New Hampshire women's soccer defeats Albany, 2-1

Gonzalez-Medina lifts 'Cats with goal in 85th minute

Adriana Gonzalez-Medina

DURHAM, N.H. -- Adriana Gonzalez-Medina (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) broke a 1-1 tie in the 85th minute to lift the University of New Hampshire women's soccer team to Sunday afternoon's 2-1 America East victory against the University at Albany on Senior Day at UNH's Bremner Field.

The victory, combined with UMBC's loss, gives UNH the No. 5 seed in the upcoming America East Championship. The Wildcats, who end the regular season at 8-7-2 overall and 3-3-2 in the conference, will play fourth-seeded Vermont in an Oct. 28 (11 a.m.) first-round game at Boston University's Nickerson Field. UNH and UVM played to a 2-2 draw in Vermont on Oct. 9.

Albany ends the year at 1-18-0, 0-8-0.

With UNH leading 1-0 at halftime, the Great Danes tied the score at 70:21 when Nicole Hercules gathered a loose ball off a deflection and, from 25 yards, lifted a shot over charging UNH goalkeeper Julie Randall (East Longmeadow, Mass.) into an open net.

Michelle Sheehan (Belmont, Mass.), who hit the crossbar in the 20th minute and gave the 'Cats a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute, worked her way behind the Albany defense in the 77th minute and fired a shot towards the right post that was stopped by UA goalie Ashley Neussle.

The Wildcats continued to pressure and it resulted in a corner kick. Julie Wernig (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) hit a low service from the right corner that bounced through the penalty area and Gonzalez-Medina was alone at the left post to place the ball into an open net at 84:31.

Albany did not generate a dangerous scoring chance the rest of the way.

Randall finished with three saves and Neussle stopped six shots.

Playing with a gusty wind at their backs, the Wildcats controlled possession through most of the first half. Soon after Sheehan's shot hit the crossbar, Wernig fired a shot from the left corner that forced Neussle to make a leaping save. In the 30th minute, Gonzalez-Medina fired a shot wide right from the middle of the penalty area, then hit a ball over the crossbar from 12 yards out.

New Hampshire finally converted pressure into a goal at 32:28 when Sheehan placed a shot from 15 yards inside the left post. Sara Hourihan (Lynnfield, Mass.) set up the goal with a crossing pass from the right wing.

The six-member Class of 2006 - consisting of Randall, Wernig, Ashlee Cieslak (Greendale, Wis.), Erin Margentino (Farmington, Conn.), Debbie Newman(Union, Conn.) and Lindsey Smagula (Bedford, N.H.) - was honored prior to the final home match of their career.

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