FAIRFIELD, CONN. - Freshman Charlie Roche (Haverhill, Mass.) scored a goal in the 82nd minute of play, but it was not enough, as the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team fell to Fairfield University, 2-1, at Lessing Field on Wednesday night.
Roche would find the back of the net after heading the ball just under the cross bar, past a diving Michael O'Keeffe for his first collegiate goal on a pass from Brad Hilton (Merrimack, N.H.). Despite the late charge, the Wildcats still outshot the Stags 10 to eight, including a second half in which they compiled four shots, while the Stags totaled two.
Fairfield would draw first blood in the 14th minute of the action as Christian Uy found Matthew Uy on a free kick on the far side of the box, setting up a shot that found the left corner of the net, giving the home team the early 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats would respond by peppering the Stags with four shots in the remainder of the first half of play, but were turned away by O'Keeffe, who racked up three saves on all four attempts, compiling a total of seven saves in the game.
Jon Kaufman would add to Fairfield's lead in the second half as he set up Jack Burridge with a header that just got past the hands of Colin O'Connell (Springfield, Mass.) to give the Stags the 2-0 advantage with 33 minutes remaining in the game.
New Hampshire would have one last opportunity to find the back of the net late in the second half, as a yellow card gave the Wildcats a free kick just inside midfield. O'Connell put the ball into Fairfield's box as the ball deflected off a UNH player's head and was turned away by O'Keeffe as the horn sounded.
Chris Banks (Westborough, Mass.) led the Wildcats in shots, tallying five for the second straight game. Marcus Barr (Wallingford, Pa.) notched two shots of his own, while Alex Russell (Harisburg, Pa), Hilton and Roche each tallied one shot apiece.
The Wildcats return to action when they travel to Boston, Mass. to open up conference play against the Boston University Terriers, Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.