Stony Brook and
UMBC, the two teams picked to miss the America East Men's Soccer
Championship in the preseason coaches' poll, will meet for the
conference title after thrilling semifinal contests Wednesday.
The Retrievers dealt New Hampshire its first loss against an America East opponent this season with a 2-1 victory in Durham, while the Seawolves played Hartford to a scoreless tie and advanced 3-2 on penalty kicks at LaValle Stadium.
UMBC (14-5-0) jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead when Mark Lubetkin took a feed from Levi Houapeu, the America East Midfielder of the Year, and beat UNH goalkeeper Colin O'Donnell low to his left from 30 yards out. The Retrievers, who scored a league best 39 goals in the regular season, added to their advantage just before the half. America East Striker of the Year Andrew Bulls served a corner kick through the box to teammate Milo Kapor, who one-timed a blast home.
UNH (9-7-2) narrowed the gap to one just 10:40 into the second half. Chris Banks, a first-team all-conference forward, banged home his eighth goal of the year but the Wildcats could not get another and UMBC became just the second No. 5 seed to reach the title game.
Stony Brook (5-9-4), which is playing in its first final since 2005, played Hartford (8-8-2) scoreless for 110 minutes behind six saves from goalkeeper Anthony Rogic, an America East all-rookie selection. Both teams made their first two shootout attempts before Rogic saved Hartford's third attempt. Hawk keeper Nenad Cudic, who made seven saves in the game, kept his team even with a stop on Stony Brook's third try. But, Hartford's Sam Groves hit the post on his kick and Stony Brook's Oscar Leis beat Cudic to give his team a 3-2 advantage, which Rogic made stand up.
UMBC and Stony Brook will meet for the championship on Sunday, Nov. 15 at LaValle Stadium on Long Island with an NCAA tournament bid on the line. Free live video streaming will be available at the new AmericaEast.tv.
2009 America East Men's Soccer Championship
Saturday, November 7 -- Quarterfinals
Game 1: at No. 3 Hartford 2, No. 6 Boston University 1 BOX SCORE
Game 2: No. 5 UMBC 2, at No. 4 Binghamton 1 BOX SCORE
Wednesday, November 11 -- Semifinals
Game 3: UMBC 2, at No. 1 New Hampshire 1 BOX SCORE
Game 4: at No. 2 Stony Brook 0, Hartford 0 BOX SCORE
Sunday, November 15 -- Final
Game 5: UMBC at Stony Brook, 5 p.m. LIVE STATS | WATCH