ORONO, Maine — For the first time ever, the University of Maine’s women’s soccer team is hosting an America East semifinal and it will be the Stony Brook Seawolves coming to Orono for Sunday’s 1 p.m. showdown.
Sixth seed Stony Brook, 10-6-3 overall and 3-4-1 in the conference, eliminated New Hampshire 2-1 on Thursday.
Second seed Maine, 7-6-3 and 3-3-2 in America East will have 10 days between its season-ending 3-3 double overtime tie with Albany and Sunday’s game.
The winner will take on the winner of the game between No. 4 Vermont and top seed Hartford. The highest-seeded team will host the final on Sunday, Nov. 4.
Maine coach Scott Atherley said his team used the layoff to take care of some nagging injuries.
The Seawolves are an attack-oriented team and Atherley said his team will have to “maintain its depth in the back and track [Stony Brook’s] runs” to be successful on Sunday.
Stony Brook beat Maine 5-1 in New York on Oct. 11, but the Bears were without standout freshman twins Joanie and Eve L’Abbe, who were home due to a family emergency.
Atherley also pointed out that Stony Brook plays on artificial turf and its team is well-suited for it.
But the Seawolves will be playing on Maine’s natural grass surface, which slows the ball down compared to artificial turf.
The Bears have been led by junior striker and leading scorer Nikki Misener (5 goals, 2 assists), senior center back Maddie Hill and America East Rookie of the Year Charlene Achille, a midfielder and one of eight Bears with two goals.
Stony Brook features Larissa Nysch (8 & 3), who had two goals in the win over Maine, Sa’sha Kershaw (6 & 2) and Raven Edwards (5 & 2).