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For Immediate Release: November 7, 2004
Contact: John Hartrick (hartrick@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-6800

BU women's soccer captures America East championship with 2-0 win over Maine
Bearcats (14-5-1) win first conference title, advance to NCAA tournament

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VESTAL, N.Y.--Host Binghamton (14-5-1) capped a remarkable season with a riveting 2-0 victory over Maine (13-6-1) in the America East women's soccer championship game, played Sunday at West Gym Field. Playing in the conference tournament for the first time, the top-seeded Bearcats stymied their two opponents in back-to-back games, finishing off the second-seeded Black Bears with a goal in each half. As the clock reached zero, a jubilant celebration ensued, with a boisterous crowd of nearly 400 pouring onto the field to join a team that was picked to finish eighth in the preseason poll. Binghamton will now advance to the 64-team NCAA tournament and play a first round game next Friday, November 12. The complete pairings and sites will be announced live on ESPNews Monday afternoon.

"I'm absolutely thrilled and so proud of our kids," head coach Jeff Leightman said. "All the work they put in during the season really showed today. They kept on fighting despite any adversity. Today was an ugly game but it was our championship mentality that gave us the edge."

Maine controlled play for much of the first half, until the Bearcats struck with 9:30 remaining. Off a corner kick, freshman forward Tricia Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) outleaped Maine goalie Tayna Adorno and sent a header toward the unoccupied net, where a Black Bears defender reached out and stopped the shot with her hand, prompting a penalty kick call. Junior defender Meghan Taylor (Campbell Hall, N.Y.) stepped up and sent the 12-yard shot into the top left corner of the net for her second goal of the season. Taylor, whose defensive presence carried the team the entire season, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

In the second half, sophomore midfielder Kelly Burnham (Endicott, N.Y.) scored an insurance goal at the 77:10 mark, knocking in a header from close range after senior linemate Caitlin O'Shaughnessy (Stony Point, N.Y.) had sent her own header across the goalmouth. The goal was Burnham's second of the tournament.

Sophomore Kristy Bowers (Rochester, N.Y.) made six saves for Binghamton, recording her third straight shutout and seventh of the season.

Maine held a 10-7 advantage in shots.

Joining Taylor on the all-tournament team was freshman defender Katie Kerrigan (Middletown, N.Y.), Burnham and senior forward Tatiana Mathelier (Pomona, N.Y.), who scored a goal in BU's 3-0 semifinal win over Northeastern.

NOTE
Binghamton now advances to the NCAA Division I tournament for the first time in its short four-year tenure ... Previous NCAA tournament appearances were earned by the 1991, 1995 and 1996 Division III teams ... The conference championship is Binghamton's fourth in its 20-year history (1992, 1995, 1996 Division III SUNYAC titles) ... The program also captured ECAC titles in 1994 (Division III) and 1998 (Division II) ... The Bearcats also defeated Maine 1-0 during the regular season (Oct. 3 in Orono) ... The 14 wins ties the most under head coach Jeff Leightman, whose 1998 Division II team went 14-3-1 ... The America East championship is the first won by a Binghamton women's program and sixth overall since the school joined the conference during the 2001-02 year (men's tennis, 2003, 2004; golf, 2003, 2004; men's soccer, 2003; men's swimming and diving, 2003) ... The Bearcats were ranked No. 4 in last week's NSCAA/adidas Northeast poll, behind Boston College, UConn and Yale ... The women's title-game victory comes nearly one year after the men's team captured the 2003 America East championship in front of a home crowd (November 15).

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