DURHAM, N.H. — Freshman Meghan Ledwith (Yardley, Pa.) tallied five points on two goals and an assist, leading the University of New Hampshire women's soccer to a 5-3 victory over the University at Albany Thursday afternoon at Lewis Fields.
The win comes as the second in the last three games for the Wildcats, as they improve to 3-7-1 overall and 1-0-0 in America East action. As for the Great Danes, they drop their sixth straight game, falling to 2-8-0 overall and 0-2-0 in conference play.
Ledwith's five points are the highest single-game point total posted by any player in the conference this year. She has now found the back of the net in two straight games, and currently leads the squad with eight points on three goals and two assists.
The Wildcats drew first blood in the contest when Taylor Finley (Bedford, N.H.) tracked down a ball on the left flank and serviced it into the box, connecting with Ledwith, who finished the play with a shot that found the back of the net at 21:48.
UNH continued to put the pressure on Albany late in the first half when Monique Lamotte (Tampa, Fla.) scored a goal to put the Wildcats up 2-0 at 37:15. Ledwith set the play in motion, tapping a pass backward to an open Lamotte, who fired a shot over the head of Albany goalkeeper Dani Britt and into the net from 35 yards out.
New Hampshire finished the first frame with a 2-0 advantage, holding the edge in both shots (10-4) and corner kicks (2-1). UNH's defense was also impressive, limiting the Great Danes to just two shots on goal during the stanza.
Ledwith helped keep up the New Hampshire attack, scoring her second goal of the game less than four minutes into the second half, putting the 'Cats ahead 3-0. She tracked down a ball on the left flank and drove it to the middle of the field, beating her defender and putting the ball into the back of the net at 47:34.
Despite a three-goal disadvantage, Albany notched its first tally of the contest about 11 minutes later, cutting the score to 3-1. Following a UNH foul, Rebecca Lee set up for a free kick about 15 yards out and fired a direct shot into the left side of the net at 55:40.
The 'Cats struck right back with a score of their own just over a minute later, when Brooke Duchaney (Hampton Falls, N.H.) tallied her second goal of the season, putting UNH ahead, 4-1. Jordyn Krall (Duxbury, Mass.) helped set up the play, sending a ball into the box on a corner kick, where Alli Rozelle (Stratham, N.H.) connected with it and headed a shot that just missed, striking the crossbar. Duchaney was quick to the draw, picking up the rebound and sending a one-timer into the left side of the net in the 57th minute.
However, that wasn't enough to silence the visitors, as Chrissy Klepper notched a goal at 66:38 to cut the score to 4-2. Chelsea DeVerna sent a pass to Klepper at the right flank, shooting the ball with a pair of defenders draped all over her, but still managed to sneak it past Erica Correa (Cheshire, Conn.) for the score.
After nearly a twenty minute scoring lull, UNH tallied its final goal of the afternoon when Drea Nogueira (New Bedford, Mass.) sent a pass from the left flank to Chelsea Kuss (Warners, N.Y.) just outside the box and she fired a shot while falling backward that found its way into the right side of the net at 83:13.
About four minutes later Albany cut the deficit for the last time, as Rebecca Lee scored her second goal of the contest to finalize the score at 5-3 in favor of New Hampshire. Lee tallied the goal after tracking down a loose ball that deflected off a UNH defender inside the box, sending a shot into the left side of the net at 87:31.
Britt turned away a game-high six shots in net for the Great Danes, while Correa recorded five stops for New Hampshire.
UNH outshot Albany 21-13 in the contest, but the visitors held a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks. New Hampshire's shot total is a season high; marking the fourth straight game the squad has registered double-digit shots.
The Wildcats are back in action Sunday, Oct. 2 when they hit the road to take on the University of Hartford (2 p.m.) at Yousuf Al-Marzook Field.