Fifth-year head coach Mary-Frances Monroe has led a team, with no seniors on its roster, to its highest win total and first winning season since posting a 10-6-2 ledger in 1988. The Great Danes have consistently started eight underclassmen and just three juniors.
The UAlbany-New Hampshire quarterfinal winner will advance to face defending champion Boston University, the top seed which has blanked 11 straight opponents, on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 1 p.m. In the other half of the bracket, third-seeded Hartford will host sixth-seeded Maine on Thursday at 6 p.m. The winner faces Stony Brook, the second seed, on Sunday at 2 p.m. The championship match will be played at the site of the highest remaining seed on either Nov. 6 or 7 at a time to be determined.
UAlbany tied for third in the America East regular-season standings, its best finish since joining the league in 2001, due in large part to a stellar defensive effort. Anchored by sophomore Casey Marks and junior co-captain Kendra Harrell-Vigil, UAbany has posted nine shutouts, a Division I record, and surrenders only 1.28 goals per game. After dropping their America East opener to Stony Brook, the Great Danes have yielded 0.42 goals in their last seven matches. Sophomore goalkeeper Breanna Maggio has set Division I single-season program standards for wins (8) and shutouts (7), while her 11 career wins and 10 shutouts are also Division I records. She ended the regular season with a .789 save percentage and a 1.09 goals against average.
Sophomore forward Shayla Bergeron, who transferred from Duquesne, leads the team and ranks among the America East's best in scoring with eight goals and 16 points. Four of her markers were game-winning tallies in one-goal decisions. Classmate Chelsea DeVerna and junior co-captain Chrissy Klepper are second on the squad in scoring. Both midfielders have five points on two goals and one assist. Junior Rebecca Lee and sophomore Maggie DeVerna have controlled a midfield which has helped create the highest number of scoring opportunities in the conference. The Great Danes attempt 15.67 shots per game.
UAlbany has won its last three matches against New Hampshire after dropping the first seven meetings between the schools. The Great Danes most recently pulled out a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Wildcats when the teams met at Varsity Field earlier this season. Bergeron netted both goals, including the game-winning tally in the 88th minute, to seal the final outcome.
The winner of the conference championship will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, while the other contending teams will be eligible for an at-large selection. America East placed two teams in the 2006 NCAA field.
2010 America East Conference Women's Soccer Championship
Thursday, Oct. 28 - Quarterfinal Round (at higher seeds)
No. 5 New Hampshire (8-7-4, AE 4-3-1) at No. 4 UAlbany (9-7-2, AE 4-2-2), 2 p.m.
No. 6 Maine (7-8-0, AE 3-5-0) at No. 3 Hartford (7-8-3, AE 4-2-2), 6 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 31 - Semifinals (at higher seeds)
UAlbany/New Hampshire winner at No. 1 Boston University (14-5-0, AE 8-0-0), 1 p.m.
Hartford/Maine winner at No. 2 Stony Brook (6-9-2, AE 5-2-1), 2 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 6 or Sunday, Nov. 7 (at highest seed remaining)
Championship, Semifinal winners, TBD