September 16, 2012

Flatley's Double-Overtime Goal Lifts No. 21 Field Hockey Past No. 7 Northeastern, 3-2

MEGAN BOZEK
MEG FLATLEY

DURHAM, N.H.Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) scored with 5:43 remaining in regulation to force overtime and Meg Flatley (Townsend, Mass.) scored 2:29 into the second extra session to lift the 21st-ranked University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Sunday afternoon's 3-2 victory against seventh-ranked Northeastern University at Memorial Field.

UNH won its third consecutive game to improve to 4-3 overall and hand Northeastern its first loss of the season. The Huskies, who recorded the edge in both shots (15-9) and penalty corners (12-3), are now 6-1.

In addition to scoring the game-tying goal, Bozek was credited with two defensive saves in support of UNH goalkeeper Carlie Tarbell (Wakefield, Mass.), who finished with six saves. Hannah Richard (Hopkinton, N.H.) extended her point-scoring streak to five games with a goal an assist.

Deirdre Duke scored both Northeastern goals – Crystal Poland, the nation's leading goal scorer, was held scoreless on seven shots (three on goal) – and Lizzie Priest stopped five shots.

UNH won the game on its only shot of the extra sessions. In a quick counterattack, Flatley advanced the ball down the right wing into the circle, evaded Priest by shifting towards the middle and then tucked a low shot inside the far post to extend her goal-scoring streak to five games and give the Wildcats a 3-2 victory at 87:29.

The Wildcats took an early 1-0 lead on Richard's goal at 6:23. Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.) dribbled inside the top-right of the circle and fired a shot that Priest blocked with her right leg pad, but Richard corralled the rebound in the middle and deposited the ball inside the left post for her team-leading seventh goal of the season.

On NU's second of three first-half corners, Poland fired a direct shot towards the right post that Bozek redirected off the goal line to preserve UNH's 1-0 advantage at 19:09.

The Huskies generated another corner in the 28th minute, and this time it was Tarbell who denied Poland.

Northeastern leveled the score, 1-1, at 30:48 when Duke entered the circle on the top-right side and swept a low shot into the cage.

The score was still tied, 1-1, at halftime with the visitors holding the statistical advantage in shots (6-3) and corners (3-0).

NU generated the first quality scoring chance in the second half with a corner in the 41st minute, but Bozek once again denied a goal – this time off the stick of Duke. The Huskies would not be denied on their next corner, however, as Poland opted to touch the ball forward instead of taking a shot and Duke scored off her own rebound with a low shot on the left side of the cage to give Northeastern a 2-1 lead at 48:09.

UNH's pressure in the 56th minute resulted in a Meg Carroll (Mansfield, Mass.) shot that Priest turned aside, but the 'Cats were awarded a corner and the direct shot by Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) was also stopped by Priest.

The Wildcats, who called time out at 56:14, generated another corner in the 61st minute. Bozek's initial direct shot was blocked by a charging defender, but Chandler Giese (Trappe, Pa.) collected the loose ball and snapped a low shot that Priest directed away.

UNH converted its next corner into a game-tying goal at 64:17. Erler inserted the ball to Joyce as the stick-stop at the top of the circle and then Richard, after one touch, swung the ball to the right side and Bozek drilled a low shot into the cage to knot the score, 2-2.

Neither team recorded a shot the final 5:43 of regulation, which ended with Northeastern holding the edge in shots (9-8) and corners (6-3).

NU controlled play in the first 15-minute overtime session but could not break the deadlock. On the second of consecutive corners in the 73rd minute, Poland's shot was blocked by a Wildcat defender but the Huskies were awarded a third corner. The defense blocked a shot off the stick of Duke, but a fourth corner was granted and this time Duke's blast rolled wide left of the cage.

Northeastern generated another corner in the 79th minute, and this time Poland struck a low, hard shot towards the left post that Tarbell kicked aside with an extended right leg pad to prolong the game.

On NU's sixth corner of the first OT – with 1:30 on the clock, Lindsay Bennett inserted the ball to Poland on the top-left side, and her bounding shot towards the far post was kicked out by Tarbell's left leg pad.

Through 85 minutes, the visitors had recorded a 14-8 shot advantage and a 12-3 margin in corners.

The last time a UNH game was decided in double overtime was Oct. 6, 2007, when the Wildcats defeated Maine 2-1. The 'Cats are now 1-1 in OT this season; they lost 2-1 at home to UMass in the season opener.

New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 21 (7 p.m.) at fifth-ranked University of Connecticut. The Wildcats' next home game is Oct. 5 (3 p.m.) against University at Albany.

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