DURHAM, N.H. - On Senior Day, seniors Eric Masi (York, Maine) and Chris Bennice (Scotia, N.Y.) combined for seven shots and both goals as the University of New Hampshire defeated the University of Hartford, 2-0, Wednesday afternoon in men's soccer action at Lewis Field.
The match proved to be the season finale for both squads, as Albany's 3-0 victory over Maine prevented the Wildcats from clinching a postseason berth, while Hartford's loss killed its chances of advancing to the conference tournament.
The Wildcats dominated play from the start, as they maintained possession in the Hawks' defensive zone for the vast majority of the first half. Off a Hartford foul, Matt Shump (Durham, N.H.) sent a free kick into the box, and Masi sent a header past Hartford goalie Ryan Carr to give the Wildcats the early lead at the 14:40 mark of the match.
UNH continued to press the Hartford defense early in the second half and it led to the second goal of the match. Ross Fishbain (Racine, Wis.) corralled the ball on the right side of the field and sent it to the middle of the field. Masi received the pass and found Bennice running down the left side. At the 58:01 mark, Bennice sent a shot into the upper left corner of the net for his second goal of the season.
Hartford (5-9-3, 2-4-2 America East) was able to gain more possession in the second half, but could not get any shots on goal in the period. The Hawks had two shots on goal in the first half, both stopped by UNH goalkeeper Brian Levey (Pittsburgh, Pa.) as he completed his tenth shutout of the season, adding to his school single-season record.
Before the match, Bennice, Masi, Jonathan Burg (New Milford, Conn.) and Michael Card (Amherst, N.H.) were honored for their contributions to the Wildcat program. All four seniors saw action in the match, combining for nine shots in the match.
New Hampshire finished the 2005 season with a 9-5-3 overall record and a 2-4-2 America East record. Not only did he break the single season shutout record, Levey also established a new record for lowest goals against average in a season with a 0.57 GAA.