– Junior forward Michelle Sheehan (Belmont, Mass.) and senior midfielder Marianne Rivard (West Kingston, R.I.) each scored late in the second half to lead the University of New Hampshire women’s soccer team past the University of Maine, 2-1, Thursday at Lewis Fields.
The win improves the Wildcats’ record to 9-5-1, including 5-1-0 in America East, and temporarily, at least, moves them into first place in the conference. The Black Bears fall to 4-6-3 overall, and 2-2-1 in the conference.
With 2:22 remaining in a 1-1 game, the Wildcats took advantage of their corner kick by freshman midfielder Amy Avitabile (Pembroke, Mass.) when Rivard rushed into the left side of the box and headed the ball into the back of the net for her third game-winning goal of the season.
The back and forth game was scoreless until Maine seized control at the beginning of the second half and finally capitalized at 73:03 when Laura Martel beat Wildcat goalkeeper Ally Yost (Langhorne, Pa.) on the left side of the net.
The momentum swung just 20 seconds later when freshman midfielder Cassandra Guerra (DeWitt, N.Y.) passed the ball from the right side of the box, back to junior forward Caitlin Whelan (Weymouth, Mass.) in the middle. Whelan fed Sheehan, who took the ball on the left side of the box and kicked it past Black Bear goalkeeper Jasmine Phillips to break a streak of 444:25 in which the ‘Cats had not scored against Maine.

Sheehan’s goal – her eighth of the season – moves her into a first-place tie for the conference lead in goals, while Whelan’s sixth assist of the season gives her the conference lead in assists.

The win against the Black Bears is the Wildcats’ first since Oct. 24, 2003 when they posted a 3-1 win in Durham.

Yost made four saves for the Wildcats, while Phillips stopped seven shots for the Black Bears.

The Wildcats return to action Sunday, Oct. 21 at noon when they travel to Hartford to take on the Hawks at Yousuf Al-Marzook Athletic Field.
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