KINGSTON, R.I. - Sophomore Alli Rozelle (Stratham, N.H.) and junior Cassie Guerra (DeWitt, N.Y.) each scored goals, and senior goalkeeper Ally Yost (Langhorne, Pa.) backboned the effort with five saves, as the University of New Hampshire women's soccer team opened the 2009 season with a 2-0 shutout against the University of Rhode Island on Sunday afternoon at the URI Soccer Complex.
The Wildcats, who have already equaled their number of shutouts from all of last season, open the season at 1-0-0 for the second straight year, while the Rams drop to 0-2-0. UNH, which is now 15-8 all-time versus URI, defeats the Rams for the first time since a 1-0 blanking in Durham on Sept. 26, 2004. The Wildcats also earn their first road victory against Rhode Island since a 2-1 win Sept. 27, 2002. URI had won four in a row against New Hampshire, outscoring its opponent 12-5 during that span.
With the game scoreless in the 37th minute, Rozelle took a feed from freshman Monique Lamotte (Blackstone, Mass.), dribbled around a defender and into the box where she put the ball into the left side of the net for UNH's first goal of the season and the first tally of her collegiate career. For Lamotte, the assist was her first collegiate point.
Clinging to that 1-0 lead in the 65th minute, Guerra gave the Wildcats some breathing room when she beat URI goalkeeper Jackie Fede into the top left corner of the net for her second career goal.
Yost, the America East Player of the Game, was brilliant in the opener of her first campaign as UNH's full-time goalkeeper, stopping all five shots she faced en route to her fifth career shutout. It was the tri-captain's first shutout since Oct. 25, 2007 versus Boston University. Fede made one save for Rhode Island.
The defensive unit took no time to silence any doubters. After allowing less than a goal per game (0.88) in 2007, the Wildcat defense nearly doubled that number to 1.56 goals per contest in 2008. With head coach Michael Jackson and his staff getting a look at a number of different players in the opener, a unit of seniors Alex Hastings (Fort Collins, Colo.) and Meg Wiley (Norwell, Mass.), sophomore Kelly Mooney (Canton, Mass.) and freshmen Kelly Spencer (Exeter, N.H.), Chelsey Tewell (York Harbor, Maine) and Lyndsay Pallotta (Hanover, Mass.) played 90 minutes of lockdown defense in a game that will hopefully set the tone for the season.
Despite taking the loss, URI outshot the Wildcats 17-7 and also held a 4-1 edge in corner kicks.
The Wildcats return to action Friday, Sept. 4 when they travel to take on St. John's (N.Y.) at 7:30 p.m.