New Hampshire field hockey defeats Rider, 4-2

Jacobs leads 'Cat attack with two goals

Brittany Jacobs

DURHAM, N.H.-- Brittany Jacobs (Frederick, Md.) scored her first two collegiate goals to propel the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to an early 4-0 lead en route to Sunday afternoon's 4-2 non-conference victory against Rider University at Memorial Field. Both teams are now 3-3 on the season.

UNH quickly built a 2-0 lead on goals 71 seconds apart by Katie White (Glens Falls, N.Y.) and Jacobs. Kaitlyn Skelley (Wolfeboro, N.H.) began the first scoring sequence with an entry pass from the right wing that was redirected down low by Sarah Craigue (Concord, N.H.). White's initial shot was stopped by RU goalkeeper Krysta Bearish, but she scored on the rebound at 2:52. The Wildcats increased the advantage to 2-0 at 4:03 on a penalty corner. From the top of the circle, Mackenzie Stuart (Washington Depot, Conn.) pushed the ball wide left to Skelley, whose pass into the middle of the circle was redirected into the cage by Jacobs.

The Broncs called time out at that point, but New Hampshire continued to pressure and scored a pair of goals in a span of 2:10 to double its lead to four goals. Michelle Tavener (Winchester, Mass.), the reigning America East Rookie of the Week, scored at 9:26 when a Bronc defender intercepted a pass at the top-right of the circle but Tavener stepped up and one-timed a shot inside the near post.

The Wildcats scored a second penalty-corner goal at 11:36. Stuart's initial shot from the top of the circle was stopped by a diving Bearish, but Jacobs knocked the ball out of the air into an open cage.

Rider trimmed the deficit to 4-1 on a penalty corner at 24:30. Julie Vaccarelli pushed the ball from the top of the circle to Ally Hunter on the left wing, and her shot was redirected inside the near post by Meaghan Schweers.

The Broncs trailed by that three-goal margin at halftime but scored with just 1:25 elapsed in the second half when Courtney Bertos converted a Stephanie Walker crossing pass into a goal. Rider continued to carry play, prompting a UNH timeout at 43:50.

Five minutes later, Jacobs made an impact on the defensive end of the field as she denied a 3-on-1 Rider breakaway with a poke check just outside the circle. Samantha Geary (Norwood, Mass.) also made a play that preserved UNH's 4-2 advantage with a defensive save on Walker's shot with 7:30 remaining.

UNH goalkeeper Margaux Shute (Norridgewock, Maine) finished with seven saves and Bearish stopped six shots for Rider.

New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 14 (7 p.m.) at UConn. The next Wildcat home game is Sept. 17 vs. UMass. Game time at memorial Field is 1 p.m.

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