FIELD HOCKEY SURGES PAST HARVARD, 3-1

WHITNEY FRATES
HAYLEY RAUSCH

DURHAM, N.H.Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) and Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) both recorded a goal and an assist to lead the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Wednesday night’s 3-1 non-conference victory against Harvard University at Memorial Field.

UNH, which has won seven consecutive home games dating back to last season, improves to 5-2. Harvard, which has lost three straight games – all to America East conference teams, is now 2-3.

Frates, who set up Rausch’s first-half tally, quickly set the tone in the second half by scoring just 1:08 after halftime. Rausch lost possession on a poke-check deep on the left side of the circle, but the charging Frates corralled the loose ball in the middle and directed a shot inside the right post to put UNH back in front, 2-1, at 36:08.

The Wildcats went on to dominate play in the second half and recorded substantial advantages in both shots (10-2) and penalty corners (5-2).

Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) scored UNH’s other goal and Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.) tallied her team-leading fifth assist of the season to account for the rest of the team’s scoring. Goalkeeper Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) was credited with two saves.

Harvard goalie Cynthia Tassopoulos stopped 11 shots and the Crimson’s goal came off the stick of Rachael Rosenfeld.

Less than one minute after Frates’ goal, Kara Connolly (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) created a dangerous scoring chance for New Hampshire with a long pass from midfield to Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.) on the right wing. From the top-right of the circle, Erler fired a shot past Tassopoulos but the ball caromed off the left post back into the field of play.

With 23 minutes remaining, the ‘Cats generated another transition opportunity. This time Erler sent the ball towards the left post and Rausch’s redirection went across the goalmouth wide of the far post.

Moments later, Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) executed a long hit on the right wing to Frates, who charged the goal and lifted a shot into Tassopoulos’ torso from pointblank range.

Harvard created its most dangerous scoring bid of the second half on a penalty corner with 20 minutes left on the clock. Emma Keller pushed the ball into play to Chloe Keating on the top-left side and her shot towards the far post was blocked aside by Nagengast.

UNH capitalized on its next corner to extend the advantage to 3-1 at 52:25. Rausch pushed the ball to just-right of the top of the circle, where Deck made the stop and Bozek sent a low shot into the cage.

With 16 minutes to play, Tassopoulos denied the ‘Cats on consecutive corners. First, Rausch hit the ball to Deck, who in turn pushed the ball to the top-left side for a shot by Kyle Lyons (White River Junction, Vt.). The next corner was the battery of Rausch and Connolly setting up Lyons’ high shot.

UNH also generated corners in the 58th and 59th minutes. Bozek’s low drive was knocked down by Tassopoulos, then the Crimson goalie denied Connolly’s blast from the top-left side.

In the first half, UNH took a 1-0 lead at 14:57 when Frates drove along the right end line and her centering pass to the middle of the circle was one-timed by Rausch inside the right post.

Harvard pulled even, 1-1, at 24:31. Keating gained possession just outside the top of the circle and slipped a pass to Rosenfeld, whose shot from the middle of the circle rolled inside the right side of the cage.

Tassopoulos make her second left-blocker save of the first half against Lyons when she drove a high shot off a penalty corner with seven minutes on the clock. The Crimson then generated a dangerous opportunity in which Keating’s shot from the top-right side of the circle sailed just high of the upper-right corner of the cage.

UNH finished with the edge in both shots (19-8) and corners (10-5).

New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 18 (1 p.m.) at the College of the Holy Cross for the first of five consecutive road games. The Wildcats’ next home game is Oct. 6 (7 p.m.) against intrastate rival Dartmouth College.

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