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Quarantas power UMBC to senior day win

umbc-seniors

With four seniors in their lineup, the UMBC women’s soccer team refused to leave Retriever Soccer Park with anything but a dominant victory over Binghamton on Thursday’s Senior Day. Seniors Preslie and Alexa Quaranta each scored in their final home games and Preslie added an assists as UMBC topped the Hawks 3-1.

The UMBC defense, led by Leah Roth in goal, withstood early pressure by the Bearcats and quickly turned the game around in a hurry. Nikki Saad hit a ball off the crossbar in the 22nd minute, but four minutes later the Retrievers broke through. Preslie Quaranta sent a ball over a Binghamton defender to her sister Alexa. Alexa broke free and stormed up the lane, cut back to clear a defender and shot the ball into the top left of the net to give UMBC an early goal.

UMBC controlled most of the possession in the first half, leaving Binghamton reliant on counter-strikes to set up their offense.

Gabby Boehmer nearly scored again for UMBC four minutes after Alexa’s goal, but Bearcat goalkeeper Katie Hatziyianis made the stop. Binghamton made a quick turnaround up the field and were able to get a quick shot at the goal just a minute later, but that became Roth’s first save of the game.

But UMBC proved they could generate some offense quickly in the first half. UMBC was called off sides three times in the first half, but eventually got the timing right with the up-field passes. In the 34th minute Preslie Quaranta had a good run to get enough space. Her shot, however, was stopped by Hatziyianis

UMBC had to settle for just a 1-0 lead at halftime, but the history of that was on UMBC’s side. This year, they had not lost a game when leading at halftime. That stayed true on Thursday night.

In the 60th minute UMBC made a run into the box and drew a foul. However, Nikki Saad’s shot was saved as Hatziyianis guess correctly when she dove to her right. But the Retrievers would not allowed Binghamton to get any momentum off of that stop. UMBC immediately earned another corner kick and Saad nearly made up for the missed penalty kick, but her next attempt just two minutes later was saved.

Clockwise from top left: Alexa Quaranta, Preslie Quaranta, Dee Morris and Shannon Phillips were all honored in a pre-game senior ceremony on Thursday.

Clockwise from top left: Alexa Quaranta, Preslie Quaranta, Dee Morris and Shannon Phillips were all honored in a pre-game senior ceremony.

In the 72nd minute Saad had another shot saved by Hatziyianis. UMBC kept possession off of it and a cross into the box led to a penalty kick as Alexa Quaranta was fouled in mid-air in the box while trying to get her head on the ball. Boehmer lined up for the penalty kick and converted to put UMBC ahead 2-0.

Trailing by two goals, Binghamton pushed their team up and were able to put some pressure the Retrievers.

UMBC was unable to keep the shutout when the pressure led to a Binghamton goal in the 81st minute. The Bearcats had two quick shots before Michele Galvin’s attempt was blocked. UMBC’s defense was in the right position for that stop, but the ball deflected back to Leighann Bennett and she caught Roth out of position with an immediate strike that went into the open net.

After allowing the goal, the Retrievers were able to maintain control to prevent the Bearcats from tying the game with their heavy push forward and in the 87th minute took any worries of a Binghamton comeback away when they scored on another penalty kick.

Preslie brought the ball into the box and collided with Hatziyianis. The Binghamton goalkeeper was called for the foul and was issued a red card. Against a fresh goalkeeper Haley Downin, Preslie lined up for the free kick and sent it through her hands and into the goal to ensure the UMBC victory.

Saad led UMBC with four shots and three shots on goal. Preslie and Alexa each had two shots on goal. Boehmer also had two shots on goal. Roth finished with four saved while Hatziyianis made seven stops in the game.

The victory was key for the Retrievers, giving them seven points for sixth-place in the America East standings. UMBC will travel to Albany on Sunday with an opportunity to clinch a tournament spot with a win.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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