Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) matched her career highs in assists (two) and points (four) to lift the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 3-1 victory against Lock Haven University in opening-day action of the Wildcat Invitational at Memorial Field. It was the season opener for both teams.

In the opening game of the Wildcat Invitational, the University of Delaware won 4-2 against the University of Vermont; it was also the season opener for both of those teams. The tournament concludes Sunday with Lock Haven facing off against Vermont (11 a.m.) and UNH playing host to Delaware (2:30 p.m.).

UNH took a 1-0 lead at 5:24 by capitalizing on the first of nine penalty corners the 'Cats produced in the game. Rausch, from the left side, pushed the ball to the top of the circle, where Kara Connolly (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) stopped the ball for Kyle Lyons (White River Junction, Vt.), who lifted a high shot into the cage.

The Lady Eagles pulled even, 1-1, at 8:03 on a goal created by sisters Abbey and Amy Hordendorf. From the top of the circle, Abbey passed the ball low to Amy, who shifted to the left and pushed the ball into the open cage.

The Wildcats were awarded their second penalty corner in the 11th minute and also converted that chance into a goal to regain the lead, 2-1, at 10:50. Rausch once again put the ball into play on the left side, but this time the pass went just right of the top of the circle, where Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.) stopped the ball and Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) sent a low shot into the goal. It was the first career points for the freshman Bozek.

UNH led by that 2-1 margin at the half and also had the advantage in both shots (5-2) and corners (5-1).

In the opening minutes of the second half, the 'Cats once again created a dangerous scoring opportunity on a penalty corner, but this time Lock Haven goalkeeper Erin Terreson turned aside Bozek's low drive for one of her seven saves in the game.

Moments later at the other end of the field, the Lady Eagles were awarded a corner and Tonia Marie James, who pushed the ball into play, released a shot deep on the left side that rolled across the goal mouth and caromed off the far post.

With 30 minutes on the clock, the Lady Eagles generated a quick counter attack in which Leslie Ahearn drove down the right side and, from point-blank rage, was denied by UNH goalie Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.; three saves)

Less than two minutes later, UNH earned a penalty corner in which Rausch pushed the ball to the top-right for Deck, who in turn swung the ball back to the top-left for a low drive by Connolly that was stopped by Terreson.

With 25 minutes remaining, New Hampshire generated another corner, and this one yielded a low blast off the stick of Bozek that bounded wide left of the cage.

UNH's Deck received a yellow card with 15:04 on the clock, and Lock Haven took advantage of the man advantage by earning three penalty corners in the next three minutes. The Lady Eagles did not record a shot on the first corner. On the second corner, Casey Hughes' shot from the top of the circle was blocked in front by UNH back Melyssa Woods (Glens Falls, N.Y.). Nagengast used her right foot to kick away Kelly Harsh's low shot from the top of the circle on LHU's last in that series of penalty corners.

Lock Haven continued to pressure, and Amy Hordendorf's shot from the middle of the circle bounded through traffic and wide left of the cage.

Despite being shorthanded, the Wildcats did generate an attack with 11 minutes on the clock, and that produced a dangerous bid by Rausch in the middle of the circle that was stopped by Terreson. Rausch would not be denied on her next chance, however, and her even-strength goal at 60:10 gave New Hampshire a 3-1 lead. Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.) initiated the sequence with a pass from the top of the circle down low on the left side, where Rausch corralled the ball with her back to the cage and backhanded a shot past Torreson.

With just more than six minutes remaining, UNH once again had a dangerous bid off a corner when Lyons' shot from the top of the circle sailed high of the crossbar.

Deck was once again sent to the sidelines for a yellow card with 5:27 to play. Lock Haven was awarded a corner with 2:20 on the clock and that resulted in Harsh's shot from the left wing was knocked down by Nagengast. Kristi Shepps corralled the ball off the rebound and sent a pass across the circle that rolled all the way out of bounds.

In the closing minute, Amy Hordendorf attempted to maneuver down the middle of the circle, but UNH defender Hannah Richard (Hopkinton, N.H.) poke-checked the ball away to neutralize the attack. With seconds left, the Lady Eagles created a transition attack in which Shepps dribbled down the right side and pushed a shot wide of the near post.

New Hampshire finished with a 14-9 shot advantage and a 9-7 edge in corners.

Back in the Wildcat Invitational opening game, Michelle Drummonds led the Blue Hens' attack with two goals; Amanda McCardell and Kasey Prettyman scored the other goals; Diana Noelle was credited with one save. UVM's goal scorers were Brittanie Booker and Mackenzie Williams; Brooke Crane recorded six saves and Sarah Becque tallied a defensive save for the Catamounts.

Drummonds quickly gave Delaware a 1-0 lead when she scored on a penalty stroke 31 seconds into the game. Prettyman extended the advantage to two goals at 11:34 when she maneuvered from deep along the left side to the middle before placing a low shot into the cage.

UVM pulled within 2-1 at 25:43 when Alana Izzo swung the ball on the left wing to Booker along the end line. Booker then swept a low shot past Noelle into the goal.

UD, which recorded a 17-4 shot advantage, converted one of its eight penalty corners into a goal at 46:11. Carli Shutter pushed the ball to Missy Woodie, and Drummonds then lifted a shot under the crossbar for her second goal of the game. The Blue Hens scored off a broken corner to build a 4-1 lead at 63:29. Drummonds advanced the ball from the top of the circle to Carley Hecht low on the left side. Hecht's centering pass eluded Crane and McCardell redirected the ball into the open cage.

Vermont trimmed the deficit to 4-2 at 67:56 when Williams gained possession deep on the right side and swept a low shot that trickled inside the far post.

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