DURHAM, N.H. – Sophomore goalkeeper Carlie Tarbell (Wakefield, Mass.) recorded a career-high seven saves, but the 18th-ranked University of New Hampshire field hockey team was edged 1-0 by 15th-ranked Ohio State University at Memorial Field on Sunday afternoon.
UNH, which lost 2-1 in overtime Friday to the University of Massachusetts, is now 0-2 overall; the last time the Wildcats opened the season with consecutive losses was 2006. Ohio State, which was also defeated by UMass by a 2-1 score in overtime, improved to 1-1 and avenged last year's 3-1 home loss to the Wildcats.
Danica Deckard potted her second goal in as many days to score what proved to be the game-winning goal at 29:47 and Emma Voelker stopped all four shots on target to record the shutout.
New Hampshire generated early pressure that yielded a penalty corner in the second minute in which stick-stop Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.) swung the ball to the top-left side and Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) drove a low shot that Voelker knocked away.
Two minutes later, OSU was awarded a corner at the other end of the field and Deckard, who recorded eight shots vs. UMass and seven against UNH, hit a direct shot that Tarbell made a diving effort to steer aside.
Wildcats' pressure in the eighth minute yielded a Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) direct shot on a penalty corner that Voelker stopped, and then in transition Joyce sent a pass across the top of the circle to the left side, where Hannah Richard (Hopkinton, N.H.) struck a low shot towards the near post. Voelker was in position, however, and kicked the ball clear along the left end line.
UNH, in a player-up advantage during the 25th minute, generated another dangerous scoring chance. Joyce hit an entry pass to the top-left side and Meg Carroll (Mansfield, Mass.) blasted a shot from the middle of the circle wide left of the cage.
Ohio State quickly countered and earned a corner. Tarbell made another diving save to deny Deckard, but the visitors were awarded another corner. Deckard pushed the ball to the top-right side, where Paula Pastor-Pitarque reverse-sticked a shot high over the crossbar.
Deckard broke the scoreless tie in the 30th minute when UNH hit a back-pass from the right wing into the circle. The OSU senior forward made a lunging effort with stick extended and redirected the ball inside the right post for the goal.
At halftime, the shots were even, 5-5, and the Buckeyes had a 2-3 edge in corners.
UNH continued to pressure early in the second half. In the 40th minute, the 'Cats pushed a pass to the right side and then swung the ball to the top-left on a corner to set up Pohlmeyer, whose knee-high shot was blocked by Voelker for her only save of the half.
Nine minutes later on another corner, Pohlmeyer struck a diagonal shot from the top-left side that was redirected by Meg Flatley (Townsend, Mass.) wide of the right post. That would prove to be UNH's last shot of the game – with 21:11 remaining in regulation.
OSU responded in the 51st minute with one of its four second-half corners. Laura Napolitano inserted the ball to stick-stop Pastor-Pitarque and Mona Frommhold blasted a low shot, but Tarbell stacked her pads to make the save.
The Buckeyes threatened again in the 58th minute when Deckard led a transition attack. She carried the ball on the right wing and hit an entry pass that eluded two defenders and set up Peanut Johnson 1-v-1 with Tarbell. Johnson stickhandled in an attempt to deke Tarbell, but the UNH goalie stood her ground and denied the attacked at the right post.
Ohio State continued to pressure and was awarded consecutive corners in the 60th minute. Tarbell made a diving save on Deckard's direct shot, then her next shot rolled wide left.
OSU called time out at 63:08 and preserved its one-goal advantage the rest of the way. The visitors finished with the advantage in both shots (12-7) and corners (7-4).
New Hampshire returns to action Aug. 31 (3 p.m.) at Brown University. The Wildcats' next home game is Sept. 7 vs. seventh-ranked Syracuse University. Start time is 7 p.m.