PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Meg Flatley (Townsend, Mass.) scored in the 79th minute and Carlie Tarbell (Wakefield, Mass.) made 10 saves to lead the 22nd-ranked University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Sunday night's 2-1 overtime victory against Providence College in non-conference action at Lennon Family Field.
UNH, which clinched at least a share of the America East regular-season title for the third consecutive year as well as the conference tournament top seed with Friday's 1-0 victory against 13th-ranked Boston University, improved to 9-7 overall. PC is also 9-7.
The Friars generated the first pressure of the game in the second minute, but Steph Gugliemo's shot was stopped by Tarbell, who finished with seven first-half saves.
The Wildcats responded with a penalty corner in both the third and fifth minutes, and both began with Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.) as the insert and ended with a shot by Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) that was blocked by a PC defender.
UNH recorded its first shot on goal -- by Hannah Richard (Hopkinton, N.H.) – at 7:25, then Providence quickly counterattacked and Gugliemo was once again denied by Tarbell. The 'Cats generated their fourth corner at 11:05 and it produced a Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) shot that was stopped by PC goalie Kathi Weidman (eight saves). New Hampshire was awarded another corner, however, and this time Bozek's shot was blocked by the defense.
Gugliemo was turned aside by Tarbell for the fourth time in the game in the 16th minute; to that point, she had recorded all four PC shots.
UNH once again had consecutive corners in the 17th minute. Bozek's shot was blocked on the initial opportunity, then Pohlmeyer shot went wide of the cage. The Friars pressured two minutes later, but Tarbell kept the game scoreless with saves against Henni Tietze and Emma Mackie. Moments later on a penalty corner, a shot off Gugliemo's stick went wide.
Providence sustained pressure, however and gained another corner at 20:30 that produced Tietze's goal and a 1-0 lead at 20:49. Kaleigh Fitzpatrick, who was the insert, garnered an assist.
Four minutes later, UNH penetrated the circle and earned another corner. This time, the Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.) shot was directed aside by a defender. Erler tied the score, 1-1, with an unassisted goal – her third tally of the season – at 26:17 on a low, hard shot that deflected off Weidman into the cage.
On the Wildcats' last of nine first-half penalty corners, Richard lifted a shot over the crossbar at 29:49.
The halftime score was tied 1-1 with the shots also even (10-10) but UNH holding a 9-3 edge in corners.
Tarbell kept the game deadlocked with a save against Callie Vitalo in the 43rd minute, then once again stoned Gugliemo in the 48th minute.
The 'Cats generated consecutive corners in the 50th minute and Pohlmeyer's bid was denied by Weidman. Eight minutes later is was the home team that had back-to-back corners, but Tarbell blocked aside Tietze's shot and then Tietze struck the next shot wide.
Mary Quill (Greenland, N.H.) tested Weidman in the 61st and 64th minutes, but the PC goalie stopped both shots. UNH earned corners in the 68th and 69th minutes but did not record a shot, then Lynne Lehman (Landisburg, Pa.) was turned away by Weidman in the closing seconds to send the game into OT.
UNH, which improved to 4-3 in games decided beyond the 70 minutes of regulation in the 2012 season, controlled the extra session with a 4-0 shot advantage and 3-0 edge in corners.
In the 74th minute, Joyce's shot off a corner was saved by Weidman, who also denied Joyce one minute later. The 'Cats had consecutive corners in the 76th minute, and on the second insert Pohlmeyer's shot was deflected aside by a defender.
Flatley, who also scored the game-winning goal in double overtime against Northeastern University in September, gave UNH the 2-1 victory at 78:19 when she maneuvered to the left side of the cage to beat Weidman and shoot the ball into the cage for her eighth goal of the year.
The Wildcats finished with the edge in both shots (20-14) and corners (18-7).
New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 27 (12 p.m.) at the University of Maine.