BALTIMORE – UMBC women's soccer continued the unimaginable, garnering its first-ever conference tournament title, as red-shirt junior Jessy Brown (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) registered her sixth game-winning goal of the season to give No. 1 UMBC the 2-1 victory against No. 2 Stony Brook in the America East Championship game on Saturday evening at Retriever Soccer Park. The Retrievers become the first team in America East history to complete the worst-to-first turnaround and earn their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.
The Retrievers (13-5-2) will learn of their opponent for the opening round of the tournament during the selection show on Monday, Nov. 11 at 4:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
The Retrievers, who combined for one win over the previous two seasons, continued to add to its most successful season in program history, having earned a share of its first-ever regular-season title and posting a program record in wins with 13. UMBC's turnaround currently ranks second in Division I in winning percentage differential.
Stony Brook (11-6-2) had the first opportunity of the contest 17 minutes into the contest, as freshman defender Christina Fluman launched a shot just from inside the box, but UMBC goalkeeper Lauren Kadet (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) came up big, knocking down the shot. The rebound from junior forward Shannon Grogan was sent wide ride to keep the game scoreless.
The Retrievers responded with their first chance of the afternoon as UMBC's leading scorerAlexa Quaranta (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) sent a shot in from the right wing that was wide and just out of reach for freshman midfielder Meg Kowalski (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township) to rebound in with a header.
Stony Brook was able to strike first, as freshman forward Maxie New crossed the ball over the head of a UMBC defender to setup a screened shot for senior forward Larissa Nysch to blast inside the far right post, just out of reach of a diving Kadet.
The Retrievers responded with just their seventh first half goal of the season for the equalizer in the 42nd minute. A header from Brown bounced off the post and sophomore back Nikki Boretti (Crofton, Md./Archbishop Spalding) gathered the ball and sent in her second goal of the season past the America East Goalkeeper of the Year Ashley Castanio, to tie the contest at one.
The Retrievers' backline stayed strong throughout the second half, allowing Brown, the Championship's Most Outstanding Player, to deflect a ball over the head of Castanio after the ball was batted around in front of the net in the 59th minute.
The Seawolves continued to look for their chance at an equalizer, as Nysch, an All-Tournament honoree, sent a centering pass to junior forward Megan Rea in the 80th minute, but Rea sailed her shot high of the net to keep the Retrievers out in front. SBU would record just one more shot in the contest, a kick wide by sophomore midfielder Tessa Devereaux.
Kadet, a member of the All-Tournament Team, matched a season-high with seven saves, while Castanio totaled five stops on the night.
2013 All-Tournament 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
-UMBC has won 10 straight games on its home field and is 10-2-0 at home on the season.
-Alexa Quaranta moved into a tie for third place with a total of 60 shots on the season.
-The Retrievers move to 1-4 in conference tournament title games.
-Prior to the season, UMBC had never won an America East postseason contest, they now move to 2-2 all-time.
-UMBC trails the all-time series 5-9-1, but are 2-0 against the Seawolves in 2013.
-Eight of 15 games between the Retrievers and Seawolves have been decided by one goal or less. UMBC is 4-3-1 against SBU in one-goal games all-time. The Retrievers are 10-4 this season in one goal games.