DURHAM, N.H. - Stephanie Casper scored two goals and three teammates recorded a goal and an assist to propel the 13th-ranked Northeastern University field hockey team to Saturday night's 5-0 non-conference victory against the University of New Hampshire in the season opener for both teams at Memorial Field.
Northeastern took a 1-0 lead at 8:03 when Sarah Eckhoff, alone at the left post, redirected a crossing pass from Ashley Bascetta into the cage. Both Eckhoff and Bascetta, as well as Ashley Webber, finished with a goal and assist.
UNH generated an offensive opportunity into a penalty corner in the 12th minute but the low, hard shot by Sam Geary (Norwood, Mass.) was stopped by NU goalkeeper Colleen Duffy (one save).
The Huskies increased their advantage to 2-0 at 14:34 when Casper scored on a penalty corner from the top of the circle. Ashely D'Ambra, with the stop, and Webber were credited with assists.
The Wildcats responded with offensive pressure and produced another penalty corner one minute later, but did not record a shot. In the 25th minute, the 'Cats created another dangerous scoring opportunity and an Emily Colton (Milton, Mass.) redirection in front of the cage sailed high.
The visitors took that two-goal lead into halftime and recorded an 11-1 shot advantage in the second half to extend their lead. Casper scored a carbon copy goal, this time with the assistance of D'Ambra and Whitney Shean, at 42:17 to give NU a 3-0 lead.
Bascetta made the score 4-0 at 57:59 when she drove down the middle of the circle and fired a low shot into the cage. Webber closed the scoring at 66:07 as she collected a long entry pass from Eckhoff and blasted a shot from the top of the circle.
UNH goalie Margaux Shute (Norridgewock, Maine) recorded nine saves, including six in the second half. The Wildcats' defensive effort was anchored by rookies Kiera Williams (Dover, N.H.) and Cally Cooke (Newburyport, Mass.).
UNH returns to action next weekend with a west coast road trip to play the University at Pacific (Sept. 2) and the University of California (Sept. 3). The next Wildcat home game is Sept. 15 vs. Harvard University. Game time is 7 p.m.