(WTNH)–The University of Bridgeport women’s soccer team, the number one seed in the East Region,. advanced to the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Championship Regional Final for the second straight season and picked up its fourteenth consecutive victory with a tough 3-2 home win over the visiting and number five seed, Yellow Jackets of American International College. UB is now 17-3-0. AIC closes out 2016 at 12-8-1.
Bridgeport will now advance to face the number two seed in the region, Adelphi University Panther, 2-1 winners over LIU Post, on Friday, November 18 at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. In 2015, UB tripped Adelphi, 2-1, in the Reginal Final.
Sunday’s match was a tail of two halves, as the host Purple Knights raced out to a 3-1 halftime lead and held off a furious AIC rally in the second half to secure the victory.
In the opening stanza, the Yellow Jackets got on the scoreboard first when senior Jessica Margaretta scored off an assist junior Linnea Halbertsson just 2:39 into action.
Bridgeport would storm back to score the next three goals, as graduate student Amanda Moura (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) tied the game just over three minutes after AIC’s goal on a header off a corner kick from senior Nicola Worthington (Chorley, England) that was flicked on by classmate Flo Gamby (Goffs Oak, England).
Worthington gave UB a 2-1 lead at the 27:58 mark of the first half when she sent home a booming long shot to the top of the net off an assist from senior Hanne Neby (Furnes, Norway).for her sixth goal of the season,
Graduate student Idioa Agirre (Legazpi, Spain) netted what proved to the be the game-winning goal on Sunday when she scored tally number 26 of the season off a lovely long through ball over the defense form Worthington. Agirre’s 26 goals tie the UB single season record for goal set by Therese Petersson in 2006.
In the first 45 minutes, Bridgeport outshot American International, 9-2.
Trailing 3-1, the visiting Yellow Jackets put up constant pressure against the host Purple Knights outshooting them, 16-4, in the second half.
AIC scored its lone goal in the final 45 minutes at the 62:06 mark of play when sophomore Federica Frew headed home her fourth goal of 2016 off a corner kick from senior Stephanie Tweer
Bridgeport goalkeeper Jennifer Wendelius (Lidingo, Sweden) made six stops in the second half to pick up the win. Wendelius now has a season record of 13-2-0.