BALTIMORE, Md. -- Lindsey Smagula (Bedford, N.H.) scored a golden goal in the 96th minute to lift the University of New Hampshire women's soccer team to Sunday afternoon's 4-3 overtime victory against UMBC in the America East conference opener for both teams at UMBC Stadium.
UNH won its second consecutive game and has won four of five to improve to 6-3-0 overall, and the Wildcats are 1-0-0 in America East. UMBC is now 5-5-0, 0-1-0.
With the score tied 3-3 at the end of 90 minutes of regulation, the Wildcats ended the game on the only shot taken in overtime. UNH was awarded a direct kick and Smagula fired a shot past UMBC goalie Catie Bukowski into the net. It was just the second career goal for Smagula, whose other tally was a game-winning goal vs. Holy Cross in the 2003 season.
New Hampshire took a 1-0 lead at 20:25 when Ashlee Cieslak (Greendale, Wis.), with the assistance of Adriana Gonzalez-Medina (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) on a corner kick, scored her third goal of the season.
The Wildcats took that one-goal advantage into halftime but the Retrievers forced the first of three second-half ties when Amy Morrison scored in the 55th minute. The teams alternated scores to generate four goals in a six-minute span late in the half.
Gonzalez-Medina put the 'Cats back in front, 2-1, with her third goal of the season at 78:13, and that was answered by UMBC's Kelly Fiorani at 79:26. Michelle Sheehan (Belmont, Mass.) gave UNH its third lead of the game of 3-2 less than two minutes later, however, with her second strike of the year at 81:13. The Retrievers rallied to once again tie the score on Jessica Young's goal at 84:45.
UNH goalkeeper Julie Randall (East Longmeadow, Mass.) was credited with two saves, both in the first half. Bukowski stopped two shots in each half to finish with four for UMBC.
New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 29 (7 p.m.) at the University of Hartford. The next Wildcat home game is Nike Youth Day on Oct. 2. Game time at Lewis Fields is 1 p.m.