Brooke Bercari

– Michelle Simpson scored two goals to lead the 16th-ranked University at Albany field hockey team to Saturday afternoon’s 3-0 America East victory against the University of New Hampshire in heavy rain conditions at Alumni Turf Field.

UNH is now 9-10 overall and finishes at 2-3 in the America East standings, which puts the Wildcats as the fourth seed in the upcoming America East tournament (Nov. 2-4) that will be hosted by top-seeded and semifinal opponent Boston University at MIT’s Jack Barry Field. Albany is now 14-4, 4-1 and will be the second seed in the tourney.

Nicole Savage gave the Great Danes a 1-0 lead at 10:54 when her direct hit from the top of the circle off a penalty corner found the back of the cage. Jess Lindsey and Anouk Vandenberg, with the stop and push, respectively, were credited with assists.

Simpson scored 45 seconds later to quickly give Albany a 2-0 advantage, then she tallied another unassisted goal at 19:00 to produce the three-goal lead.

UNH goalkeeper Margaux Shute (Norridgewock, Maine) finished with four saves, all in the first half. Albany’s Ashley Rose stopped two shots, both in the second half and both from the stick of Sam Geary (Norwood, Mass.).

“From the latter part of the first half through the second half, I felt we out-statted them,” said UNH head coach Robin Balducci, whose team recorded a 5-3 shot advantage as well as a 6-1 edge in penalty corners in the second half. “We had a slow start but overall we played well. We had our chances but just didn’t capitalize. I don’t think the score was indicative of the overall play.”

Albany recorded a 12-6 shot advantage overall. UNH held the 9-6 edge in corners.

New Hampshire concludes the regular season Oct. 28 (2:30 p.m.) at Sacred Heart University.
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