DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire women’s soccer team defeated the University at Albany 4-0 on Sunday to clinch the fifth seed in the America East Tournament.  The playoff birth marks the sixth straight appearance for the Wildcats, the longest active streak in the America East.  UNH travels to West Hartford, Conn. to take on Binghamton University in the opening round of the tournament on Friday at 3 p.m.  The ‘Cats are 2-2-1 all-time against Binghamton, including a 1-0 overtime loss on Oct. 5.
     The Wildcats, who will be making their eighth tournament appearance, hold a 4-8 record in the America East Tournament.  In 2005, they defeated Vermont 2-1 in double overtime and then fell in the semifinals to 2-1 to Boston University in overtime.  The ‘Cats are 2-0 at home, 0-3 on the road, and 2-4 at neutral sites all-time in the tournament.  They have also had success in the first round, sporting a 3-1 record.  Their best finish was in 1998 when they lost 4-0 in the championship game to the University of Hartford.
UNH closed the regular season with a 6-10 record, including a 4-4 mark in the America East.  The ‘Cats finished the season strong, winning three of their last five contests, all by way of the shutout. 
UNH is led on offense by sophomore forwards Sara Hourihan (Lynnfield, Mass.) and Michelle Sheehan (Belmont, Mass.)  Hourihan leads the team with five goals and 12 points and is second on the team with two assists. The five goals rank her fourth in America East, while Sheehan’s five assists lead the team and place her third in the conference.  Sheehan also has come up big in the clutch as both her goals have been game-winners.
    Senior goalkeeper Lynn Gugliuzza (Kenmore, N.Y.) has been outstanding in net, shutting out six opponents.  She has started all 16 matches this season and has recorded 85 saves, an .817 save percentage and a 1.20 goals against average.
Part of Gugliuzza’s success is that she has had plenty of help on the defensive end this season.  Senior defensive back Kelly Collins (Bedford, N.H.) and junior defensive backs Nicole Lucey (Keene, N.H.) and Caitlyn Serafine (Canandaigua, N.Y.) have all been major contributors to the team’s six shutouts.  Collins has a pair of assists this season, while Lucey has tallied an assist and Serafine has recorded two goals.
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