– Junior forward Caitlin Whelan (Weymouth, Mass.) scored against her former squad in the 80th minute to lift the University of New Hampshire women’s soccer team to a 1-1 tie against Northeastern University on Saturday at Bremner Field.
With the tie, UNH (4-1-1) – which is ranked 10th in the Northeast Division – remains unbeaten in its last five matches, while Northeastern moves its record to 2-2-1.
With 10:29 remaining in the second half, and her team down 1-0, Whelan stole the ball just above the box, spun and fired a rocket on net that barely snuck above Huskies’ goalkeeper Annie Petrofsky’s fingers and below the crossbar.
Whelan, who is tied with teammate Michelle Sheehan (Belmont, Mass.) for the conference lead in goals, with five, transferred from Northeastern at the end of last year.
The two teams played a scoreless first half, with the Wildcats controlling much of the action for the first 20 minutes. Just three minutes into the game, senior midfielder Adriana Gonzalez-Medina (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) centered a pass on net from the left corner that connected with the foot of junior forward Sara Hourihan (Lynnfield, Mass.) Hourihan booted the ball high over the right side of the net in what was probably UNH’s best scoring chance of the half.
Late in the 52nd minute, the Huskies struck first when Tinna Nielsen delivered a perfect pass off a corner kick that Brenna Matthews headed into the left side of the net.
The play went back and forth until the 65th minute when the Wildcats took control and played a four-minute stretch that saw a flurry of activity. A header in front by senior midfielder Marianne Rivard (West Kingston, R.I.) went just wide of the net, followed by a Whelan blast off an indirect kick that sailed just high. One minute later, Hourihan put a header on net that Petrofsky made the save on. Ending the flurry was a shot from Sheehan in front of the net that moved wide to the right.
The ‘Cats, who out-shot Northeastern 19-7, had one great opportunity in the second overtime when Sheehan fed Hourihan with a nifty pass just above the right side of the box. Hourihan kicked the ball up while she tried to change her angle and get around her defender, but led the ball too far and into the waiting arms of Petrofsky.
UNH goalkeeper Nikki Golding (Milton, Mass.) made one save, while Petrofsky stopped five shots.
The next game for the ‘Cats is Sept. 21 when they travel to take on the University of Rhode Island at 7:30 p.m.
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