DURHAM, N.H. – Margaux Shute (Norridgewock, Maine) made a season-high 16 saves and Megan Shea (Melrose, Mass.) scored her first collegiate goal, but the University of New Hampshire field hockey team was defeated 4-1 Sunday afternoon by 14th-ranked Providence College at Memorial Field.
UNH is now 1-13 overall, including 1-6 at Memorial Field. Providence improved to 8-1 on the road and 13-3 overall.
The Friars were led offensively by Melissa McGow (one goal, two assists) and Nellie Poulin (two goals). PC goalkeeper Rachel Chamberlain recorded eight saves, including five in the second half.
Poulin gave the visitors a 2-0 lead with tallies at 13:26 and 17:47. On the first tally, Abby Maguire fired a shot from the left wing and Poulin, standing at the right post, redirected the ball into the cage. McGow set up the next tally as her pass from the left wing was swept into the goal by Poulin, who was again near the right post.
McGow extended the advantage to 3-0 at 26:30 when she cut from the left side of the circle to the front of the cage and fired a shot between Shute’s leg pads.
UNH, which recorded a 11-6 advantage in penalty corners, pressured near the end of the first half with five consecutive corners that produced five of the team’s seven first-half shots. The Wildcats could not find the finishing touch during that flurry, however, and trailed 3-0 at halftime.
The Friars extended the lead to four goals at 64:10 when a low shot by Michalagh Stoddard from the top of the circle eluded Shute and trickled across the goal line. McGow, who made the stop for Stoddard, and Meghan Holden, who initiated the penalty corner, were credited with assists.
The Wildcats scored with 3:54 remaining to pull within 4-1. The Wildcats’ heavy pressure inside the circle led to a shot by Shea on the right wing. Chamberlain made the stop, but the ball caromed back to Shea, who in turn lifted the ball over the PC goalie into the cage at 66:06.
Shute recorded nine of her 16 saves in the first half, and this marked her third double-digit save performance of the season. Her previous season high was 15 vs. University of the Pacific and her season high of 19 came against Indiana University in 2005.
New Hampshire returns to action at home for Senior Day on Oct. 21 vs. the University of Vermont. Game time at Memorial Field is 1 p.m.