DURHAM, N.H. – Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) recorded a goal and an assist and Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) stopped the only two shots she faced to lead the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to a 2-0 America East victory against the University of Vermont in Homecoming Day action Saturday evening at Memorial Field.
UNH, winners of four of the last five games, improved to 10-4 overall, 2-0 in America East and 6-1 at home this season. UVM, which was limited to just three shots overall, is now 5-8 overall, 0-2.
Frates, the reigning America East co-Player of the Week, scored for the second time in as many games this week and has tallied a goal in four of the last five games. For Nagengast, the two-save effort marked her second shutout of the season and sixth of her career.
UVM goalie Brooke Crane stopped three shots each half for a total of six.
The Wildcats pressured in the opening minutes of the game. Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) corralled a long pass in the circle and struck a shot past Crane, but Julie Moy raced back to the goal line and swept the ball away to deny a score. Moments later, Kyle Lyons (White River Junction, Vt.) sent a low shot through traffic that was turned aside by Crane. The 'Cats sustained pressure, however, and Frates turned a pass from Kara Connolly (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) into a goal – and 1-0 lead – at 2:13.
Eight minutes into the game, the Catamounts generated a penalty corner. The Catamounts swung the ball to the left wing, where Brittanie Booker's shot was blocked by charging UNH defender Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.).
With 10:30 remaining in the first half, the Wildcats were awarded a corner and the battery of Rausch and Connolly set up a shot by Lyons that sailed wide right of the cage.
New Hampshire was awarded its second corner of the opening half with three minutes on the clock. This time Rausch triggered the ball into play to Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.) on the top-right. Deck, in turn, swung a pass to Connolly at the top of the circle and her low drive deflected off Crane and wide right of the cage.
UNH took that 1-0 lead and a 6-2 edge in shots into halftime.
The Wildcats struck early again in the second half – just 2:35 after play resumed – to extend the advantage to 2-0 at 37:35. Frates advanced along the right end line towards the goal. Her centering pass eluded a teammate just off the near post, but Tori Welch (East Hampstead, N.H.) gathered the pass in the middle of the circle and quickly directed a low shot inside the left post.
With 14:30 to play, UNH was awarded the first of its three second-half penalty corners. The battery of Rausch and Connolly once again set up Lyons, whose knee-high shot sailed towards the left post but was blocked away by Crane.
Vermont called time out at 56:09, but three minutes later is was UNH that generated another corner. The time Deck stopped Rausch's push at the top-right for Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), whose low shot rolled wide left.
Rausch had a dangerous scoring chance with 5:00 remaining, but her shot from the top-right of the circle bounded wide of the near post. The Wildcats had another corner opportunity in the 67th minute and executed a play similar to that at the end of the first half in which Deck swung the ball to Connolly and her low drive was stopped by Crane.
UVM had an opportunity in the waning seconds of the game when a bouncing ball got behind the UNH defense in the circle, but Allison Barnaby could not gather it before it went across the end line near the unguarded right post.
The Wildcats finished with the edge in both shots (12-3) and corners (5-1).
New Hampshire concludes its stretch of three consecutive home games Oct. 16 against league rival Boston University. Game time at Memorial Field is 1 p.m.