Men’s soccer falls in America East final

The second-seeded Vermont men’s soccer team failed to capture their fourth America East title and first since 2000 in a heartbreaking game against the Binghamton Bearcats in the conference championship game. After 90 minutes of scoreless soccer the game went into overtime and looked like it might go to a shootout. But Binghamton was awarded a penalty kick with 58 seconds remaining in the first overtime period after a tripping foul in the far corner of the penalty box. The Bearcats’ Barry Neville converted the PK to give top-seeded Binghamton their second championship in four years and a trip to the NCAA tournament. “We gave a great effort today and I felt we deserved a better result. It is a tough way to lose a championship game,” said head coach Jesse Cormier. “I am extremely proud of our team as the program made big strides forward this season. Nearly everyone ofnthe roster returns and I feel the future is very bright.” The game was the last for Vermont seniors Corey Bronner and Chris Scherbel. The Cats end the season with a 9-7-2 record and a 5-1-2 record in conference play. Semifinals The Catamounts defeated the third-seed UNH Wildcats 1-0 in the semifinals of the America East tournament on Wednesday afternoon. Vermont struck at the 10-minute mark when sophomore Jordan Crasilneck sent a free kick into the box. Freshman T.J. Gore flicked the ball over to sophomore Lee Stephane Kouadio who headed the ball home past the outstretched arms of UNH’s Brian Levey. The goal was Kouadio’s third of the season and gave Vermont an early 1-0 advantage. “Lee has put it together and is starting to emerge. I’m proud of him,” coach Jesse Cormier said. “Scoring early is important; it gets the other team on their heels and takes a little pressure off.” UNH nearly answered in the 35th minute. A throw into the box was volleyed towards the goal where UNH’s Mike Davis took a sliding shot that bounced inches wide of the far post. Junior goalkeeper Roger Scully made four saves in route to his eighth shutout of the season. In the 77th minute Scully skyed over a UNH attacker and snatched the ball away preventing a goal and keeping the Wildcats off the board. “It feels good, everyone is happy,” Kouadio said after the game. “We kept our focus and worked hard to get into this position.” “It is an exciting feeling to reach the finals,” junior co-captain Panos Georgiadis said after the 1-0 win. “We were able to stay ahead and keep the lead in a close game which is important.” In the other semifinal the Bearcats survived on penalty kicks (6-5) over fifth-seed Boston University after playing to a 1-1 tie in regulation and overtime.