#AEMSOC Semis On Tap Wednesday
Two America East men's soccer teams will get one step closer to the NCAA tournament Wednesday when the semifinals of the conference championship take place.
No. 1 UMBC will host No. 5 Albany in one semifinal at 7 p.m. while No. 2 New Hampshire entertains No. 3 Hartford in the other semifinal at 7:30 with trips to the America East title game on the line. Both game will air on AmericaEaast.TV for free.
UMBC (14-1-2), the sixth-ranked team in the nation, is appearing in the semifinals for the fourth time in five seasons and looking to reach its fourth America East final in five years as well. Having matched its most wins since 1999, UMBC is seeking its third league title in four years. The Retrievers have lost just once in 17 games this season and feature the America East Striker of the Year, Pete Caringi III, Midfielder of the Year, Kadeem Dacres, and Defender of the Year Oumar Ballo.
Albany (6-9-4) knocked off fourth-seeded Vermont, 5-1, in the quarterfinals on Saturday to earn a trip to the semifinals for the second-straight year and fifth time in program history. The Great Danes are attempting to reach their first-ever championship game and trying to become the fifth-straight No. 5 seed to reach the title game. The Great Danes, who are 5-3-3 in their last 11 games after a 1-7-1 start, are led by second-team all-conference forward Anthony Rozzano.
The Great Danes are one of just three teams to avoid falling to the Retrievers this year. The two teams played to a scoreless double-overtime tie on Oct. 12.
New Hampshire (12-5) has its most wins since 2006 and its best seed since being first in 2009. The Wildcats, winners of three straight and eight of their last 10, trying to reach the championship game for the third time in four seasons and fifth time in program history. UNH has recorded shutouts in each of its last six America East Championship games, a league record.
Hartford (13-3-3) is having its best season since winning 17 games in 1996. The Hawks, unbeaten in their last six games including five wins a row, got an overtime goal from first-team All-America East striker Javoni Simms to down Binghamton, 1-0, in the tournament quarterfinals Saturday. The Hawks are aiming to reach the title game for the second time in three years.
The game pits two of the top defensive teams in the league as New Hampshire leads the league with 0.57 team goals-against average and Hartford is second (0.65). UNH won the regular-season meeting on Oct. 16 behind goals from David Schlatter and Ugochukwu Uche.
The two teams that advance will play for the league title and an automatic NCAA bid on Saturday at the highest remaining seed.
Visit America East's Championship Central throughout the tournament for links to quarterfinal recaps and highlights, semifinal in-game coverage, postgame reaction and much more.