Back in August, the women’s soccer team was picked to finish eighth in the America East Conference. Three months later, the women were America East Champions and headed to the program’s first NCAA Tournament.
Their historic season ended in a 2-0 loss to Virginia Tech., a number one seed, last Friday at the Hokies’ home field in Blacksburg, Va.
In her last game as a Retriever, senior goalkeeper Lauren Kadet tied a season high with seven saves. Kadet posted two other seven-save games this season, both against Stony Brook University. The senior finished her career as the all-time saves leader for women’s soccer at UMBC with 397 saves, after besting Nadine Henchcliffe’s, ’95, previous record of 339 earlier this season.
The Retriever’s offense was outmatched by the Hokies’ defense, and registered just a single shot in the contest. Sophomore forward Alexa Quaranta took UMBC’s lone shot, but could not find the net. Quaranta had a breakout season in 2013, and was a large part of the Retrievers’ success this year. The America East conference women’s soccer Fans’ Choice Player of the Year lead the Retrievers with eight goals and one assist for 17 points.
“It was very unexpected to happen so soon but it was definitely exciting just to see how everyday was so determined and focused,” Quaranta said of the Retrievers’ turnaround.
Junior Jessy Brown matched Quaranta’s output with 17 points of her own on seven goals and three assists. Brown was named the America East Co-Midfielder of the Year.
This year’s championship run came after two hard years for the women’s soccer program, in which they registered just one victory over 34 matches and went through a coaching change.
The 2012 season was head coach Lesley Wrey’s first at the helm of the Retrievers, during which the women recorded a program high five ties. This season, Wrey and her staff were named the America East Coaching Staff of the Year in what will hopefully be a breakout season for UMBC.
In the meantime, the Retrievers are staying focused and motivated to build on a memorable season.
“We had a few days off. We haven’t practiced or anything but I think we’ll do some more captains practices and get togethers,” Quaranta said. “Just things as a team because we don’t want to lose our touch on the ball, we always want to be playing soccer but I think we deserve a little bit of a break.”
In those few days off the women met with UMBC president Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, Director of Athletics Tim Hall and the President’s Counsel to honor their momentous season.