DURHAM, N.H. – Junior Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) recorded a career-high five points, including the game-winning goal in the 67th minute, to lead the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 3-2 America East victory against 15th-ranked Boston University at Memorial Field.
The Wildcats' fifth win in their last six games raises their record to 11-4 on the season, including
3-0 in America East, while the Terriers fall to 9-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play. UNH, which now sits alone atop the America East standings after running its home record this season to 7-1, defeats Boston U. for the first time since a 3-2 road win in Sept. 2003.
Tied, 2-2, with 3:24 to play in regulation, the Wildcats scored the eventual game-winner when Rausch struck for the second time. After an initial shot by Kyle Lyons (White River Junction, Vt.) off a penalty corner was turned away by BU goalkeeper Renee Bernier, Rausch collected the rebound near the endline on Bernier's right and scooped the ball into the top right corner of the cage to give her team the 3-2 lead. The two goals equaled Rausch's career best.
Rausch jump-started the Wildcats just 10:23 into the contest with her sixth goal of the season. Rausch and classmate Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) took advantage of a 2-on-0 break when Bernier came out to thwart the effort. Frates slid the ball to her left for Rausch, who easily deposited the ball into the open net to make it 1-0. The 'Cats improved to 9-0 when scoring the game's first goal.
The Terriers answered 4:36 later when Nicole van Oosterom's feed off a corner play set up Jacinda McLeod's blast from the left side of the circle, which beat junior goalkeeper Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) on her left side.
The score remained 1-1 into the second half until the Wildcats went ahead on a penalty corner at 40:06. After Rausch initiated the sequence by putting the ball into play, senior Kara Connolly (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) stopped the ball and slid it to Lyons on the left of the circle. Lyons' shot looked to be smothered by Bernier, but the ball trickled through her legs and into the cage to make it 2-1.
UNH nearly grabbed a 3-1 lead just 2:09 later when a shot by Rausch looked to be headed for the back of the cage, before it was quickly cleared off the goal line by a Terrier defender.
BU netted the equalizer at 55:17 when McLeod's shot off a corner was redirected in front by Andrea Greene, who chipped the ball into the top left corner of the cage to tie the contest at two.
Nagengast made five saves for the 'Cats, while Bernier stopped four shots for the Terriers. Nagengast evaded potential danger just five minutes into contest when she made two saves and cleared another loose ball to keep the game scoreless. After making the initial save on a Terrier shot, a Wildcat turnover right in front of the cage forced Nagengast to kick the ball away. The ball, however, went directly to the stick of Rachael White, whose point-blank shot was turned away by Nagengast.
UNH outshot BU, 16-10, including 10-7 in the second half, and also held a slight 7-6 edge in penalty corners.
The Wildcats return to action Sunday afternoon (Oct. 17) at 1 p.m. when they take on 14th-ranked Boston College (9-5) at the Newton Campus Field. The next home game for the 'Cats will be Sunday, Oct. 24 (12 p.m.) when they play host to the University of Louisville at Memorial Field.