O’Neil Records Second Goal of the Season as Women’s Soccer Draws with Albany, 1-1

DURHAM, N.H. – Senior Kirsten O'Neil (Hampton, N.H.) netted her second goal of the season as the University of New Hampshire women's soccer team battled to a 1-1 draw against the Albany Great Danes at Cowell Stadium Thursday afternoon. 

The tie puts UNH at 2-5-4 on the season while Albany is now 1-9-1 on the season. UNH has not yet been defeated in an overtime contest this season.

New Hampshire controlled the possession early in the match, as the Great Danes could not dispossess the Wildcats' passing. Kennedy Nickerson  (Niantic, Conn.) and Colleen Murray (Bedford, N.H.) registered shots from beyond the penalty box. However, Alana Brennan was able to come up with the stops.

Albany countered from their defensive third, generating a scoring chance. The Great Danes took a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute of play when a pass back was intercepted by Albany's Alexa Schneider. She then took the ball in and shot it low to the right post and into the net.

The Wildcats responded quickly with a goal in the 35th minute to level the score at 1-1. Junior Meghan Ledwith (Yardley, Pa.) carried the ball down the right flank of the field to the corner where she played a perfect cross over the head of Albany goalie Alana Brennan and found Kirsten O'Neil waiting on the back post. The Granite State native took a touch and then buried the ball in the net for her second goal of the season.

The Wildcats kept threatening in the second half as they recorded a total of nine shots in the stanza. Hannah Blondin (East Hampton, Conn.) and Ledwith opened up the second half with a pair of shots. Blondin's went just wide of the net while Ledwith's was saved by Brennan. In the 60th minute, Brianna Spitler (Montoursville, Pa.) rifled a shot that was saved as Jenna Shaddock (Halifax, Nova Scotia) had the same result in the 62nd minute.

At the end of regulation, the game was tied 1-1 and headed to overtime. The Wildcats remained tenacious on offense, taking the only three shots of the 10 minute extra frame. Anna Deweirdt (Seattle, Wash.) registered a shot on goal in the third minute of the stanza, but the attempt was saved by Brennan.

In the second extra frame, Kirsten O'Neil and Gabrielle Sloan (Stow, Mass.) fired shots in succession that were saved by Brennan. In the 106th minute of play, Albany's Allison Carhart ripped a shot on net that was saved by Wildcat goalie Mimi Borkan (Medfield, Mass.) to preserve the tie. At the end of the game, the score was finalized, 1-1.

Borkan made saves on two of the three shots she faced in net for the Wildcats as her record now stands at 1-2-3. Brennan made 12 saves on 13 shots UNH sent at the Albany net. Her record now sits at 0-5-1. In total, New Hampshire outshot the Great Danes, 24-7.

The Wildcats are back on the pitch on Sunday, Oct. 6 when they travel to Hartford for an afternoon tilt. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m.

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