|KATE COLLINS SMYTH|
ORONO, Maine – Sarah Craigue (Concord, N.H.) scored a career-high three goals to propel the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Saturday afternoon’s 4-3 America East victory against the University of Maine at the Maine Field Hockey complex.
UNH is now 6-8 overall and 1-1 in America East while Maine fell to 3-8, 0-2.
Craigue’s six points also marked a personal best and Kate Collins Smyth (Parteen, County Claire, Ireland) recorded her first multiple-assist game with two. UNH goalkeeper Jenna Lehman (Kingston, Pa.) finished with 13 saves, her second-highest total of the season. UM’s Brittany Fleck stopped seven shots.
“I think we controlled the show,” UNH head coach Robin Balducci stated. “Tactically we moved the ball well. We gave up the first goal early, but then we settled in. In general, I’m very happy with our performance, and Sarah Craigue was just outstanding.”
The Black Bears took a 1-0 lead at 6:11 when Kelly Newton put Stephanie Gardiner’s crossing pass into the cage.
UNH responded with a tally less than three minutes later to tie the score. On the first penalty corner of the game, the battery of Leah Boody (Amesbury, Mass.) and Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.) set up Brittany Jacobs' (Frederick, Md.) blast from the top of the circle at 8:53.
The Wildcats then converted their second corner of the game to take a 2-1 lead at 16:18 when Collins Smyth found an unmarked Craigue.
Maine pulled even, 2-2, with 55 seconds remaining in the first half as the Black Bears capitalized on their second corner. Gardiner, with the assistance of Newton, potted the game-tying goal.
New Hampshire would regain the lead before halftime, however, as Collins Smyth once again found an umarked Craigue in the middle of the circle and she struck with one second on the clock.
Craigue once again scored from the middle of the circle – this time off a pass from Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) – at 46:32 to give the ‘Cats a 4-2 advantage.
Lehman made seven more saves in the half to preserve that two-goal lead before Jackie D’Amato scored on a penalty corner with 42 seconds remaining.
Frates extended her point-scoring streak to six games with the assist on Craigue’s final tally. Craigue’s three goals marked the most by a Wildcat since Oct. 28, 2006, when Emily Colton finished with four goals and nine points.
New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 17 at home against the University of Vermont. Game time at Memorial Field is 4 p.m.