October 10, 2009

FIELD HOCKEY WINS BATTLE OF 'CATS WITH 3-1 WIN AT VERMONT

MEG SHEA

BURLINGTON, Vt.Meg Shea (Melrose, Mass.) tallied a goal and an assist to propel the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Saturday afternoon’s 3-1 victory against the University of Vermont in America East conference action at Moulton Winder Field.

UNH won its second consecutive game to improve to 7-5 overall and 1-1 in America East. UVM is now 1-12, 0-2.
   
The Catamounts took a 1-0 lead at 14:34 when Sarah Becque scored off a rebound. UNh goalkeeper Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) stopped Becque’s initial shot as well as another by Megan Maynard, but Becque would not be denied a second time.

UNH responded at 18:38 when Leah Boody (Amesbury, Mass.) corralled a loose ball and fired a shot into the cage to level the score, 1-1.

UNH dominated play in the second half to generate a 13-1 shot advantage as well as a 5-0 edge in penalty corners, which resulted in the Wildcats outscoring the Catamounts 2-0 in the final 35 minutes of play.

Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) redirected a shot by Shea into the goal to give New Hampshire a 2-1 lead at 41:14.

Shea closed the scoring at 53:34 when she lifted a shot over UVM goalie Kristen Heavens. Kara Connolly (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), with the crossing pass to Shea, was credited with an assist.

Nagengast finished with three saves, while UVM’s Heavens stopped seven shots. UNH's Kiera Williams (Dover, N.H.) was credited with a defensive save.

UNH recorded a 22-7 shot advantage in the game as well as a 9-2 edge in corners.

"This was an important win for us in the conference," 19th-year head coach Robin Balducci said. "We settled into our game plan in the second half and that's where we took the game over."

Shea, who entered the week ranked seventh in the nation in goals per game as well as 11th in points per game, has recorded a point in all 12 games this season.  Her 17 goals rank #5 on UNH’s list of single-season superlatives, and the 38 points is #6.

New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 11 against seventh-ranked University of Michigan at Harvard University’s Jordan Field. Game time is 1 p.m. The Wildcats’ next home game is Oct. 18 (3 p.m.) vs. Boston College.

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