PHILADELPHIA - Chiara Best (Rose Valley, Pa.) scored three goals, including the game winner, to lead the University of New Hampshire women’s soccer team to Saturday afternoon’s 5-1 America East victory against Drexel University at Drexel Field.
UNH improved to 3-6-3 overall and 2-1-1 in the league while Drexel is now 3-7-1 and 0-2-1. The five goals matches a season-high output for the Wildcats, who also netted five goals against Albany.
Best, who has scored five goals in the past two games, gave UNH a 2-0 lead with tallies at 20:38 and 30:46. Christy Smagula (Bedford, N.H.) earned an assist on the game’s first goal.
The Dragons trimmed the deficit to 2-1 in the 42nd minute on a goal by Laura Meikle.
The Wildcats, who had a 20-10 shot advantage in the game, held that lead at halftime but pulled away early in the second half. Amber Radzevich (Hampstead, N.H.) netted her first goal of the season and second of her career 57 seconds into the second half to give New Hampshire a 3-1 lead. Senior co-captain Farrell Swain (West Simsbury, Conn.) set up Radzevichís header with a crossing pass.
Best, with the help of Radzevich, scored five minutes later to extend the advantage to four goals. Michelle Thornton (Gloucester, Ont.) capped the scoring with an unassisted goal in the 61st minute.
UNH goalkeeper Kristen Ouellette (Simsbury, Conn.) finished with five saves, four of which came in the second half. Drexelís Shalen Marzi stopped 10 shots.
New Hampshire continues its four-game road swing Oct. 8 (3 p.m.) at Hofstra University. The next home match for the Wildcats is Oct. 14 vs. Northeastern University. Game time at Lewis Fields is 1 p.m.