CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – UMBC women's soccer sophomore forward Alexa Quaranta (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) posted a seven-point week and helped the Retrievers to clinch a spot in the America East Championship for the first time since 2005 en route to being named the America East Player of the Week, as announced by the league office on Monday.
The black and gold has made one of the biggest turnarounds in the nation, going from being a one win team a season ago (1-11-5) to posting its most wins in eight seasons with a 9-5-2 overall mark. With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Retrievers clinched a spot in the America East Championship for just the third time since joining the league for the 2003 season (2005 and 2003). Also solidifying playoff berths were Hartford, Stony Brook and Maine.
Quaranta earns her second America East Player of the Week honor of the month. The second-year forward helped the Retrievers come-from-behind on Thursday, evening the score at one in the 54th minute against Stony Brook. Quaranta set-up the game-winner in the 103rd minute, dishing off a one-touch pass to red-shirt junior Jessy Brown (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage).
The Baltimore native helped the Retrievers to a two-goal advantage, scoring 1:33 into Sunday's contest against UMass Lowell and adding her second score of the contest 2:19 into the second half. The two-goal effort was the first multiple goal game of Quaranta's career and marked her fifth score in five games. Quaranta leads the team in points (15) and goals (seven), with each ranking third in the league.
With two games to go, UMBC, which has never finished higher than sixth in the America East standings, is tied for third with 12 points with Stony Brook, with the Retrievers holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seawolves after last week's victory. UMBC returns to action on Thursday, Oct. 24 against Hartford, with a 7 p.m. first kick set to take place at Retriever Soccer Park. The black and gold conclude the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 27 against New Hampshire for Senior Day.
The America East Championship opens with quarterfinal action on Thursday, Oct. 31, with all games being played at the higher seed. The top two teams of the tournament will receive a bye through the quarterfinal games and host a semifinal contest on Sunday, Nov. 3.