– Senior captain Kara Connolly (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) recorded a goal and an assist to lead the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Sunday afternoon's 2-1 victory against the University of Delaware in second-day action of the Wildcat Invitational at Memorial Field.

With the win, UNH improved to 2-0 on the season and captured first place in the Wildcat Invitational. The Wildcats' Kyle Lyons (White River Junction, Vt.) was named MVP of the tournament and was joined on the All-Wildcat Invitational Team by teammates Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.), Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) and Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.).

Delaware, which defeated Vermont, 4-2, on Saturday, is now 1-1 overall. The Blue Hens finished in second place by virtue of the goal differential tiebreaker. Michelle Drummonds, Amanda McCardell and Missy Woodie were selected to the All-Wildcat Invitational Team.

In Sunday's early game, the University of Vermont defeated Lock Haven University, 3-1, to improve to 1-1 and finish third at the Wildcat Invitational. Both UVM and Lock Haven (0-2 overall) had two representatives on the Team. Brittanie Booker and Taylor Silvestro were the Catamounts to receive the honor while Tonia Marie James and Amy Hordendorf were the Lady Eagles named to the squad.

Delaware controlled play vs. UNH in the opening minutes. Heather Hartman corralled the ball following a UNH turnover in its defensive zone and blasted a shot from the top of the circle that was stopped by Nagengast. Hartman collected the rebound and lifted a shot over the crossbar.

Momentum began to swing in the Wildcats' favor when a long hit by Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.) along the left sideline sprung Frates for a 1-on-1 attack inside the circle. Deck shifted towards the middle of the circle and sent a shot wide of the right post with 27:30 remaining in the first half. Moments later, Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) gained possession in the center of the circle and fired a high shot to the left of the cage.

UNH continued to pressure, however, and took a 1-0 lead at 8:10. Rausch initiated the scoring sequence with a hit from the middle of the 25-yard line to Frates on the left side of the circle. Frates quickly centered the ball to Connolly for a redirection into the open cage.

The Wildcats struck 2:15 later to build a two-goal advantage. Connolly raced to the end line on the right side to keep the ball in play, then sent a pass three yards off the near post where Tori Welch (East Hampstead, N.H.) redirected a shot into the goal for her first career points.

Delaware called time out at that point and generated two dangerous scoring chances within the next minute. In transition, Nicole Onorato drove down the left side and her close-range shot was kicked aside by Nagengast's left leg pad. The Blue Hens were awarded a corner, and from the top-left of the circle McCardell's low, hard shot was stopped by a sprawled out Nagengast (seven saves), and the UNH defense cleared the ball out of the circle.

With just under 19 minutes remaining in the first half, Rausch's long hit from midfield found Frates behind the UD defense for a 1-on-1 with Blue Hens' goalie Noelle Diana (five saves). With Diana charging from the goal line, Frates lifted a shot over the crossbar.


Five minutes later, the 'Cats were awarded a penalty corner in which Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) struck a low, hard shot just wide right of the target. Moments later, a shot from the right side by Melyssa Woods (Glens Falls, N.Y.) eluded a Blue Hens' defender but Diana as in position to make a left leg pad save. The rebound was corralled by Hannah Richard (Hopkinton, N.H.) deep on the left side and she pushed the ball wide of the near post.

Delaware capitalized on a corner at 27:19 to trim the deficit to 2-1. Clare O'Malley pushed the ball into play and Drummonds hit a low, hard pass to the right post, where Emily Wagner stopped the ball and fired a shot into the cage.

With five minutes on the clock, UD's Brooke Simonovich collected a loose ball in the middle of the circle, but her shot was denied by Nagengast. The Blue Hens were awarded a corner moments later, and Drummonds' shot from high in the circle ricocheted off Nagengast's left leg pad and trickled just wide left.

Delaware continued to pressure and gained another corner with 1:45 to play in the opening half. Drummonds received a return pass near the top of the circle and hit a low shot that Nagengast stopped. Drummonds pulled in the rebound, but her second shot was also turned aside by the UNH goalie.

The shots were even, 11-11 at the half and UD held a 4-1 edge in penalty corners. New Hampshire's defense clamped down in the second half, however, and did not yield a shot or a corner.

With five minutes elapsed in the second half, Frates' entry pass found Rausch in the middle of the circle and her backhanded attempt rolled just inches wide of the right post.

One of Delaware's top second-half scoring chances occurred with 22:15 to play, when O'Malley gained possession on the right wing behind UNH's defense from a long hit. Nagengast charged from the goal line, however, and made a sliding tackle to dispossess O'Malley before she could record a shot.

Midway through the half on a UNH corner, Lyons blasted a shot that forced UD's Diana to make a left blocker save. Two minutes later, Frates settled the ball in the middle of the circle, turned and fired a shot that Diana stopped and then kicked aside with her left foot. Frates, this time off Welch's entry pass, dribbled from the top-right side of the circle to the center and sent a bouncing shot towards goal that Diana stopped.

Delaware began to pressure with five minutes to play in the regulation, but the staunch New Hampshire defense was effective at tackling and clearing the ball out of the circle almost as soon as it entered, thereby denying opportunities for corners or shots.

The Wildcats called a timeout with 1:01 remaining. Frates maintained possession for nearly 15 seconds along the right sideline near midfield. Following a Blue Hens' foul, Connolly then controlled the ball for approximately 30 seconds and her teammates ran out the final 10 seconds to secure the victory and tournament championship title.

In Game 3 of the Wildcat Invitational, Mackenzie Williams scored her second goal in as many days to break a 1-1 tie in the 59th minute, then Allison Barnaby scored with 1:17 remaining to secure the victory for the Catamounts.

UVM took a 1-0 lead at 9:33. Taylor Silvestro hit the ball forward to Brittanie Booker on the left wing to generate a transition attack. Booker sent a return centering pass to Silvestro, who touched the ball towards the right and fired a shot into the open cage.

The Lady Eagles leveled the score, 1-1, at 26:02 when Kristi Shepps, positioned just off the left corner, sent a pass to the middle of the circle, where Amy Hordendorf swept a low shot inside the left post.

LHU took a 10-5 shot advantage and 5-2 edge in penalty corners into halftime.

Vermont regained the lead directly off a penalty corner at 58:59. Alan Izzo, who was credited with a defensive save in the first half, pushed the ball for the stop by Julie Moy and Williams struck a low shot into the goal. UVM capitalized on another corner to close the scoring at 68:43. Colleen Slaughter corralled the ball in the middle of the circle and pushed it past LHU goalkeeper Erin Terreson, and then Barnaby directed the ball into the open cage.

UVM goalie Brooke Crane was credited with 10 saves, including six in the second half. Terreson finished with two saves defending the Lady Eagles' cage.

Despite being outscored by two goals, Lock Haven did record the edge in both shots (19-8) and corners (10-8).

New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 3 at home against Bryant University. Game time at Memorial Field is 7 p.m.

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