Nov. 8, 2009

Courtesy of The Big East

Providence, R.I. – No. 2 Connecticut defeated No. 1 Syracuse 2-1 in the BIG EAST Championship on Nov. 8 in Providence, R.I. The win marks a BIG EAST-best 11th Championship title for the Huskies. UConn earns the BIG EAST’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship for a league-best 13th time and will advance for the 21st time. BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year Connecticut senior forward Loren Sherer was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player following a seven-point weekend (three goals, one assist).

Sherer was instrumental in both of Connecticut’s goals. The only goal of the first half came when she lifted a pass on the endline over Syracuse freshman goalkeeper Leann Stiver and found Ali Blankmeyer for the tip-in. Sherer then tallied her 31st goal of the season to tie the Connecticut single-season record when Jestine Angelini fired a pass to her off a penalty corner and Sherer lasered a shot from the top of the circle to the right corner of the cage.

Syracuse played shorthanded for a combined 18 minutes as Amy Kee received an eight-minute yellow card followed by Maggie Befort’s 10-minute yellow card. Sherer’s goal came shortly after Kee exited the game at 41:30. The Orange tallied their only goal of the game following a scrum in front of the cage when sophomore Nicole Nelson notched her first goal of the season at 62:37.

Senior goalkeeper Andrea Mainiero made two stops for the Huskies while Stiver also made two saves for the Orange. Connecticut held a 9-8 advantage on shots and a 4-3 lead in penalty corners.

With the win, Connecticut head coach Nancy Stevens earned her 500th win of her career, becoming one of only two Division I head coaches to reach the 500-win plateau.  

Sherer was joined on the All-Tournament team by fellow Huskies junior Melissa Gonzalez, sophomore Rayell Heistand, senior Andrea Mainiero, and sophomore Kim Krzyk. Syracuse freshman Amy Kee, sophomore Martina Loncarica and juniors Lena Voelmle and Kim Coyle earned All-Tournament honors. Louisville senior Heather Bustanoby and Providence junior Jaime Lipski rounded out the list.