LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) scored two goals but the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire field hockey team was defeated 5-4 by 15th-ranked Northwestern University on Saturday afternoon at the University of Louisville's Trager Stadium.
UNH, which had beaten the two previous nationally-ranked teams it had faced this season, is now 8-1. Northwestern improved to 8-3.
NU scored the first two goals of the game – Maria Kovalchuk at 4:59 and Claire Thompson at 7:43 – to build an early 2-0 lead. Frates scored off her own rebound at 17:03 to lift UNH within 2-1.
Northwestern reestablished a two-goal advantage, 3-1, on Kovalchuk's second goal of the game at 13:24, but Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) scored 45 seconds later on a shot into the upper-left side of the cage to once again trim the difference to one, 3-2, at 24:30. Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.) was credited with her team-leading seventh assist of the season on Rausch's team-best 14th tally.
NU took that 3-2 lead into halftime with a 9-5 shot advantage and 3-2 edge in penalty corners.
New Hampshire capitalized on a penalty corner to level the score, 3-3, at 39:26. The battery of Rausch and Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.) set up the direct shot from the top of the circle by Kyle Lyons (White River Junction, Vt.) that beat NU goalkeeper Maddy Carpenter (five saves).
Thompson scored her second goal of the game 20 seconds later and Regan Mooney struck 80 seconds later (at 41:06) to give Northwestern its third two-goal lead of the game.
Frates' 10th goal of the season on a shot from the right doorstep lifted UNH within 5-4 at 49:10. New Hampshire was limited to one shot the rest of the game, however.
UNH starting goalie Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) exited the game following NU's fifth goal; she was credited with four saves. Carlie Tarbell (Wakefield, Mass.) played the final 28:54 and stopped three shots in keeping the NU Wildcats scoreless.
Northwestern finished with a 15-10 shot advantage and the corners were even at 6.
New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 25 (2 p.m.) at 19th-ranked University of Louisville. The Wildcats next home game is Sept. 30, the team's America East opener against Fairfield University. Game time is 3 p.m.