ALBANY, N.Y. – The 10th-ranked University of New Hampshire field hockey team battled back twice from a one-goal deficit, but the Wildcats could not accomplish that feat a third time in Saturday afternoon's 3-2 loss to 18th-ranked University at Albany in America East action at Alumni Turf Field.
UNH, which had won 11 consecutive conference games, is now 14-4 overall and 4-1 in America East. The Wildcats had already secured the top seed of the America East Championship Tournament (Nov. 4 & 6) and will play the fourth-seeded Great Danes (13-6, 3-2) in a one o'clock semifinal on Friday.
"We just didn't generate inside the 25," UNH head coach Robin Balducci said. "Albany stepped into us and we got caught playing run-and-gun, which is their style. The positive is that we did fight back to tie it twice."
Albany took a 1-0 lead at 27:59 when Katharina Helling redirected Daphne Voormolen's shot from the left side into the cage.
The Great Danes took that one-goal advantage as well as the edge in both shots (4-2) and penalty corners (2-0) into halftime.
UNH tied the score, 1-1, on a goal by Melyssa Woods (Glens Falls, N.Y.) at 44:12. Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) set up Woods' shot from five yards off the left post for her seventh assist and 49th point of the season.
UA regained the lead, 2-1, just over three minutes later at 47:22 when Voormolen scored on a redirection of Chantae Miller's pass.
Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.) scored an unassisted goal on a shot from the left corner to level the score, 2-2, at 54:23.
The Great Danes took their third lead of the game at 61:07 when Corrinne McConville converted a penalty stroke – the first in a UNH game this season – for her 12th goal of the season.
UNH did not record a shot the rest of the game and finished with a total of seven in comparison to nine for the home team. UA tallied four corners and the 'Cats did not generate a corner through the 70 minutes of regulation.
Wildcats' goalkeeper Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) recorded two saves each half for a total of four. UA counterpart Kristi Troch was credited with three saves.
New Hampshire concludes the 2011 regular season Oct. 30 (3 p.m.) at Harvard University.