CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Freshman Mike McKee (Newtown, Pa.) banged in a corner kick with less than a minute remaining in the first half, and the New Hampshire defense held off a furious Coastal Carolina second-half attack as the Wildcats defeated the Chanticleers, 1-0, Sunday in men's soccer action at the Harvard Soccer Invitational.
With the victory, the Wildcats improve to 5-0-1, the best start since the 1993 season when New Hampshire won its first nine matches of the year. UNH is now the only America East team without a defeat, as both Vermont and Binghamton lost their first matches of the season over the weekend.
On a set play, junior Pedro Braz (East Providence, R.I.) took the corner kick, sending the ball into the box. Redshirt sophomore John Bergqvist (Hollviken, Sweden) used his head to flick the ball to McKee, who sent it into the net for his first career goal.
Coastal Carolina (2-4-0) increased the offensive pressure in the second half, especially in the last 20 minutes, in order to tie the match. UNH goalkeeper Brian Levey (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was up to the task, making a spectacular save on a one-timer off a Chanticleer corner kick late in the match to maintain his fifth shutout of the season.
"We played a solid match," UNH head coach Rob Thompson said. "We held the possession through most of the first half and were able to get the lead on Coastal. I give credit to them, they put the pressure on us in the second half, but we were able to weather the storm."
The Wildcats nearly added an insurance goal in the second half, as Eric Masi (York, Maine) found Michael Card (Amherst, N.H.) behind the Coastal Carolina defense. Card sent the ball towards Geoff Sanford (Johnson City, N.Y.), who was positioned to knock the ball into the net, but the ball ended up just out of Sanford's reach.
McKee, Levey, Bergqvist, and Adam Marcellus (Malvern, Pa.), who scored the winning goal on Friday against Furman, were named to the All-Tournament Team. Levey was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament, while Bergqvist earned Defensive MVP honors.
New Hampshire returns home to face Massachusetts on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 4 p.m. at Bremner Field. In an exciting match last season, the Minutemen defeated the Wildcats, 3-2, in double overtime in Amherst, Mass.