DURHAM, N.H. – Junior forward Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) scored the equalizer on her second goal of the season, but the University of New Hampshire women’s soccer team again found itself on the wrong side of a one-goal decision, falling to Dartmouth College in double overtime, 2-1, Thursday afternoon at Lewis Fields.

The Wildcats lose their sixth one-goal game to close out their non-conference slate at 1-7-1, while the Big Green win their third straight overtime game to improve to 4-2-0.  

Nikki Golding

With 4:55 remaining in the second overtime, Katie Davis sent a ball, from the endline on the left side of the net, across the box where a charging Aly O’Dea put her foot on it and knocked it into the right side of the net, past

UNH goalkeeper Nikki Golding (Milton, Mass.), to end the contest. Despite the outcome, Golding set a career high with 12 saves in the game. Golding has either set or matched her career high in saves in all four of her starts this season.

UNH was in the game from the very start and showed it was very capable of playing with Dartmouth. Trailing, 1-0, in the 14th minute, the Wildcats pulled even when Kaplan found the back of the net to put her into a tie for the team lead in points with seven. Freshman Stephanie Gilkenson (Cranston, R.I.) intercepted a pass near midfield and played the ball up to the left side of the box where Kaplan booted it past diving Dartmouth goalkeeper Laurel Peak and into the left corner of the net. The goal was the first UNH had scored on Dartmouth in the last 363:23 of play between the two squads.

The next 91:57 showcased great back-and-forth soccer, with both teams seeing some solid scoring opportunities. Less than a minute after Kaplan’s goal, senior forward Sara Hourihan (Lynnfield, Mass.) made a great bid to give UNH the lead, but Peak made a great stop right in front to thwart the effort and keep the game tied. Peak stopped five shots for Dartmouth.

One minute after that, Peyton Tata sent a drive toward the net that eluded Golding, but clanked off the post and out of harm’s way. In the 20th minute, luck was with the Wildcats again when Becky Poskin’s header caught the crossbar and caromed out of play.

Hourihan created another great scoring opportunity in the 32nd minute when she received a great ball from Gilkenson on the right side of the box, but was forced to get a quick shot off and was robbed by Peak as she dove to her left. Hourihan came up empty again in the 53rd minute when her drive off a direct kick sailed just over the crossbar.

Davis missed a good chance with just over five minutes remaining in regulation when her shot at a partially empty net hooked left.

Hourihan opened the first overtime period with a good chance when she rushed to beat a charging Peak to a loose ball at the top of the box, but Peak was able to get enough of her foot on it to alter the direction and recover in time to get back in the box.

After making a stop on O’Dea’s attempt from the middle of the box in the 93rd minute, Golding and the Wildcats cleared back-to-back corners with just under six minutes left in the first overtime. After a scrum in front that took Golding out of position on the second corner, the Big Green had an empty net, but could not capitalize when senior midfielder Caitlin Whelan (Weymouth, Mass.) was in perfect position to stop the ball and kick it away. The Wildcats dodged another bullet when Golding made a great point-blank save on a blast from Jennifer Williams with 3:45 left.

Dartmouth had the advantage in both shots and corner kicks, outshooting UNH, 28-10 – including 11-5 in the first half and 11-4 in the second half – and out cornering them, 6-1.

The Big Green opened the scoring in the 10th minute when the corner kick of Kelsey Quick found the head of Davis, who beat Golding with a ball to the lower right corner of the net.

The Wildcats return to action Sunday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. when they hit the road to kick off their conference schedule with Binghamton.

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