FIELD HOCKEY EDGED 2-1 AT MICHIGAN
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.) scored her first career goal to lift the University of New Hampshire field hockey team into a 1-1 second-half tie against the University of Michigan, but the Wolverines scored with eight minutes remaining in regulation to record a 2-1 victory Friday afternoon at Ocker Field.
UNH, which had won two consecutive games, is now 6-3 overall while UM is 5-4. The Wolverines recorded a 16-9 shot advantage, including 12-4 in the second half, as well as an 11-6 edge in penalty corners. Despite the differential in total shots, the shots on goal were even at 6.
UNH goalkeeper Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, N.H.) made two saves each half for a total of four. UM counterpart Haley Jones stopped five shots.
"In general, I was happy," 20th year head coach Robin Balducci said. "We had our chances against them. We had penetration, but we just didn't finish it off. And we generated an attack as time was running out, trying to get a corner but it was just a case of too little, too late."
In the opening minute of play, the Wildcats generated a penalty corner that yielded a shot on goal by Hannah Richard (Hopkinton, N.H.) that was stopped by Jones.
The Wolverines took a 1-0 lead at 11:09 when Rachael Mack, off a pass from Alicia Mayer, scored from close range.
UNH created another corner in the 14th minute, but once again Jones denied Lyons to keep the 'Cats scoreless. Minutes later at the other end of the field, Nagengast turned aside a shot by Zara Saydjari.
"Kath (Nagengast) made some big saves early to keep us in the game," Balducci stated.
The Wildcats generated a scoring opportunity in the 23rd minute, but the shot from Rausch's stick was blocked by a Wolverine defender and then another shot by Rausch rolled wide left of the cage.
UNH generated a corner at 30:30 and, after Rausch pushed the ball into play, Lyons' shot from the top of the circle was blocked aside by Jones.
New Hampshire recorded a 5-4 shot advantage and the corners were even, 4-4, at halftime with Michigan holding a 1-0 lead in the scoring column.
The home team generated an early scoring opportunity in the opening minute of the second half, but Meredith's Way shot off a corner was blocked by UNH's defense.
UNH generated a penalty corner in the 41st minute. Jones stopped Lyons' initial shot as well as Rausch's opportunity off the rebound. The 'Cats continued to pressure and Erler,with the assistance of Kendall Deck (White River Junction, Vt.), scored her first collegiate goal at 41:58 to lift UNH into a 1-1 tie.
Less than two minutes later, the Wildcats recorded a shot wide by Tori Welch (East Hampstead, N.H.), but it would be their last shot of the game.
Michigan began to gain momentum in the 45th minute, when the Wolverines generated three shots in a span of 70 seconds. With just under 15 minutes left in regulation, a shot by Alicia Mayer was blocked by the 'Cats, but it led to a corner in which Mack sent a shot wide left of the cage. Two minutes later, another shot off Mack's stick was stopped by Nagengast.
The Wolverines then had consecutive corners that generated two shots by Mack that were not on target.
UNH called a timeout at 60:21, but UM regained the lead, 2-1, at 61:51 on a goal by Vanessa Sekhon.
Michigan called time out with 46 seconds remaining and time expired before the 'Cats could advance the ball into the circle.
New Hampshire continues its stretch of five consecutive road games Sept. 25 at Central Michigan University. The Wildcats' next home game is Oct. 6 (7 p.m.) against intrastate rival Dartmouth College.