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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Women’s Soccer Fighting For America East Championship

    The Seawolves defeated the Binghamton Bearcats (2-0) in Sunday’s semifinal game and advanced to the championship game in the American East Tournament.

    Before the game the music was cranked up, the field illuminated and the bleachers were ice cold. The Seawolves had their largest attendance of the year, as 351 fans carrying extra coats and blankets arrived ready to cheer the team on. The Seawolves and Bearcats took the field in their semifinal match-up, each knowing that there was only room in the championship game for one of them. Both teams played tough defense and the game remained scoreless for the first 25 minutes.

    The Seawolves struck first, as senior Trine Allenberg faked out a defender and passed back to senior Brooke Barbuto. The midfielder fired a shot into the back of the net, bringing frigid fans to their feet.

    As the clock counted down to half time, players from both sides rushed from the cold field to the warm locker rooms.

    “It was absolutely, ridiculously freezing,” goalkeeper Marisa Viola said. “It was just something I had to put in the back of my mind. I just kept telling myself that it’s not cold. I had to keep jumping around to keep warm.”

    The teams emerged from the tunnel and ran onto the field just a few minutes before the second half got underway.

    The second half began with cheers, when freshman midfielder Colleen McKenna broke through the Bearcat defense and headed towards the goal in the 47th minute. The Bearcat goalkeeper moved her feet in place and stared down the recently named Rookie of the Year, who booted the ball just out of her reach and scored her ninth goal of the season.

    “You want your better players to do well in pressure situations because that’s what good players do,” head coach Sue Ryan said.

    While the Seawolves midfielders gave the team a lead, it was up to the defense to protect that lead. The defense attacked the Bearcat offense, not giving them any room to breathe. The Bearcats were able to get two shots off in the final minutes of the game. The first shot was saved by Viola and the second was blocked and kicked down the field by the defense.

    The Seawolves defeated the Binghamton for the second time this season, after beating the Bearcats (3-2) on Oct. 23rd.

    “It was great because the last time we played them, they put in two goals on me,” Viola said. “It was good that we were able to hold on because we remembered what their strong points were and we definitely shut them down.”

    Viola, who was named the American East Goalkeeper of the Year, recorded her second shutout in the last two games. Viola had five saves in Sunday’s game and has 14 saves in the last two games.

    The (#2 seed) Seawolves win came just hours after the (#1 seed) Boston University Terriers won its semifinal match-up (1-0) over Maine. The top two teams going into the American East Tournament will now meet in Boston on Saturday. Nov 8 at 1:00pm. The teams met one time this season, two weeks ago, and the Terriers defeated the Seawolves (2-0) in Boston.

    “B.U. is a formidable opponent, but I am very excited to be playing in the championship,” coach Ryan said. “To beat that team we will need to win the battle at midfield and break their backline, which doesn’t let up many goals.”

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