Albany, Binghamton Win to Advance to Sunday's Women's Soccer Semifinals
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Tough weather conditions were a common theme of the 2011 America East women's soccer quarterfinal round on Thursday afternoon, but the two games played out much differently as No. 3 Albany and No. 5 Binghamton posted wins and advanced to Sunday's semifinal round. The Great Danes scored in double-overtime to upend No. 6 Vermont, 2-1, while the Bearcats got a goal in the third minute of play and made it stand up in a 1-0 win at No. 4 New Hampshire.
Playing through rain and snow, the Great Danes (8-9-0) jumped out to a 1-0 lead over the Catamounts (5-10-4) after Katie Grant took a feed from Maggie DeVerna and blasted home a shot from 20 yards out. That score held until the 71st minute when UVM's Ellie Mills, an America East all-rookie choice, headed home a free kick from teammate Midori Eckenstein.
The game went into overtime and seemed destined for penalty kicks, but Shayla Bergeron, a second-team all-conference selection last year, who had scored only once so far this year, provided the heroics late in double-overtime. She picked up a loose ball in the midfield and thwarted four defenders before sending home a shot for the game winner in the 108th minute. Albany, which is unbeaten in seven straight games, will be making its second straight America East semifinal appearance.
A steady rain did not keep Binghamton (7-9-1) from jumping out early on UNH (5-12-2). Taylor Kucharski pounced on a rebound and deposited it into the right side of the net in the third minute to give her team a 1-0 lead. The play was pretty even for the rest of the half with each team taking five shots.
The Wildcats dominated play in the second half, out-shooting their counterparts 7-1. But,Binghamton keeper Carrie Martin made six saves and to preserve Binghamton's third trip to the semifinal round in the past four season.
Albany will travel to No. 2 Hartford on Sunday at 2 p.m. in one semifinal matchup, while Binghamton will visit No. 1 Boston University, the 14th ranked team in the country, at 1 p.m. in the other contest.
Visit America East's Championship Central for complete tournament coverage.
2011 America East Women's Soccer Championship
Quarterfinals - Thursday, October 27
No. 5 Binghamton 1, at No. 4 New Hampshire 0 -- Box Score
at No. 3 Albany 2, No. 6 Vermont 1 (2OT) -- Box Score
Semifinals - Sunday, October 30
Binghamton at No. 1 Boston University, 1 p.m.
Albany at No. 2 Hartford, 2 p.m.
Final - Saturday, November 5/Sunday, November 6
Semifinal Winners at Highest Remaining Seed, TBD