Virginia Beach, Virginia—The University of Maine at Fort Kent women’s soccer team continues the most impressive sporting streak in USCAA history by winning its fifth consecutive USCAA National Championship and seven in the past eight seasons. The top seeded Bengals had one of their sternest final tests today as they defeated #3 seed Florida National University, 1-0 on Monday afternoon. This is the first USCAA title for Coach Larry Simpson.
The game was back and forth for the majority of the first half with neither team creating much for opportunities. The best chance for the Bengals came with about three minutes to go in the half when USCAA first team All-American Sherifatu Sumaila found the ball on her left foot, and sent a rocket just high over the bar.
In the second half, UMFK controlled the ball in their offensive third for almost the entire half. Florida National appeared to waver after a tough 2-1 semifinal contest, whereas the Bengals advanced easily with a 5-0 semifinal win. Sumaila had another chance to score as a Bengal player sent the ball over the defense and Sumaila went one-on-one with the goalie, but sent the ball wide left.
With 3:50 remaining senior All-American Catherine Bruno won a ball at midfield and delivered it to Sumaila. Sumaila made a couple of moves and sent it through to freshman Tolu Oyeniyi who used her left foot to bury the ball to the near, upper corner. Florida National players were pleading for an offside call, but Oyeniyi appeared to be exactly even with the defender.
Florida National had one final chance with about one minute to go on a free kick that was sent into the box and found a Conquistador player but she sent the ball in the side netting.
Senior captains Catherine Bruno and Kendra Freund are among the second senior class to depart UMFK with four National Championships. The two seniors cap their careers with a 75 win, five loss and three tie mark.
Oyeniyi was named the tournament MVP, while Bruno, Sumaila and fellow senior Gabi Riccadri-Shortt were named to the all-tournament team.