BALTIMORE – With one week to go in the regular season and an America East Championship spot clinched, the UMBC women's soccer team looks to better position itself as it welcomes first-place Hartford to Retriever Soccer Park on Thursday, Oct. 24. Game time is set for 7 p.m. with the first 250 fans in attendance receiving free popcorn. Thursday also marks women's soccer's annual Pink Game, with pink t-shirts on sale for $10 prior to the game. Live stats and video will be provided at www.UMBCRetrievers.com.
The reigning America East Player of the Week Alexa Quaranta (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) was announced by the conference on Wednesday as UMBC's nominee for the America East Fans' Choice Player of the Year award. Voting for the honor can be done on the America East Facebook page, beginning today and running through Tuesday, Oct. 29 at noon.
Quaranta has picked up her pace since conference play began, registering 11 points, second in the league, and five goals, two of which were game-winners. The sophomore forward posted seven points last week (three goals and an assist) and has scored five goals in the last five games.
On the season, Quaranta leads the squad and ranks third in the conference in both goals (seven) and points, with her 15 points being the most for a Retriever in a single season since Jessica Young amassed 25 points on 12 goals and one assist in 2005. The Baltimore native has earned two player of the week honors from the conference and was also named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week.
The Retrievers' (9-5-2, 4-2-0 AE) four conference wins are the most since 2003 and put them in a tie for third-place with Stony Brook with two games remaining, UMBC holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seawolves after last Thursday's 2-1 double overtime victory. UMBC snapped a four-game win streak with Thursday's 3-2 double overtime loss to UMass Lowell.
Red-shirt junior Jessy Brown (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) added her league-best fifth game-winning goal of the season in last week's victory against the Seawolves. Brown, who entered the year with one point in her career, is tied for sixth in the America East in points with 11.
UMBC goalkeeper Lauren Kadet (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas), along with starting backs Amira Walcott (Beltsville, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt), Melissa Hummel (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East), Nikki Boretti (Crofton, Md./Archbishop Spalding) and Morgan Taylor (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park), have held opponents to 17 goals on the year, nine less than last season and 24 less than in 2011.
Hartford (10-4-3, 5-2-0 AE) has won seven of its last nine games, including four in a row, to take over first place in the America East. The Hawks close out the regular season with Thursday's matchup against the Retrievers. UHart is outscoring its opponents by nearly a goal a contest, scoring 1.53 goals per game in 2013. The Hawks rank second in the conference in both goals (26) and points (74).
Junior Chanel Johnson is second in the league in goals (eight) and points (19), having reached the back of the net six times over the last four games. Freshman goalkeeper Jessica Jurg is the reigning America East Rookie of the week, after posting a pair of shutouts and amassing nine saves last week for the Hawks. The rookie is among the nation's leaders in goals against average (0.52) and save percentage (.870).