Nov. 9, 2009

CENTERVILLE, MA - The University of Massachusetts Boston women's team will travel to Biddeford, ME to take on University of New England in the quarterfinals of the Eastern College Athletic Conference New England tournament on Wednesday, November 11 at 5:00 p.m. it was announced today by the ECAC. The bid marks the first time in school history that the Beacons will play in the ECAC New England tournament.

UMass Boston is currently 14-5-1 on the season, including 5-1-1 in Little East Conference play to establish school records for overall victories and league wins. The Beacons, who are the tournament's number six seed, were defeated in the semifinals of the LEC championship tournament by eventual champs, Eastern Connecticut State University, 4-0, on November 5. University of New England enters the match with a 14-3-0 mark, including 11-2-0 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference and is seeded third for the tourney. The contest will be the first-ever played between the two schools.

UMass Boston is enjoying its best season in school history, which included a school-record unbeaten streak of nine straight matches from September 15 to October 10. The team has set school records for goals (59), assists (44), points (162), shutouts (nine), goals against average (1.03) and corner kicks (91). The Beacons' defense has been one of the biggest reasons for their success this year. The team ranks third in the Little East Conference in goals against average and owned a streak of 456:18 minutes without a goal allowed from September 26 to October 17, which included four consecutive shutouts. UMass Boston has seen a pair of defenders earn LEC Defensive Player of the Week accolades with sophomore Samantha Place (Newton, NJ) earning the honor for October 19-25 and classmate Taylor Massmann (Kingston, MA) garnering the accolade for October 5-11. The LEC Goalkeeper of the Week award has been given to a Beacons' keeper four times this season with Cain receiving the hardware for September 28 to October 4 and October 4-11, while senior Jessica Penta (Revere, MA) has been bestowed the honor for the weeks of October 19-25 and October 26 to November 1.

UMass Boston's offensive output has been outstanding as well with an average of 2.95 goals per game to lead the conference and rank 38th in the nation. The Beacons have six players with 10 or more points for the first time in school history, led by sophomore forward Kristin Mulry's (Holbrook, MA) 35 points, including 16 goals to lead the LEC in points and goals per game with 1.75 and 0.80, respectively. The second-year player has been named the LEC Offensive Player of the Week twice this year and already has a pair of hat tricks this season as just the second UMass Boston player to make that claim in program history. She is flanked by Gillen, who was a Northeast-10 All-Conference selection for Assumption College a year ago and is making an All-Conference bid this year as well with 27 points on 10 goals and seven assists to rank fifth amongst LEC leaders in all three categories. She also has three game-winners to tie Mulry and the rest of the league for third. Sophomore forward Julienne McCuish (Mashpee, MA) has had a breakout season with 18 points, including 13 in her last seven contests. She ranks third on the team with five markers and leads the squad with a school-record eight assists. She also cracks the league's top 10 leaderboard in points (eighth) and assists (second). Sophomore midfielder Molly Kuchar (Ashville, NC) has been one of the Beacons' top playmakers with six assists to build on her career record total of 13. She also has three goals in a season that saw her miss the first three matches with mononucleosis. Place, who is recovering from offseason knee surgery, leads the UMass Boston defenders with six points on two goals and a pair of assists and is joined by sophomore transfer Alex Deware (Needham, MA), who has been a shutdown defender, starting all 17 matches she has appeared in, despite battling injuries. Sophomore Stephanie McGrath (North Attleboro, MA) is also having an All-Conference caliber season in the backfield for the Beacons as just one of three players to start every match this season. Cain owns a school-record low 0.92 goals against average to go with a .857 save percentage to lead the conference in save percentage, while ranking second in GAA. She has also posted a school-record matching three shutouts and shares the new program standard for wins with seven. Penta has been fantastic as well with a 1.14 GAA and a .782 save mark to rank fourth in the league in goals against average and save percentage, while owning a 7-3-0 record. She also put together a streak of 509:28 minutes of play without allowing a goal from September 22 to November 5 for a new school standard.

University of New England is led by senior midfielder Ali Trafton (Manchester, ME) and sophomore forward Maggie Mahoney (Newburyport, MA) with 18 points on six goals and six assists each. Junior midfielder Kristin Meza (San Diego, CA) has netted six goals to go with five assists and freshman Karina Scavo (Mount Sinai, NY) has enjoyed a solid first year with six goals and three assists. Senior keeper Leigh Engel (Richmondville, NY) has started all but one of the Nor'easters' 17 matches and registered a stellar 0.80 GAA to go with a .793 save mark.

Click here for the ECAC New England tournament bracket.