from 16 yards out.
Dominic McGarr put the Great Danes up 2-0 on header in the 17th minute and Thomas Manz made the score 3-0 in the 41st minute. Albany would take that 3-0 lead to the locker room and build on it early in the second half. Te Anau added his second of the day just 8:02 into the second half and an own goal by Vermont just 6:50 later staked the Great Danes to a 5-0 advantage.
Vermont got on the board on Beau Johnson's score in the 69th minute, but the Great Danes, who converted five of their 11 shots, didn't allow another score and held on to improve to 5-3-3 in its last 11 games after starting the year 1-7-1.
In the nightcap, both teams were held scoreless on a chilly night in West Hartford until Javoni Simms scored 3:20 into overtime to lift Hartford (14-3-3) to a 1-0 extra-session win over Binghamton (3-11-5).
Both teams had chances in regulation as the two teams combined for 29 shots in the first 90 minutes, with Hartford registering 19 of those. But, Bearcat goalkeeper Stefano Frantellizzi made four saves to keep the game 0-0.
Binghamton had its best chance of the game early in overtime as Ben Nicholson rocketed a shot on net but Hartford keeper David MacKinnon made the final of his three stops.
Simms then ended it in the 94th minute, blasting a shot past Frantellizzi from 20 yards out to give the Hawks, whose 14 wins are their most since 1996, their second semifinal appearance in three seasons.
Both semifinal contests take place Wednesday with UMBC-Albany starting at 7 p.m. and New Hampshire-Hartford beginning at 7:30 p.m. The two games can be seen on AmericaEast.TV.
Visit America East's Championship Central throughout the tournament for links to in-game coverage, postgame reaction and much more.