'Cats advance to America East semifinal with double OT win
BOSTON -- Sara Hourihan (Lynnfield, Mass.), the America East Rookie of the Year, scored a golden goal with 1:17 remaining in the second overtime session to lift the fifth-seeded University of New Hampshire women's soccer team to Friday afternoon's 1-0 victory against fourth-seeded University of Vermont in an America East Championship first-round match at Boston University's Nickerson Field.
UNH, which improved to 9-7-2, will now play top-seeded Boston University in an Oct. 30 semifinal match at 12 p.m. BU defeated the Wildcats, 1-0, in Durham on Oct. 16. Vermont, which played to a 2-2 draw vs. UNH at home in the regular season, ends the year at 8-9-1.
Following a scoreless 90 minutes of regulation, the teams also played to a scoreless draw in the first 10-minute overtime session. The match appeared to be headed to overtime penalty kicks when Hourihan controlled a midfield pass from Julie Wernig (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and beat UVM goalkeeper Laura Kissock for the game's only goal at 108:43
UNH goalie Julie Randall (East Longmeadow, Mass.) recorded her eighth shutout of the season with eight saves, including one in each overtime period. The eight shutouts is the most by a UNH goalie in a single season since 1994 (Maja Hansen).
Kissock also finished with eight saves, three of which were in the extra sessions, for the Catamounts.
New Hampshire recorded a 17-11 shot advantage as well as a 4-2 edge in penalty corners. Neither goalie was forced to make a save in the first half.
Hourihan extended her UNH rookie scoring record to 26 points with her 12th goal of the season. The 12 goals is tied for No. 4 on the program's list of single-season superlatives and the 26 points is tied for sixth.
This marked the second time that UNH entered overtime of an America East playoff game, and that was also a scoreless tie. The Wildcats were defeated by Stony Brook, 3-0 on penalty kicks, in a 2002 semifinal.