The University of Maine field hockey team lost out to Albany as the top seed for the East division of America East field hockey based on goal differential in conference games.
So the second-seeded Black Bears will take on the University of California-Berkeley, the third seed from the West, in the crossover quarterfinals at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Maine, 17-3, and Albany, 16-2, each went 7-1 in conference play, splitting with each other. Maine won 6-2 in Orono, but Albany triumphed 3-1 in Albany.
The first tiebreaker is head-to-head and the second is record against the other teams in the conference going from top to bottom. The second criteria became irrelevant because they each beat everyone else in the division twice.
Albany finished with a plus-14 in goal differential compared with Maine’s plus-12. A team can only receive up to a plus-four or minus-four. So if one teams beat another 8-2, it receives just a plus-four instead of a plus-six.
Goal differential also decided the West division with Stanford earning the top seed over the University of the Pacific.
Albany will open the tournament against West fourth seed UC-Davis (8-11, 1-5) at 2 p.m. Thursday with Stanford (12-5, 4-2) meeting East fourth seed Vermont (4-15, 2-6) at 4:30 p.m. On Friday, West second seed Pacific (10-7, 4-2) will take on East third seed New Hampshire (8-10, 4-4) at 2 p.m. before Maine and West third seed California (9-9, 3-3) face off.
The winner of the Maine-California game will meet the winner of Stanford-Vermont at 2:30 p.m. Saturday after the noon game between the Albany-UC-Davis and Pacific-New Hampshire victors. The championship game is at noon Sunday.
UMaine coach Josette Babineau said it would have been nice to be the top seed and have an extra day’s rest if they had won the quarterfinal but said the team is looking forward to the game.
“At this point, we know we’ve done well, and we’re going to try to keep it going as long as we can,” Babineau said. “All of our girls have played really well.”
The two teams met in Boston two years ago with California winning 2-1 despite being outshot 21-8.