VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – On Monday night at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex, the University of Maine-Fort Kent soccer teams captured two more USCAA Soccer National Championships. The Lady Bengals took home their fourth straight National Championship with a 2-0 victory of SUNY ESF. The Fort Kent men won a second straight title in similar fashion to their first, a thrilling contest against Bryant & Stratton-Syracuse that ended in penalty kicks.
For the women, the victory marks the institution’s sixth USCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship. Against the Mighty Oaks on Monday, the Bengals got on the board 15 minutes into the game, with one of the best goals of the tournament. University of Maine-Fort Kent’s Jennifer Cudjoe got the ball to the right of the goal about 20 yards out. She created just enough space to strike a perfectly placed ball that floated into the net just out of the reach to the right of SUNY-ESF goalkeeper Kiki Hilmer.
The Lady Bengals added a second goal in the 35th minute by Sherifatu Sumalia, her 11th of the tournament, earning her MVP honors. SUNY-ESF created several opportunities in the game, recording 9 shots on the target in the contest, but failing to put one away. Alyssa Hughes, Anna Bishop, and Heather Carl tallied 8 of the 9 shots on frame and Kiki Hilmer saved 8 shots to lead the Mighty Oaks, who finished their season 16-4-1 and with victories over NHTI, Johnson & Wales-Charlotte, and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in the tournament.
With a loss in the semifinals, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Bryant & Stratton College-Syracuse finish tied for third in the Women’s Soccer National Championship.
On the men’s side, it was yet another exhilarating final match. In the 2015 USCAA Men’s Soccer National Championship, University of Maine-Fort Kent barely edged out the Bobcats of Bryant & Stratton in penalty kicks. This year, the match played out the same way, with the same team managing to take home the title in kicks. For the University of Maine-Fort Kent, it marks their third USCAA Men’s Soccer National Championship. For Bryant & Stratton-Syracuse it’s a second straight disappointing second-place finish.
The Bobcats kicked off the scoring in the game off a cross from Matthew LeRoux finished by Zino Zampach. In the 41st minute, the Bengals evened the score after Ben Kluvers secured a ball on the sideline. With Bobcats’ keeper Harry Watson coming out, Kluvers got the ball to Carlos Lopez for an open net goal. The tie wouldn’t stand long, as just 30 seconds into the second period LeRoux would put Bryant & Stratton-Syracuse ahead.
From there, the Bobcats held the lead until the 79th minute when Lopez tied it up again with an unassisted goal. Just two minutes later, Jamie Reid put the Bengals ahead 3-2. In the course of just two minutes, Bryant & Stratton-Syracuse went from being 11 minutes away from a National Championship to being down and without the benefit of time. But with less than two minutes left, Zampach took a corner kick and delivered a beauty into the box easily headed in by LeRoux to tie the game at three and send it into overtime. The overtime period ended scoreless to send the game to kicks where University of Maine-Fort Kent was a perfect 4-4 to put the game away.
Bryant & Stratton-Syracuse defeated Penn State Brandywine, University of Maine-Machias, and Florida College on their way to the finals. Florida National University and Florida College finished tied for third place in the field. For full results from the 2016 USCAA Soccer National Championships please go to soccer.theuscaa.com.
2016 USCAA Men’s Soccer National Championship All-Tournament Team
Justin Frietas – Dean College
Pedro Viega – Florida National University
Nicolas Mecoli – Florida National University
Alejandro Quintero – Florida College
Jesus Hawit – Florida College
Jamie Reid – University of Maine-Fort Kent
Stefan Petricevc – University of Maine-Fort Kent
Butch Forbes – University of Maine-Fort Kent
Connor McGoldrick – Bryant & Stratton-Syracuse
Ojai Bedward – Bryant & Stratton-Syracuse
Mattieu LeRoux – Bryant & Stratton-Syracuse
Ben Kluvers – University of Maine-Fort Kent
2016 USCAA Women's Soccer National Championship All-Tournament Team
Katie Benson – Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Erin Tersegno – Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Sandra Rico – Florida College
Patricia Davis – Bryant & Stratton College - Syracuse
Krystal Taylor – Bryant & Stratton College - Syracuse
Natalee Wrege – SUNY ESF
Kiki Helmer – SUNY ESF
Heather Carl – SUNY ESF
Brianna Mills – University of Maine-Fort Kent
Jennifer Cudjoe – University of Maine-Fort Kent
Marie-Laurence Montagne – University of Maine-Fort Kent
Sherifatu Sumalia – University of Maine-Fort Kent