DURHAM, N.H. – Senior Brittany Jacobs (Frederick, Md.) and freshman Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) each scored goals to rally the University of New Hampshire field hockey team from a 2-0 deficit, but a late tally in the 70th minute lifted Dartmouth College to a 3-2 victory in non-conference action Wednesday evening at Memorial Field.
The loss drops the Wildcats to 5-8 on the season, including 0-1 in conference play, while the Big Green improve to 3-6 overall.
With the game tied at two in the waning seconds, Dartmouth had one last shot at keeping the game from going into overtime. Virginia Peisch blasted a shot that deflected off the stick of a UNH defender and caromed to Rebecca Sobel, who was positioned three yards out in front of the cage. The ball bounced once before Sobel checked it out of midair past freshman goalkeeper Jenna Lehman (Kingston, Pa.) into the left side of the cage with two seconds remaining on the game clock to give Dartmouth the victory.
The Wildcats trailed 2-0 after two Kelly Hood goals in the first 11:18, but surgically chipped away at the Dartmouth lead. UNH’s first goal came in the 24th minute and was set up when junior Leah Boody (Amesbury, Mass.) fed freshman Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.) off a penalty corner. Deck stopped the ball and left it for senior Sarah Craigue (Concord, N.H.), who faked a shot before Jacobs drove a low shot into the left corner of the cage.
UNH made the right adjustments at halftime, as the ‘Cats gained the equalizer just 1:46 into the second half. From the middle of the circle, junior Meg Shea (Melrose, Mass.) chipped the ball up to the right of goalkeeper Meagan Vakiener, where Frates knocked the ball out of the air and into the right side of the cage to tie the game at two. Frates and Jacobs both extended point-scoring streaks with their goals. Frates, who is second on the team with 18 points, has now recorded a point in five straight games, while Jacobs has three consecutive contests with a point.
The Wildcats sustained the momentum and reeled off four penalty corners in a span of 2:06, starting in the 42nd minute. The ‘Cats, who held an 11-4 advantage in penalty corners, including 5-1 in the second half, did not convert on any of the tries, however.
UNH, which outshot the Big Green 19-8, including 12-4 in the first half, picked up the intensity in the final minutes of play. In the 62nd minute, a beautiful give-and-go between freshman Haley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) and Jacobs sprung Rausch free and allowed her to find Frates. Frates was able to get a pair of shots off, but neither found the back of the cage. With 7:05 left, freshman Kate Collins Smyth (Parteen, County Claire) intercepted a Dartmouth pass at midfield and charged forward before feeding Rausch on her right. Rausch wound up and unleashed a ball that screamed past the right side of the cage.
Dartmouth jumped on the board when they scored just 1:52 into the contest. Hood received a pass from Kelly McHenry and found the back of the cage when she put the ball over Lehman’s right shoulder. Hood struck again in the 12th minute when her drive off a penalty corner found the left side of the cage.
Lehman gave her team lift in the 48th minute when she made a huge blocker save to her right off a penalty corner blast from Sarah Alderman and again with 6:05 remaining in the game by diving and knocking away a shot from Ashley Hines that the UNH defense would clear. Lehman finished with two saves, while Vakiener stopped seven shots for Darmouth.
New Hampshire returns to action Saturday, Oct. 11 when they resume conference play and travel north to take on the University of Maine at noon. The Wildcats’ next home game is Oct. 17 (4 p.m.) vs. Vermont.