COLUMBUS, Ohio – Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) recorded two goals and an assist to propel the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Sunday afternoon's 5-1 non-conference victory against Kent State University at Buckeye Varsity Field.
UNH, which prevailed 3-1 against sixth-ranked Ohio State University on Saturday, improved to 2-0 to mark the third time in five years the Wildcats have opened the season with consecutive victories. KSU is now 0-2.
Just as they had done one day earlier vs. the Buckeyes, the 'Cats struck early against Kent State and led 3-0 at halftime. The penalty corner battery of Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) as the striker and Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.) set up Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) at 2:31. Rausch and Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.) combined as the battery to set up Kyle Lyons (White River Junction, Vt.) at 11:36 to extend the lead to 2-0.
Frates, whose two goals and five points matched personal bests, then set up a goal by Mary Quill (Greenland, N.H.) at 20:11.
New Hampshire led by that 3-0 score with a 10-2 shot advantage and 5-2 edge in penalty corners at the half.
"We came out strong again in the first half," 21st-year head coach Robin Balducci said. "I'm very pleased with the mentality and leadership of the team. We played two tough opponents on the road to open the season and performed very well."
KSU trimmed the deficit to 3-1 on a Debbie Bell goal off a penalty corner at 41:17.
Frates scored goals 62 seconds apart to quickly turn a two-goal lead into an four-goal cushion. Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.) set up the first of Frates' tallies at 54:44 and Mackenzie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.), older sister of Kellie, recorded her first collegiate point with an assist on the goal that made the score 5-1 at 55:46.
UNH starting goalkeeper Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.), who tied a career high of 12 saves vs. Ohio State, played the initial 54:44 of the game. She was credited with one save and the victory. Carlie Tarbell (Wakefield, Mass.) made her collegiate debut by playing the final 15:16 of the game and she stopped the only shot on target during that relief stint. KSU goalie Jahna Jordan made six saves, four of which came in the first half.
UNH recorded an overall 18-4 shot advantage with a 7-4 edge in corners.
New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 2 for its home opener against Brown University. Game time at Memorial Field is 3 p.m.