DURHAM, N.H. – Freshman goalkeeper Jenna Lehman (Kingston, Pa.) was impressive in a 15-save effort, but the University of New Hampshire field hockey team was upended 6-1 by 10th-ranked Michigan State University at Memorial Field on Sunday afternoon.
UNH, which entered the game with a three-game winning streak, is now 3-2 on the season. MSU improved to 5-1 with its second win in as many days.
Lehman made 15 saves and surrendered four goals before exiting the game with 11:20 to play; it marked the highest single-game save total by a Wildcat since Oct. 15, 2006, when current assistant coach Margaux Shute made 16 against Providence College. Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) went the rest of the way and was credited with three saves. Kiera Williams (Dover, N.H.) made her second defensive save of the season during second-half action.
Michigan State goalie Elissa Unger, who had her shutout bid spoiled with 58 seconds remaining in the game, stopped four shots and teammate Joelle van Ierland made a first-half defensive save. Chantae Miller (two goals), Floor Rijpma (one goal, one assist) and Jeamie Deacon (two assists) factored into multiple goals.
UNH freshman Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) scored her second goal in as many games by sweeping the ball in on a sliding effort four yards off the right post. Leah Boody (Amesbury, Mass.), with the crossing pass from the top-left side, earned her second assist of the season.
The visiting Spartans pressured early and often – they recorded 15 first-half shots and 36 overall – but Lehman kept them at bay in the first half by turning aside their initial eight shots on goal, including a diving stick save against Deacon on their fifth penalty corner.
MSU took a 1-0 lead at 21:07 when Rijpma drove along the right endline and centered the ball down low, where Angela Pagura redirected a shot into the cage.
UNH generated three dangerous scoring chances late in the half. With 8:30 on the clock, Sarah Craigue (Concord, N.H.) angled in from the right wing and blasted a low shot that caromed off Unger’s leg pads. Minutes later, Meg Shea (Melrose, Mass.) then gained the ball on the right wing in a quick counterattack. Craigue, running unmarked down the middle, couldn’t corral Shea’s centering pass, however, and the ‘Cats did not record a shot. New Hampshire earned its first penalty corner with 2:40 to play in the first half, and nearly capitalized as the initial shot by Brittany Jacobs (Frederick, Md.) was stopped by van Ierland and then Unger stopped Shea’s attempt off the rebound at the right post.
Rijpma extended MSU’s advantage to 2-0 at 41:56 when her low shot from the top-right side bounded inside the far post.
UNH called time out at 53:30, then surrendered a goal 13 seconds later and another one 59 seconds later to suddenly fall behind 4-0. Michelle Ciliberti, off a pass from Julie Mackay, made it a three-goal game and Jantine Steinmetz scored at 54:42.
The Spartans – and Miller, specifically – welcomed Nagengast into the game by scoring at 59:10 and again at 64:10. Deacon’s long hit into the circle from near midfield was settled in the middle by Miller, who scored on a low shot. The duo extended the lead to 6-0 on a penalty corner. Deacon received Miller’s entry hit at the top of the circle, dribbled towards the cage and fired a shot that Miller redirected in for the goal.
New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 17 (7 p.m.) at the College of the Holy Cross. The Wildcats’ next home game is Oct. 3 (4 p.m.), when they open America East conference play against Boston University.