No team ever wants to back its way into the postseason.
That’s what the Binghamton women’s soccer team has done, however, as it prepares to take on third-seeded Maine in the America East quarterfinals Thursday afternoon in Orono.
First team all-conference midfielder Rebecca Raber, a sophomore, said the postseason offers a clean slate to the Bearcats (8-7-2, 3-4-1 America East), who secured the No. 6 seed despite dropping three of their last four regular season matches.
“We’re in,” she said. “Now it’s time for us to show we deserve to be in.”
Binghamton overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat Maine (8-5-4, 5-2-1 AE), 3-2, in Orono on Oct. 13. Because the two teams have already met, BU head coach Sarah McClellan said she knows her Bearcats can expect Maine to display strong attacks and high energy.
“We’re going to have to have a good start to the game and dictate the tempo early,” she said. “When our forwards have the ball, we do a good job working off them.”
The Bearcats have won the America East tournament once, capturing the crown in 2004. They reached the 2009 championship match, but fell to top-seeded Boston University, 4-0. As the No. 6 seed, they are 1-2-1 with one trip to the semifinals.
Raber, who said her team doesn’t pay the history books any attention, stayed grounded in the present.
“It’s a whole new game for us now,” she said. “The past doesn’t matter anymore. This is a whole new game, a fresh start.”
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on Thursday at Alumni Field in Orono, Maine.
Notes: Five Bearcats in addition to Raber were honored by the America East today. Junior Connie Gormley made the all-conference second team defenders, while freshman midfielder Katie O’Neill was named all-rookie. Senior midfielder Emma Kurth, junior midfielder Emily Nuss and senior back Conor O’Brien appeared on the all-academic team.