DURHAM, N.H. – Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) scored three goals and Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) recorded two goals and an assist to lead the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Friday afternoon's 5-0 victory against Brown University at Memorial Field.
UNH improved to 3-0 to mark the second consecutive season the Wildcats open with three consecutive victories. This was the first game of the season for Brown.
New Hampshire dominated play from the opening minute as the 'Cats generated three shots and two penalty corners before the game was three minutes old. They led 4-0 at halftime with a 14-1 shot advantage and 6-3 edge in penalty corners. The overall totals were 28-3 and 9-4, respectively.
UNH starting goalie Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) played the initial 49 minutes, 3 seconds of the game and was credited with the win, but not a save. Carlie Tarbell (Wakefield, Mass.) played the remaining 20:77 and stopped two shots.
Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) was credited with a defensive save in the 25th minute. Brown's Clayton Christus, from the top of the circle on a penalty corner, struck a low, hard shot to the right of a sprawled out Nagengast but Bozek was in position to stop the shot and clear the ball off the goal line.
Brown goalkeeper Shannon McSweeney made 11 saves in her collegiate debut.
Frates, who matched her career highs in both goals and points (five) for the second consecutive game, gave UNH a 1-0 lead at 7:20 when she scored off a rebound on a penalty corner. McSweeney stopped a redirection by Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) at the right doorstep, but Frates controlled the ball off the rebound and deposited a shot inside the right post.
Rausch, whose three goals and six points are both career highs, scored goals 62 seconds apart to quickly extend the advantage to 3-0. The first goal was also scored off a corner that she initiated from the left side. McSweeney once again stopped the initial shot – this time off Bozek's stick from the top of the circle – but Rausch, positioned off the left post, swatted the ball out of the air into the cage at 13:38.
Rausch struck again at 14:40, this time with the assistance of Frates, who pushed the ball along the right wing to the end line before centering the ball to the middle of the circle for Rausch.
Brown called time out at that point but Frates scored 76 seconds later – at 15:56 – to increase the lead to 4-0. Kyle Lyons (White River Junction, Vt.) struck an entry pass from just outside of the circle to Frates, whose low blast from the middle of the circle beat McSweeney.
The Bears' best scoring chance in the first half occurred in the 25th minute when Leslie Springmeyer initiated a penalty corner and Laura Iacovetti stopped the ball for Christus, whose aforementioned shot was turned aside by Bozek.
UNH capped the game scoring at 41:53. From the top-right side of the circle, Polhlmeyer sent a line-drive pass to the far post and Rausch redirected the ball into the open left side of the cage for her third goal of the game.
Brown generated a 3-on-1 rush with 15 minutes remaining in regulation. Meghan O'Donnell carried the ball on the right side and drove towards the cage, but her shot from close range was stopped by Tarbell at the right post.
O'Donnell had another scoring change eight minutes later when the ball ricocheted past the UNH defense to the top of the circle. She gained possession, but her shot was denied by the sliding Tarbell, who had charged out from the goal line to the middle of the circle.
New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 4 (1 p.m.) at Providence College. The Wildcats' next home game is Sept. 10 vs. Rutgers University. Game time at Memorial Field is 2 p.m.