DURHAM, N.H. – Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.) recorded two assists and Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) stopped all four shots on goal to lead the 10th-ranked University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Sunday afternoon's 4-0 non-conference victory against 20th-ranked Northeastern University at Memorial Field.
UNH is still unbeaten this season at 8-0 and that includes three wins at home as well as two victories vs. nationally-ranked teams. NU falls to 5-3.
Nagengast made three of her four saves in the first half to record her first shutout of the season and seventh of her career. It marked the second consecutive shutout for the Wildcats – UNH had not shut out consecutive opponents since October 2007 – and third overall this season.
NU goalkeeper Lizzie Priest was credited with eight saves, including seven in the first half.
The Wildcats, who generated a 15-6 shot advantage (11-4 in the first half), quickly seized control of the game with goals 76 seconds apart at 2:23 and 3:39. Erler set up the game's first goal when she advanced the ball from the middle of the circle to Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.), who swept a shot from the left doorstep inside the near post for her team-leading 13th goal of the season.
UNH converted a penalty corner into a goal and 2-0 lead. Rausch initiated the sequence with the push to ball-stopper Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.). She swung the ball to the left wing, where Kyle Lyons (White River Junction, Vt.) settled the pass and blasted a low shot inside the left post.
In the 13th minute, Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) was denied by Priest low on the left side, but Frates corralled the rebound and lifted a shot just over the crossbar.
Northeastern called time out at 14:14, but it was the Wildcats that responded with a goal 26 seconds later to extend the advantage to 3-0. On the left side of the circle, Erler centered a pass that Frates controlled and then fired a knee-high shot into the left side of the cage at 14:40.
In the 24th minute, the Huskies generated a dangerous scoring opportunity on a penalty corner as Crystal Poland's direct shot from the top of the circle rolled wide of the left post. On another corner with three minutes remaining in the first half, the ball was swung wide left to Poland, whose shot towards the far side of the cage was kicked aside by Nagengast's left leg pad.
UNH extended the lead to 4-0 at 42:11 by capitalizing on another penalty corner featuring the battery of Rausch and Deck. The direct shot by Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) was stopped by Priest but Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.), who was positioned six yards from the center of the cage, redirected the ball out of mid-air into the goal.
With 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Poland gained possession behind UNH's defense at the top-left side of the circle. She shifted towards the middle and Nagengast, who had charged from the goal line, stacked her pads to make the save.
New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 24 vs. Northwestern University in a neutral-site game at the University of Louisville. The Wildcats' next home game is Sept. 30 (3 p.m.) against Fairfield University.