October 11, 2013

Flatley's Overtime Goal Lifts Field Hockey Past Maine, 3-2

DURHAM, N.H.Meg Flatley (Townsend, Mass.) scored a goal 10:46 into overtime to lift the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Friday night's 3-2 America East conference victory against the University of Maine at Memorial Field. 

UNH, winners of two straight and six of the last seven games, improved to 7-5 overall by winning its conference opener and defeating Maine for the fifth consecutive time. The Black Bears, who had won four of its previous five games, is now 6-6, 1-2.

Flatley scored her team-leading ninth goal – and third game-winning goal – of the season to end the game at 80:46. Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) and Emma Compagna (Canton, Mass.) scored the Wildcats' other goals – it was the first career points for Compagna – while both Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) and Melyssa Woods (Glens Falls, N.Y.) were credited with one assist. UNH goalkeeper Carlie Tarbell (Wakefield, Mass.) finished with three saves, all in the first half. 

Maine held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 on tallies by Annabelle Hamilton (one goal, one assist) at 15:10 and Danielle Aviani at 35:00. Natasha Ford made six saves, including one in OT, and both Becca Paradee and Nicole Sevey made a defensive save.

With the score tied 2-2 at the end of regulation, the teams entered the first 15-minute, sudden-victory extra session. The Wildcats generated a corner three minutes into OT and, following a cycle of passes, Woods' blast from the center of the circle rolled wide of the left post. 

Two minutes later, the 'Cats created a dangerous scoring chance in transition. Flatley attacked down the left side and attempted to go around Ford, but had no shooting angle on the end line and lifted a shot wide of the near post.

In the fifth minute of overtime, Compagna's bid from the right side was blocked by a defender and, off the rebound, Chandler Giese (Trappe, Pa.) was denied by Ford. Five minutes later, Flatley successfully maneuvered around Ford but her reverse-stick shot from the middle of the circle was cleared aside by Sevey to extend the game. 

UNH capitalized on its second penalty corner of overtime to score the game-winning goal. Flatley's insert went to the top of the circle, where Pohlmeyer's initial shot was blocked.  The ball ricocheted toward the left post, where Flatley settled the ball and shoved it into the open cage.

UNH, which generated the edge in both shots (23-11, including 8-1 in OT) and penalty corners (13-9), produced the first scoring chance in the eighth minute. Flatley maneuvered around Ford on the left side and fired the ball toward the open cage but Paradee, at the left post, steered the ball aside to keep the game scoreless. 

Maine struck first on a penalty corner. The Black Bears swung the ball to the top-right side, where Fran Rowley sent a pass across to the top-left for Hamilton, who drove a low shot inside the right post.

The Wildcats tied the score, 1-1, on a corner at 32:35. Woods inserted the ball from the right side directly to Bozek on the near side, and her low shot went into the cage for her sixth goal of the season. 

The visitors regained the lead, 2-1, on a series of untimed corners at the end of the first half.  On the initial corner, Rowley's shot from the top-left was stopped by Tarbell but Maine was awarded a second corner and Hamilton's direct shot was also stopped by UNH's goalie. The third corner produced the goal, however, as Hamilton's hit from the top of the circle was corralled in the middle by Aviani, who lifted the ball under the crossbar.

UNH pressured in the last 14 minutes in an effort to score the game-tying goal. On a restart just outside the top of the circle, Bozek advanced down the middle and struck a shot that Ford stopped. Richard gathered the rebound near the right post and her shot was also directed away by Ford. 

One minute later on a corner, the 'Cats tried to replicate its goal-scoring play, but this time Bozek's shot from the right side was blocked by a UM defender.

New Hampshire tied the score, 2-2, on another corner at 64:31. Flatley inserted the ball directly to the left side and Woods' shot was blocked. The ball ricocheted to the top of the circle, where Pohlmeyer gained possession and sent the ball to the right post, where Compagna redirected a shot into the cage. 

Neither team recorded a shot or penalty corner the last 5:29 of regulation.

New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 13 (3 p.m.) at third-ranked Syracuse University. The Wildcats' next home game is Oct. 20 (2 p.m.) vs. Bucknell University.

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