DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire women's soccer team recorded a 25-11 shot advantage, including 12-0 in the first half, but an own goal felled the Wildcats in Friday afternoon's 1-0 America East loss to Maine at Lewis Fields.
With the loss, UNH finishes the regular season at 6-10-3 overall and 5-5-3 in America East. The Wildcats will be the fifth seed in the upcoming conference tournament and will travel to play either Hofstra University or the University of Delaware in a Nov. 6 first round game. This season, UNH lost 1-0 at Hofstra and 2-0 at home to Delaware.
Maine kept its playoff hopes alive with the victory. The Black Bears (7-6-3, 4-5-2) vaulted ahead of Towson, Northeastern and Vermont, all of whom play regular-season conference finales on Saturday. The Black Bears will be ousted if any of those three team win or Towson plays to a tie.
The only goal of the match was scored at 61:14. From midfield, Maine's Jen Buckley served a ball over everyone into the box. UNH back Cyndi Poehner (Greenwich, Conn.) headed the ball back towards goalkeeper Kristen Ouellette (Simsbury, Conn.), who broke from the goal line just as Poehner flicked the ball. The play back sailed over Ouellette's outstretched arms into the net.
Minutes later, New Hampshire's Sarah Sargent (Glastonbury, Conn.) nearly tied the game but her blast from 13 yards caromed off the crossbar. It was the second time in the game that the Wildcats were denied by the crossbar. In the 14th minute, Chiara Best (Rose Valley, Pa.) chipped a shot over Maine goalie Naomi Welsh that bounced high off the ground and hit the crossbar.
Maine nearly took a 2-0 advantage in the 70th minute on a penalty kick. Buckley's shot eluded Ouellette but hit the bottom side of the cross bar and bounced in front of the goal mouth. Buckley charged and headed the ball into the net, but no one else had played the ball so the score remained 1-0.
Welsh finished with 10 saves, including seven in the first half. Ouellette was credited with one save.
New Hampshire's Courtney Papaz (Ringwood, N.J.) was sent in deep on a Sargent header in the 87th minute and her right-footed blast from 16 yards sailed just over the crossbar.
This match was the final regular-season home game for five Wildcat seniors - co-captain Meg Foley (Marlborough, Conn.), Christy Hemsley (St. Bruno, Quebec), Sarah Sargent (Glastonbury, Conn.), co-captain Farrell Swain (West Simsbury, Conn.) and Michelle Thornton (Gloucester, Ont.).