– The University of New Hampshire field hockey team’s strong effort fell short against 14th-ranked University of Virginia, which recorded a 2-0 victory against the Wildcats in Saturday’s opening-day action of the Sheraton Field Hockey Classic at the University of Vermont’s Moulton Winder Field.

UNH is now 2-3 in the 2007 season and UVA leveled its record at 2-2.

“I’m very pleased with the overall effort today,” 17th-year UNH head coach Robin Balducci said. “We had good opportunities to score and executed some corners well, particularly in the second half. This game was about process and execution, and it was a big accomplishment in solidifying forward progress for this team.”

UNH goalkeeper Margaux Shute (Norridgewock, Maine) recorded four saves and Kara Napolitano (Waltham, Mass.) was credited with a defensive save for the Wildcats.

The shots were even, 9-9 in the second half and the ‘Cats generated a 4-2 edge in penalty corners in the last 35 minutes of the game. Overall, the shots on goal were even, 7-7.

UVA took a 1-0 lead on a tally by Taylor Swezey at 27:16 and maintained that one-goal advantage until Inge Kaars Sijpesteijn scored on a penalty stroke with 1.8 seconds remaining in the game.

Devon Burnley made two saves in the first half to earn the win and Amy Desjadon stopped five shots in the second half to preserve UVA’s lead.

Coach Balducci lauded the strong play of Shute in goal as well as the efforts of Sam Geary (Norwood, Mass.), Brooke Bercari (Bordentown, N.J.), Johanna Stemmler (Leimen, Germany) and Sarah Craigue (Concord, N.H.).

New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 9 (3:15 p.m.) against the University of Massachusetts for second-day action of the Sheraton Field Hockey Classic. UNH’s next home game is Sept. 15 against University of the Pacific. Game time at Memorial Field is 12 p.m.
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