The Seawolves Women’s Soccer team went into the game vs. Maine on Sunday with one common goal in mind. They wanted the America East Regular Season Title and the first overall seed in the conference tournament which starts Halloween night. Well, they got half of that goal, as freshman Elise Pratt scored the first goal of her young collegiate career in the 103rd minute of play, and the Seawolves defeated Maine 2-1 in double overtime to end their regular season at 11-5-1 (6-2 AE).
However, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County also finished with 18 points, tying the Seawolves, and with UMBC beating Stony Brook on Oct. 7, the Retrievers own the head-to-head tiebreaker and thus claim the top seed in the tournament.
The Seawolves got on the board first in this one, when free kick specialist Stella Norman stuck one under the bar from way outside the box to give Stony Brook a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute. The sophomore from Norman, Col. is second on the team in goals and points, as she has 5 goals and 16 points on the year.
Maine answered in the 56th minute when Eve L’Abbe put one past keeper Ashley Castanio, who had another stellar game in net, to tie the game at 1. That was her team-leading fourth of the season, but goals were hard to get today against the Senior Seawolves goalkeeper, who totaled a career-high 13 saves.
Neither Stony Brook nor Maine could get a goal in the first overtime, but in the second overtime, the Seawolves struck for a goal and the win.
Priscilla Wiggins flew down the left wing of the field, and crossed to a wide open Pratt, who headed it in for the easy game winner, and became the 13th Seawolf to score a goal this season.
The Seawolves gained the second seed in the tournament and will earn a bye into the semifinals of the 6-team conference tournament. They will play host to the winner of the No. 3 Maine and No. 6 Binghamton. Binghamton forced a point out of Vermont by taking them to overtime, which ended up being the difference between them and New Hampshire who was also vying for the sixth seed as the Bearcats finished with 10 points and the Wildcats finished with nine.
The winner of the Stony Brook and Maine/Binghamton contest will face off against the winner of UMBC and Vermont/Hartford. The defending champs Hartford claimed the No. 4 spot, while the UMBC Retrievers claimed their first top seed in school history and the Seawolves claimed the second seed in the tournament for the first time since 2010 and won six times in conference for only the second time in program history.
The semifinal clash will take place on Sunday at 2 p.m. at LaValle Stadium.