DURHAM, N.H. – Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) and Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) scored second-half goals 4:21 apart to propel the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Friday afternoon’s 2-1 America East victory against the University of Vermont at Memorial Field.
UNH won its second consecutive game to improve to 7-8 overall and 2-1 in America East. Vermont is now 7-7, 1-2.
Following a scoreless first half, the Wildcats capitalized on one of their five penalty corners of the game to take a 1-0 lead at 41:05. The initial shot by Sarah Craigue (Concord, N.H.) from the top of the circle was stopped by UVM goalkeeper Kristen Heavens, but the rebound was corralled by an unmarked Rausch deep on the left side and she pushed the ball into the open cage.
Frates extended her point-scoring streak to seven games with a goal at 45:26 that extended the advantage to 2-0. Kate Collins Smyth (Parteen, County Claire, Ireland) carried the ball in at the top of the circle and passed to the right side, where Frates lofted a shot above Heavens into the cage.
Vermont called time out three minutes later and began to seize momentum – the Catamounts recorded four of their nine shots in the last 11:36 of the game. UVM pulled within 2-1 at 56:19 when Kim Striegler’s long hit from midfield rolled through the defense and was collected by Megan Maynard, who was alone in the middle of the circle. Maynard then lifted the ball into the upper-left corner of the cage for the score.
The visitors continued to pressure, and in the 60th minute Maynard – again in the middle of the circle – redirected a shot into UNH goalkeeper Jenna Lehman (Kingston, Pa.). Moments later on a penalty corner – the Catamounts’ third of the half – Lehman stopped Striegler’s low blast from the top of the circle.
UNH called time out with 7:21 remaining and effectively kept UVM out of the circle the rest of the way to secure the victory.
Lehman finished with four saves while Heavens was credited with eight saves. Wendy Carbone made two first-half defensive saves for the Catamounts.
The Wildcats generated a number of dangerous opportunities in the first half but were often turned aside by the assertive Heavens, who frequently charged off the goal line to the outer reaches of the circle.
In the sixth minute, Heavens received assistance from Carbone, who made a defensive save on the left side against Frates after the goalie charged to the middle of the circle.
In the 13th minute, a long hit by Brittany Jacobs (Frederick, Md.) sent Rausch in behind the UVM defense. Heavens rushed to the top of the circle and made a sliding save to keep the game scoreless.
Vermont generated a dangerous chance in the 18th minute, but Maegan Luce, who eluded Lehman along the right end line, fired wide of the far post.
New Hampshire went on a quick counterattack and sprung Meg Shea (Melrose, Mass.) behind the defense, but once again Heavens charged out – this time to the left side – to make the save.
UNH finished with a 15-9 shot advantage, including 9-4 in the first half. The Catamounts recorded a 6-5 edge in penalty corners.
New Hampshire concludes its non-conference slate Oct. 19 (3 p.m.) at 14th-ranked Boston College. The Wildcats’ next home game is Senior Day against Albany on Nov. 2. Game time at Memorial Field is 12 p.m.