DURHAM, N.H. - Goals by junior Ross Fishbain (Racine, Wis.) and senior Michael Card (Amherst, N.H.) in the second half helped the University of New Hampshire Wildcats hold off the Iona College Gaels, 2-0, Friday afternoon in opening day action of the UNH NIKE Fall Soccer Classic at Bremner Field.
After a scoreless first half, the Wildcats jumped on the board early in the second half thanks to the hustle of sophomore Matt Low (Salem, N.H.). After drawing a foul just outside the box in the 49th minute, Low sent a direct free kick in front of the net which found the head of Fishbain, who drilled the ball into the back of the goal.
Twenty minutes later, senior Chris Bennice (Scotia, N.Y.) sent a ball through the defense onto the foot of Card, who carried the ball in and shot it into the lower right corner of the net to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Fishbain and Card led the team in shots with four and three respectively.
The Wildcats had their chances in the first half, twice getting the ball behind Iona goalkeeper Tom Orbacz only to see one of the Iona defenders clear it away for a team save. The Gaels stayed with the Wildcats, outshooting the hosts 15-13 and earning four corner kicks to UNH's one. Unfortunately for Iona, UNH goalkeeper Brian Levey (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was back to his 2004 form, notching his eighth career shutout with four saves.
Paul Racines led the Iona offense with six shots, with Maciek Sliwinski and Carlos Salazar each earning two shots on the day. Orbacz finished with five saves for the Gaels.
In the first match of the 16th annual classic, Vermont shut out Quinnipiac, 2-0, behind goals by Panos Georgiadis and Matt Chew. The Catamounts dominated the action, outshooting the Bobcats 19-5 and earning six corner kicks while not giving one up.
The NIKE Fall Soccer Classic concludes Sunday at Bremner Field, as Vermont (1-0) faces Iona (0-1) at 12:30 p.m. followed by the match between UNH (1-0) and Quinnipiac (0-1) at 3 p.m.