UNH women's soccer rallies past Holy Cross, 4-3

DURHAM, N.H. - Shannon Oltman (Edmonds, Wash.) scored 3:01 into overtime to lift the University of New Hampshire women's soccer team to Tuesday afternoon's 4-3 victory against the College of the Holy Cross at Lewis Fields.

UNH, which has won all three games decided in overtime this season, is now 8-4-0 overall with wins in five of its last six matches. Holy Cross had its two-game winning streak snapped and is 4-6-2.

In overtime, Ana Tobon (Philadelphia, Pa.) served the ball into the box on a corner from the right side. Oltman, the second-tallest Wildcat at 5-foot-9, charged from the top of the box and leapt above the Crusader defense to head the ball underneath the crossbar for her first career goal.

Holy Cross led 2-0 on goals by Erica Backstrom and Kate Kerigan. Backstrom's shot from a crowd at 15 yards slipped inside the right post at 11:12. Lee Hummer sent a through ball to Kerigan, who one-timed the ball into the net from 18 yards at 25:26.

UNH rallied to tie the game, 2-2, before halftime. Angeline Alexakos (Bedford, N.H.) lifted the 'Cats within one goal when she controlled a centering pass from Jacquelyn Kendall (Belchertown, Mass.) and fired a low shot that beat HC goalkeeper Mary Kieras at 28:51. Ten minutes later, a Debbie Newman (Ashford, Conn.) service into the box was corralled by Chiara Best (Rose Valley, Pa.) - the reigning America East Player of the Week - and her low blast from 15 yards tied the game.

Holy Cross regained the lead, 3-2, at 51:59. Hummer began the sequence with a serve from the left wing and Brandy Ault, who also assisted on Backstrom's tally, redirected the ball to the left post, where Ellen Syvertson touched the ball into the open net.

That was the only shot the Crusaders recorded after halftime, however, as the Wildcats generated a 11-1 shot advantage in the second half and a 2-0 edge in overtime.

UNH's offensive pressure resulted in the game-tying goal with 3:24 remaining in regulation. On an Erin Margentino (Farmington, Conn.) throw deep along the right touchline, Alexakos gained possession and blasted in a shot through traffic from the top of the box.

Wildcat goalie Liz MacKay (Scituate, Mass.), who entered the game at the start of the second half, was credited with the win. She was not credited with a save and allowed one goal. UNH starter Kristen Ouellette (Weatogue, Conn.) made one save and allowed two goals. Kieras finished with four saves in 93:01 of action.

New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 20 (1 p.m.) at Stony Brook. The next Wildcat home match is Oct. 24 vs. Vermont. Game time at Lewis Fields is 3 p.m.

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