WOMEN'S SOCCER HANDED 2-1 LOSS IN AMERICA EAST CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
BOX

DURHAM, N.H.
– Sophomore midfielder Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) scored in the 69th minute to cut her team’s deficit in half, but the comeback fell just short as the University of New Hampshire women’s soccer team fell, 2-1, to Boston University in the championship game of the America East tournament Saturday afternoon on a windy Bremner Field.

Michelle Sheehan

   
The Wildcats, who finish the season with an 11-7-3 record, including 6-1-1 in America East play, lose in their second championship game in school history. They also lost, 4-0, to Hartford in the 1998 final. The Terriers finish up at 11-6-3 overall, including 6-1-1 in the conference, and capture their fifth conference championship and third in the last five years.
   
Trailing by one and the seconds ticking down on their season, the Wildcats made one last-ditch effort and were fouled in BU’s offensive zone. The ‘Cats quickly set their offense and lined the ball up for the direct kick. Senior co-captain Caitlyn Serafine (Canandaigua, N.Y.) took two steps and blasted the ball toward the net. The ball looked like it had a chance to sneak over Terrier goalkeeper Christina Reuter’s hands, but it slammed off the crossbar and over the net, taking the Wildcats’ unbelievable season with it.
   
With 21:31 remaining in regulation, junior forward and America East Striker of the Year Michelle Sheehan (Belmont, Mass.) made a long run up the center of the field and into the box, drawing the BU defenders with her. Sheehan dished the ball to the left side of the box, where a wide-open Kaplan put it past Reuter and into the right side of the net to get the Wildcats on the board.
   
The first half was quite opposite of the second half that the Wildcats dominated. The Terriers came out of the gate, seized control and cashed in when Jennifer Herman found the back of the net late in the 23rd minute.
   
The Terriers built a 2-0 lead with 3:15 left in the half when Lina Cords sent a service into the box that Lauren Bashum headed to the left side of the box where Emily Pallotta found the top left corner of the net, over the reach of Wildcat goalkeeper Nikki Golding (Milton, Mass.).
   
Reuter recorded five saves for the Terriers.
   
The solid first half by the Terriers proved to be too much for the Wildcats, who came out in the second half with a renewed intensity, led by Kaplan.
   
The Wildcats, who outshot the Terriers 21-7, including 17-1 in the second half, never let up in the second half, and had another good scoring opportunity with 2:50 remaining when senior co-captain Nicole Lucey (Keene, N.H.) sent an indirect kick toward the left post. As the ball hooked left, senior midfielder Adriana Gonzalez-Medina (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) attempted to deflect the ball into the net when she came sliding in from the left side. Her attempt was thwarted, however, when she could not get her entire foot on the ball.
   
On top of receiving the runner-up trophy, the Wildcats also had three players named to the America East All-Championship Team, including Sheehan, Serafine and Lucey.
   
One reason the ‘Cats made it as far as they did this season, was the leadership shown by the seniors, including Marianne Rivard (West Kingston, R.I.), Kailyn Mulcahy (Dover, N.H.), Katie Lutar (Guilford, Conn.), Gonzalez-Medina, Serafine and Lucey. Rivard and Mulcahy were unable to play in the match due to injuries.
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