DURHAM, N.H. – Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) matched her career high of 12 saves, but the eighth-ranked University of New Hampshire field hockey team was defeated 2-1 by 11th-ranked Boston College at Memorial Field on Sunday afternoon.
UNH, which entered the game with a four-game winning streak and 6-0 at home this season, is now 12-3. BC improved to 9-6.
Nagengast, who established her benchmark of 12 saves Oct. 6, 2010 against Dartmouth College and matched it in the 2011 season opener at sixth-ranked Ohio State University, made eight of her 12 saves in the second half.
BC counterpart Nicole Barry was credited with five saves.
The Eagles controlled play early in the game – Carla Tamer's direct shot on a penalty corner was blocked and Nagengast turned way Anna Wetherall off the rebound – and held a 4-0 shot advantage before UNH threatened in the 12th minute.
Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) initiated the quick counterattack with a hit through midfield to Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.) at the 35. Joyce tipped the ball to the top of the circle, where Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) redirected a pass to the left side. Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.) corralled the ball but Barry, who had charged from the goal line, was in position to make a sliding save.
Two minutes later, UNH generated a penalty corner and swung the ball to the top-left side, where Kyle Lyons (White River Junction, Vt.) struck a low shot that Barry kicked aside with her right leg pad.
In the 16th minute, Frates pushed along the right end line and her centering pass deflected high off a BC stick. Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.), cutting down the middle of the circle, batted the ball from five yards wide right of the cage.
Boston College scored goals 1 minute, 56 seconds apart to quickly build a 2-0 lead. On a penalty corner initiated by Courtney Tavener, the ball was pushed left to Maike De Jager, who hit a low pass to the far post that was tipped in by Wetherall at 21:34.
BC continued to pressure and Abby Bascetta, driving along the right end line, sent a low shot underneath a sprawled-out Nagengast and the ball trickled into the cage at 23:30.
New Hampshire responded with a goal at 27:48 to trim the deficit to 2-1. Lyons, from the center of the field at the 25, hit an entry pass to the top-right of the circle and Frates one-timed a shot into the cage for her 15th goal of the season.
UNH generated another corner in the 43rd minute and once again pushed the ball left for Lyons, and once again her low shot was kicked aside by Barry.
The Eagles quickly counterattacked, advancing the ball along the right wing to Wetherall. Her shot from seven yards off the right post towards the far post was pushed aside on a head-first slide off the goal line by Nagengast.
BC earned a penalty corner in the 46th minute, and Jacqui Moorfields's direct shot was stopped by Nagengast but resulted in a second corner. This time, Carla Tamer struck a direct shot that bounded wide left of the cage.
UNH called a timeout at 49:02, and in the 52nd minute Melyssa Woods (Glens Falls, N.Y.) executed a strike from the left wing to the middle of the circle. Frates, charging from the top of the circle, redirected the ball over Barry and the cage.
In the 64th minute, Nagengast made a key play to keep the margin at one goal. A long Eagles' hit through the center of the field found Virgynia Muma behind the defense at the 25. Nagengast rushed to the top of the circle and, while sliding, poke checked the ball away to prevent a shot.
One minute later, UNH advanced the ball into the circle, but Erler's shot from the middle was blocked aside by a defender.
BC was successful at keeping the 'Cats out of the circle until the waning seconds, when Rausch's shot deep on the right side was stopped by Barry. The Eagles cleared the rebound out of the circle, effectively killing the last 10 seconds of the game.
Frates moved into a tie with Rausch, whose 14-game point-scoring streak came to an end, for fourth place on UNH's career goals leaderboard with her 44th.
This marked the fourth consecutive game between UNH and BC that was decided by one goal. BC prevailed 2-1 last year at home, the Wildcats were 3-2 victors at Memorial Field in 2009 and the Eagles won 3-2 in overtime in '08.
New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 17 in the continuation of a suspended game against 15th-ranked Boston University. Game time is 4 p.m. at Boston College, and UNH leads 2-1 at halftime.
The Wildcats' last home game of the regular season is Oct. 21 against 14th-ranked University of Maine. Game time at Memorial Field is 3 p.m., and UNH's six-member senior class will be honored prior to the start of the game.