The Binghamton men’s soccer team was eliminated from the America East (AE) Conference Tournament after a disheartening 3-0 loss to Albany last week, but for the four remaining teams in championship contention, the pressure is mounting. Let’s take a look at how the four AE postseason competitors will fare in the semifinal and final rounds of the tournament.
The Seawolves entered the postseason tournament as the AE regular season champions, earning themselves this past weekend off as they awaited the results of the quarterfinal matches. SBU is led in goals by senior midfielder Serge Gamwanya and junior striker Jarred Dass, who each put six shots in the net over the course of the season. Despite their home-field advantage and their first-seed status, the Seawolves should not let their guard down in their first match against UMBC on Wednesday. Last time the teams met, the match ended in a 2-2 draw, and with a championship on the line, UMBC will likely be willing to go the extra mile to secure a win.
After defeating Vermont over the weekend in penalty kicks, the fifth-seeded Retrievers will take on Stony Brook this Wednesday. As previously mentioned, the last matchup between the schools ended in a tie, which likely means that fans can anticipate another competitive match come midweek. With upsets becoming synonymous of the UMBC athletics department, the Retrievers — led by freshman forward Jackson Becher, who was responsible for the winning penalty kick in the qualifying match against Vermont — could take victory.
As the No. 3 seed in the conference, the River Hawks took a 1-0 victory over UAlbany over the weekend to solidify their place in the semifinal round of the tournament. UMass Lowell will take on UNH this Wednesday, but will lack home-field advantage. The River Hawks will likely leverage the offensive prowess of redshirt junior forward Stanley Alves and junior midfielder Roko Prsa, who have proven to be reliable in terms of scoring.
Two-seeded UNH also received a break this weekend and will play in this year’s tournament for the first time on Wednesday against three-seeded UMass Lowell. The Wildcats not only have the higher seed, earning them the right to a home-field advantage, but they were also the victors in the teams’ last meeting, taking a win over the River Hawks, 2-0. With sophomore back Josh Bauer and graduate student goalkeeper Lars Huxsohl named AE Defender of the Year and AE Goalkeeper of the Year, respectively, they appear to be in position to take victory.
Both of the semifinal matches will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7. The Seawolves will take on UMBC in Stony Brook, New York and the Wildcats will battle with UML in Durham, New Hampshire. The winners of each game will advance to the final tournament match, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, Nov. 11.