Wildcats ousted from America East Championship in semifinals
BOSTON - Melissa Shulman scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to lead the top-seeded Boston University women's soccer team to Sunday afternoon's 2-1 victory against the fifth-seeded University of New Hampshire in a semifinal matchup of the America East Championship at Nickerson Field.
UNH ends the 2005 season with a 9-8-2 overall record. The Wildcats advanced to the semis for the fourth consecutive year and made their fifth consecutive appearance in the America East Championship, which is the longest active streak. BU, which defeated New Hampshire 1-0 during the regular season, improved to 12-4-4 to advance to the conference title game.
BU carried play in the first half and early in the second. UNH gathered momentum as the second half continued and that pressure culminated in a goal that gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead with 5:17 remaining in regulation. Hillary Mefferd (Portland, Oregon) pressed the Terriers defense and generated a corner kick for the 'Cats. Kelly Collins' (Bedford, N.H.) service from the left corner carried through to the far side of the penalty area, and Marianne Rivard (West Kingston, R.I.) headed a shoulder-high ball inside the open left post.
The Terriers tied the score, 1-1, just 69 seconds later. From deep on the left wing, Meghann Cook blasted an indirect kick into the center of the penalty area and Shulman drove a header just under the crossbar.
UNH-- which entered the match 3-0-2 in overtime this season, including 2-0-2 vs. America East teams - saw its season come to an abrupt end at 91:40 when Shulman's blast from 30 yards in the middle of the pitch sailed just under the crossbar.
Wildcat goalkeeper Julie Randall (East Longmeadow, Mass.) recorded seven saves. BU goalie Christina Reuter was credited with one save.
After withstanding a number of BU's scoring opportunities, the 'Cats generated an opportunity in the 52nd minute when Adriana Gonzalez-Medina (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) barely missed a header when she cut in front of Reuter on a dangerous ball by Nicole Lucey (Keene, N.H.).
UNH's strong defensive effort was anchored by Debbie Newman (Union, Conn.) and Caitlyn Serafine(Canandaigua, N.Y.). Newman and Collins both cleared a shot off the goal line to keep the game scoreless at the time.
The end of the season marked the end of UNH Wildcat careers for Newman, Randall, Ashlee Cieslak (Greendale, Wis.), Erin Margentino (Farmington, Conn.), Lindsey Smagula (Bedford, N.H.) and Julie Wernig (Steamboat Springs, Colo.).