WORCESTER, Mass. – The University of New Hampshire field hockey team overcame a two-goal second-half deficit and Sarah Craigue (Concord, N.H.) scored in overtime to complete the comeback and lift the Wildcats to a 4-3 victory at the College of the Holy Cross in Wednesday night’s non-conference action at Hart Turf Field.
UNH, winners of four of its last five, is now 4-2 this season while HC fell to 1-5.
Trailing 3-1, the Wildcats pulled within one goal at 48:53 when Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) scored her third goal of the season with an assist going to Kara Connolly (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.).
UNH capitalized on sustained pressure to tie the game. The Wildcats earned three consecutive penalty corners in the 61st and 62nd minutes, then received another corner in the 63rd minute that produced the game-tying goal by Kate Collins Smyth (Parteen, County Claire, Ireland) at 63:14. It marked the rookie’s first career goal, and Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.) was credited with an assist.
UNH goalkeeper Jenna Lehman (Kingston, Pa.), who entered the game at the start of the second half, made one save the remainder of regulation to keep the score tied.
Craigue made the extra frame short-lived with an unassisted goal – her team-leading fifth tally of the season – at 73:17 on the first shot by either team.
Lehman finished with three saves – and allowed one goal – in 38:17 of relief action. Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) made two saves and surrendered two goals in her first career start. The Crusaders’ Erin Singleton stopped eight shots.
Meg Shea (Melrose, Mass.) gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead at 10:04 with an unassisted goal off a penalty corner.
Holy Cross pulled even on a Courtney Callahan goal at 23:26 and went in front, 2-1, when Kara Gonnerman scored at 33:07.
Early in the second half, UNH pressured and generated three penalty corners. But Holy Cross converted its only corner of the second half to extend its advantage to 3-1 on a goal by Jamie Caniglia at 44:46.
The shots were even at 13 and the ‘Cats recorded a 13-3 edge in penalty corners, including an 8-1 second-half advantage in that stat.
This was the first overtime game of the season for UNH, which went 2-2 last year in games decided beyond regulation.
With five goals in six games, Craigue has already established a personal single-season high and her 12 points is just one less than her personal best.
New Hampshire returns to action this weekend against a pair of nationally-ranked teams at Syracuse University. The Wildcats play 11th-ranked Louisville University on Sept. 20 (12 p.m.) and then they play the third-ranked host Orangewomen on Sept. 21 (1 p.m.). UNH’s next home game is Oct. 3 (4 p.m.), when the ‘Cats open America East league play against Boston University.