Inverkeithing’s Michael Scott will compete for his third America East Conference championship on Saturday after his University of Maryland, Baltimore County side defeated Vermont by 3-1 in Wednesday’s semi-final at Retriever Soccer Park.
The former Livingston U-19 forward sealed his side’s victory with a delicate chip from the left of the penalty box with seven minutes remaining after latching onto a defense-splitting pass from Malcolm Harris. It was Scott’s second goal of the season. His first also came against Vermont in a 5-1 win on Nov. 1.
UMBC (11-5-3 overall) won back-to-back America East championships in 2012 and 2013, Scott’s first two years in the collegiate game. The Retrievers picked up a second straight regular-season crown last weekend and now take a 24-game unbeaten run against conference opponents into Saturday’s final against Hartford.
Vermont took an early lead when Canadian forward Brian Wright broke clear on nine minutes before steering his low shot past UMBC goalkeeper Billy Heavner.
The Retrievers leveled two minutes later after the Catamounts failed to clear a corner kick. UMBC midfielder Gregg Hauck gathered a loose ball 25 yards out and fired a low shot into the net.
Kay Banjo spectacularly nudged the No. 1 seeded Retrievers in front on 30 minutes with an exquisite back heel volley to convert Jordan Becker’s cross from the left.
UMBC hosts Saturday’s final looking for a fourth championship in five years. Hartford’s 2-1 win over Binghamton in overtime Wednesday prevented Scott from meeting his countryman Alan Duff in the final.