Women’s football targets America East playoff berth against Binghamton on Thursday night

Story Links The UMBC women’s soccer team (5-7-4, 1-4-2 America East) returns to action Thursday night when they host Binghamton (5-1-1, 8-5-3 America East) at Retriever Soccer Park. The opening whistle is set at 6:00 PM and will be broadcast on AmericaEast.TV. The Retrievers also honor their four seniors, Natasha Munro (Burlington, Ontario, Canada, Washington Township), Caroline Koutsos (Boyds, Md., Our Lady of Good Counsel), Alyssa Palmucci (Mullica Hill, NJ, Kingsway/East Carolina), and Morgan McGruder (Overland Park, Kan., Blue Valley North) immediately after the game. REMARKABLE The Retrievers are currently tied with NJIT for the final playoff spot in America East with five points each. UMBC can secure a spot in this weekend’s quarterfinals with a win over the Bearcats. NJIT or Bryant (3 points) would claim the number 6 seed if either team comes with a win coupled with a UMBC defeat. UMBC holds the tiebreaker with NJIT thanks to their 1-0 win over the Highlanders a few weeks ago in Newark, New Jersey. UMBC Head Coach Vanessa Mann has announced that she has accepted a position with US Soccer and will step down as leader of the Retrievers’ program at the end of the 2022 season. The Dawgs fell 2-0 at home to New Hampshire in their most recent appearance on Sunday afternoon at RSP. The Wildcats scored a goal in each half and went on to win. UMBC defeated NJIT for a major league win on October 13. The Black and Gold produced the game winner with 12:16 remaining on an own goal from a throw-in deep in NJIT territory. Midfielder Caroline Koutsos lobbed a high arching serve towards the goal and Highlander keeper Molly Saylor let the ball go over her head, pushing her out of position. The ball came straight off a defender’s head and went straight into the bottom left corner of the open goal. Goalkeeper Morgan McGruder posted a career-high 13 saves in the NJIT game and has now made 78 stops in the campaign. It was also the third-highest total achieved by a conference goalkeeper in 2022. McGruder is tied for the lead in America East with seven clean sheets and fifth with a save rate of 0.814. She is currently fourth with an average of 1,125 goals. Sophomore back Abby Joseph (Lexington Park, Maryland, Great Mills) is eighth on the track this season with three assists. Meghan McKye (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Northern Secondary School) leads UMBC with five goals, finishing ninth in the America East. The junior striker is also eleventh overall in points (11). Her three game winners are second in the competition. A LOOK AT THE BEARCATS New Hampshire, Binghamton and Maine are all currently at the top of the Congressional standings with 16 points each. Binghamton’s only loss in the competition was a 2-1 decision against UNH. The Bearcats lead the track with 32 goals and are sixth in the number of goals allowed (23). Senior forward Maya Anand is second in the Americas East with 10 markers, three of which are game winners. Anand leads the conference by 24 points as she also added four assists. Senior midfielder Olivia McKnight (6g, 3a) and sophomore forward Peyton Gilmore (6g, 3a) are also among the top five in the conference with 15 points each. Sophomore Kaitlyn Williams has a 1,327 goals against average and is fourth in the league in the category. THE ALL-TIME SERIES Binghamton is 16-2-3 in the all-time series and has won against the Retrievers five times in a row. The last time the teams met in Baltimore, the Bearcats won 1-0 in extra time on April 9, 2021.

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