Immediate Release: October 30, 2005
BOSTON - Second-seeded Maine (11-5-2) converted three out of four penalty kicks to oust third-seeded and defending champion Binghamton (10-6-4) in the America East women's soccer semifinals Sunday afternoon from Boston University's Nickerson Field. The teams played to a 0-0 double overtime draw before the penalty kick format was required.
The Black Bears scored on their first two kicks and added a third conversion on their final attempt. After a score from senior midfielder Kelly Sanders (Ramsey, N.J.) on the team's first attempt, Binghamton missed its next three shots, giving Maine the insurmountable 3-1 shootout edge.
"It was a great season, but the most disappointing thing is to realize that our four seniors (Meghan Taylor, Vicky Vernicek, Kelly Sanders and Lauren Massey) aren't going to get to put on a uniform again," head coach Jeff Leightman said. "They've had such outstanding careers. Give Maine a lot of credit. Every game against them has been an absolute battle. Unfortunately, only one team can move on and this time we were the one to go home. Both teams had chances and both teams dominated portions of the game. They were able to knock in the PKs and advance."
Maine, which outshot Binghamton 25-11, now advances to face top-seeded Boston University for the championship on November 5.
Bearcats' junior keeper Kristie Bowers (Rochester, N.Y.) made one stop in the shootout and recorded nine saves during the game. She ended an outstanding season with a 0.73 goals against average and nine shutouts.
The result concluded another solid season for head coach Jeff Leightman's squad, which posted double-digit victories for the sixth time in eight years. In the last two seasons combined, the Bearcats have won 24 games and produced a win percentage of .646.
The game was a microcosm of BU's season, which featured stellar defense but a shortage of scoring. The Bearcats' back line allowed just three goals in its final nine games, during which the team went 6-1-2. But up front, BU averaged just barely over a goal a game, and was held to one goal or less in 13 of 20 games. The 25 team goals in 2005 represented a 15-goal dropoff from Binghamton's 2004 output.
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