Immediate Release: November 1, 2009
VESTAL, N.Y. - After 110 scoreless minutes in the America East semifinals, second-seeded Binghamton (9-6-2) prevailed over third-seeded Maine (9-5-3) 4-2 in the penalty kick shootout Sunday afternoon from the Bearcats Sports Complex. The Bearcats now advance to the championship game and will face top-seeded and defending champion Boston University at 1 p.m. next Saturday in Boston.
Senior back Nicole Montoya slotted home the winning kick to clinch it for Binghamton, which returns to the conference title game for the first time in five years. The Bearcats won the crown in 2004.
Senior keeper Jen McEachron stopped Maine's second attempt and when the Black Bears' fourth shooter missed off the post, the stage was set for Montoya. Binghamton converted all four of its attempts, from junior back Stefani Knopick, freshman midfielder Emily Pape, sophomore midfielder Mary DeWitte and then Montoya.
"I thought we really took it to Maine in the second half and got a lot of opportunities and corner kicks but were unable to get it in the back of the net," head coach Sarah McClellan said. "This game was a good example of the determination and perseverance we've had all year. You saw our kids' mental toughness and their confidence as they went into the penalty kicks. I couldn't be more proud of the way the team came together. It's been a goal of ours and the team has done an excellent job all season making sure we stayed focused on our goal."
Binghamton outshot Maine 14-8 and peppered the Black Bears with 12 shots in the second half. Late in regulation, BU had four dangerous corner kicks in a three-minute span but couldn't cash in. The Black Bears weren't without their chances however. Maine banked a shot off the crossbar and then post in the 33rd minute and America East Striker of the Year Laura Martel broke in free with 17:46 left in regulation, but her shot was blocked by junior keeper Erin Iman, who was charging out of her net. Iman and McEachron each played a half and an overtime period to split their eighth shutout of the season.
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