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Women’s soccer clinches playoff berth

by: Spencer Bergholtz

The Maine women’s soccer team won an impressive conference game on the back of fourth-year forward Charlene Achille Thursday night at home 2-0 over the Stony Brook Seawolves. Achille scored both of Maine’s goals in this contest. After the victory, Maine improves to 9-6-1 overall and 4-2-1 in the conference, putting them in second place and clinching a playoff spot. Stony Brook is now 6-8-3 overall and 3-3-1 in America East play.

 Stony Brook came out of the gates firing, possessing the ball for the majority of the first half and outshooting the Black Bears 10 to 2 but couldn’t muster a goal. Maine’s third-year goaltender Claudia Dube-Trempe was stopping everything in sight, and was able to withstand a brutal attack that Stony Brook sent her way.

Even the Stony Brook Head Coach Sue Ryan recognized the flawless play of Dube-Trempe and couldn’t have asked much more from her team.

“Their goalkeeper played exceptional in the first half and did a phenomenal job keeping us off the scoreboard,” Ryan said.

Maine came out slow in the first half, but looked like an entirely different team in the second half of play. Coach Atherley made halftime adjustments and got his team to play the way they are capable of.

“It was senior night, I think we were a bit nervous so I told them at half time to calm down and gain our composure and we did a great job of that in the second half,” Atherley said.

Achille broke the scoring drought in the 68th minute on a play that developed off a corner kick. Third-year back Hannah Lipinski recovered the ball and found Achille wide open inside the box and Achille put it home in the bottom left corner for her sixth goal of the year. In the 80th minute Achille struck again, this time off a free kick just outside the box. She stepped into the ball and absolutely sniped a shot off the top left post and in, giving Maine a 2-0 advantage.

Maine is now locked in for the postseason and their mentality is to remain patient. They don’t want to change their ways, and want to keep doing what has made them successful all year.

“Take it by game, one at a time, it’s been our mantra all year and we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves. For us, it’s about the next play and getting your job done,” Atherley said.

Stony Brook is down but not out of the postseason after this tough loss. Ryan is still very confident in her team but realized the well balanced competitive nature of this conference.

 “It is a hotly contested race for the final spots, and I think for us and a couple other teams it is going to come down to the last game of the season.  We will see what happens Sunday,” Ryan said.

Maine finishes up regular season action in their last game of the season on Oct. 25 when they travel to Albany for a 2 p.m. kickoff.

Albany tops Maine 1-0

The University of Maine women’s soccer team lost their regular season finale on the road at the University of Albany by the score of 1-0. Maine heads into the postseason at 9-7-1 overall and 4-3-1 in America East competition.

Albany’s goal came in the 39th minute of play as third-year midfielder Caitlyn Paltsios let a corner kick fly, that she curved in beautifully, directly on net off of Maine’s third-year goaltender Claudia Dube-Trempe and in.

Dube-Trempe did all she could in this one to give her Black Bears a chance as Albany out possessed Maine throughout the entire contest and outshot Maine 13 to 9. Albany also had the advantage in corner kicks 7-4. She was constantly on her toes facing fierce pressure. Despite Dube-Trempe’s great effort, her record drops to  9-6-1 on the season.

Maine didn’t apply as much pressure as they would have liked to but did get themselves a couple of close chances. It was a long afternoon for Maine’s offense.

First-year forward star Vivien Beil broke free to earn herself an open shot on goal, but it was perfectly dove at and swatted away by Albany’s second-year goalie Alana Olivieri. Maine’s leading goal scorer and fourth-year forward Charlene Achille had the Black Bears other legit chance to put one home but she was also shut down by Olivieri on a nice save. Olivieri improved to 3-0-1 in her limited, but very impressive time in between the pipes.

Though the season may not have ended the way Maine had wanted it to, the Black Bears will be the No. 4 seed in the America East playoffs and open up postseason play when they host the University of New Hampshire Wildcats on Thursday at 7 p.m. Maine beat New Hampshire on the road by the score of 2-1 in their lone meeting in the regular season back on Oct.15. The Wildcats come into this postseason clash at 6-9-3 overall and 4-4 in America East action.

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