– Leah Boody (Amesbury, Mass.) recorded a
goal and an assist to propel the University of New Hampshire field
hockey team to Saturday afternoon’s 2-1 victory against
16th-ranked University at Albany at Alumni Turf Field.
UNH has won six of its last seven games, including two victories against nationally-ranked teams, to improve to 11-6 overall and 3-2 in America East. Albany is now 12-4, 4-1.
“This is a very good, very positive outcome,” 19th-year head coach Robin Balducci said. “We scored two tremendous, just high-quality goals. Albany put pressure on us but we stayed composed and finished it off, which is important going into next week’s tourney.”
Albany took a 1-0 lead at 22:08 when Suzy Clephane’s hard shot from the top of the circle off a penalty corner found the back of the cage.
The Wildcats tied the score, 1-1, on a goal by Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vermont) at 28:10. Boody’s diving effort sent the ball into the circle, where Frates tipped the ball into the upper-left corner of the goal for her ninth tally of the season.
The score remained 1-1 heading into halftime with the Great Danes holding the advantage in both shots (7-4) and penalty corners (6-2).
Boody, who has eight points (three goals, two assists) in the last two games, potted her seventh goal of the season to give the ‘Cats a 2-1 advantage at 51:18. Meg Shea (Melrose, Mass.) initiated the scoring sequence with a pass to the front of the cage, where Boody redirected the ball into the cage.
UA generated three more penalty corners the rest of the way, but UNH goalkeeper Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) stopped both shots she faced to preserve the one-goal advantage. Nagengast finished the game with seven saves.
Albany starting goalie Christine Hoffman made one save and surrendered one goal in one half of play. Kristi Troch, charged with the loss, stopped two of the three shots on goal she faced in the second half.
The ‘Cats pressured late in the game with two penalty corners in the final minute, but Troch turned aside shots by Shea and Cally Cooke (Newburyport, Mass.) to keep the margin at 2-1.
With the assist, Shea extended her school-record point-scoring streak to 17 games and became just the second UNH Wildcat player to record 50 points in a season. She has 21 goals and eight assists for 50 points.
The Great Danes finished with the edge in both shots (13-8) and corners (10-5).
These teams will battle again Nov. 6 at Alumni Turf Field in an America East semifinal game. UNH is the fourth seed of the America East tournament and Albany is the top seed. In the 2008 tourney, homestanding Albany defeated UNH, 2-1, in the championship game.
New Hampshire concludes the regular season Nov. 3 at Harvard University. Game time is 6 p.m.