WEST HARTFORD, CONN – America East “Striker of the Year” Meagan Riemer tallied a goal and an assist to lift the Hartford Hawks past the University of New Hampshire Wildcats, 2-1, in the America East women’s soccer semifinal round on Sunday afternoon at Al Marzook Field.
New Hampshire ends their season with an overall record of 6-11-1, while the top-seeded Hawks improve to 9-8-2. Hartford and Maine will battle for the America East Championship on Saturday (Nov. 4).
Riemer gave the Hawks an early lead when she tapped a shot into the top left corner of the net at 14:25. Riemer also got things started in the 40th minute for Hartford's second tally. She dribbled up the right sideline and centered a ball into the box for junior Sara Flowers, who played it to the left side. Busque took the pass from Flowers and one-timed a shot into the left side of the net for a 2-0 Hartford advantage.
New Hampshire countered 33 seconds later when Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) fired a shot on goal that junior Liz Cook dove to stop. Cook couldn't get a handle on the ball and watched as it popped free to her left. She attempted to clean up the rebound but couldn't get to the ball before Sara Hourihan (Lynnfield, Mass.) slid in to punch in her sixth goal of the season.
The Wildcats came out of halftime and controlled the pace for the start of the second stanza. Hartford, however, eventually regained its calm and began stringing passes together and creating chances. New Hampshire's best opportunity to tie the game came with four minutes remaining, when Amanda Wiggins (Wolfeboro, N.H.) blasted a shot from just outside the box that Cook dove and punched away. The rebound was collected by Hourihan and put back on goal, though freshman defender Rachel Richards booted the ball clear.
Hartford held the 13-12 advantage in shots along with a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks. Senior goalkeeper Lynn Gugliuzza (Kenmore, N.Y.) notched six saves, while Cook posted five saves in the win.