ORONO, Maine – Meg Flatley (Townsend, Mass.) scored with 92 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 2-1 non-conference victory against Central Michigan University at the University of Maine's Field Hockey Complex.
UNH, which recorded a decisive advantage in both shots (22-5) and penalty corners (9-3), won its second consecutive game to improve to 3-4 overall. CMU is now 2-5.
Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) scored UNH's other goal and Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) set up both Wildcats' goals to match her career high of two assists. Carlie Tarbell (Wakefield, Mass.) was credited with two saves.
CMU goalie Sadie Reynolds finished with 10 saves, including seven in the second half when the 'Cats outshot the Chippewas 15-3.
"We played great and dominated ball possession," UNH 23rd-year head coach Robin Balducci said. "I'm happy with the quality in our play. We scored both our goals off corners, which is encouraging because we had been struggling there.
"And their goalie stood on her head," Balducci added.
New Hampshire generated a penalty corner in the opening minute and Bozek, who has now scored a goal three of the past four games, redirected Pohlmeyer's drive into the cage to give the 'Cats a 1-0 lead at 1:02.
Central Michigan created offensive pressure with a corner in the 12th and 15th minutes. Annie Middeldorp's shot went wide on the first corner, but CMU capitalized on the second opportunity to tie the score, 1-1, at 15:08 on a direcy shot by Bailey McKeon. The battery of Middeldorp and Vannatta set up the tally.
The Wildcats began to reassert control, and Hannah Richard (Hopkinton, N.H.) struck a shot off target in the 22nd minute. Emma Compagna (Canton, Mass.) also sent a shot wide in the 23rd minute and one minute later, Richard was stopped by Reynolds.
In the 32nd minute, UNH generated another penalty corner but Bozek's shot was blocked by a Chippewas' defender.
The teams entered halftime with a deadlocked score and the shots in favor of UNH, 7-2.
CMU threatened early in the second half, but Tarbell stoned Cayleigh Immelman in the 37th minute and McKeon's shot off a corner in the 40th minute was turned aside by the defense.
New Hampshire regained momentum, and recorded eight shots spanning the 42nd through 46th minutes. The shooting barrage began when Aggie Sutherland (Dauphin, Pa.) was denied by Reynolds at 41:39. UNH earned a corner and it resulted in consecutive Pohlmeyer shots that were blocked by defenders. Another corner produced back-to-back shots by Chandler Giese (Trappe, Pa.), both of which were stopped by Reynolds. Moment later, another Pohlmeyer shot was once again blocked by the defense. Reynolds then denied Flatley in the 45th minute and Richard in the 46th minute.
Neither team recorded a shot for the next seven minutes, then Flatley sent the ball wide of the cage at 53:37. UNH generated another corner in the 59th minute and in a flurry of three shots, Pohlmeyer's initial shot was blocked, second shot was turned away by Reynolds and then Richard's shot was wide.
The Wildcats continued to pressure and earned another penalty corner in which Reynolds preserved the 1-1 tie by denying Bozek's bid.
CMU counterattacked and, in the 61st minute, Tarbell recorded a save against Immelman to also keep the score deadlocked.
One minute later at the other end of the field, Bozek's shot off a penalty corner was blocked by a Chippewas' defender.
UNH was awarded consecutive corners late in the game and Flatley, who pushed the ball into play, redirected Pohlmeyer's shot into the cage to score her team-leading fifth goal of the season and give the 'Cats a 2-1 lead at 68:28. Neither team recorded a corner or shot the closing 92 seconds.
New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 27 (4 p.m.) at UMass. The Wildcats' next home game is Sept. 29 (2 p.m.) against Harvard University.