DURHAM, N.H. - Michelle Thornton (Gloucester, Ont.) scored in the 76th minute to break a 1-1 tie and propel the University of New Hampshire women's soccer team to Sunday afternoon's 2-1 America East victory against Northeastern University at Lewis Fields.
UNH is now 4-7-3 overall and, more importantly, remains in contention for one of six conference playoff berths by improving to 3-2-1 in America East. Northeastern fell to 5-3-4, 1-2-3.
On a restart in the right corner, Meg Foley (Marlborough, Conn.) touched the ball in play to the top-right corner of the box, where Amber Radzevich (Hampstead, N.H.) served the ball into the middle of the field. A charging Thornton one-timed the ball into the net from 10 yards out to give the 'Cats a 2-1 lead at 75:55.
Northeastern's best opportunities to tie the game were in the final minutes, when Jennifer North was able to slip past UNH's defense. She lost her balance on the wet pitch, however, and was unable to control the ball, which allowed the Wildcats to recover and eliminate a dangerous bid. In the closing seconds, Lisa Norlin's shot from 25 yards was handled by UNH goalkeeper Kristen Ouellette (Simsbury, Conn.).
New Hampshire controlled play early in the match and the pressure resulted in a 1-0 lead at 43:15. From the right corner, Farrell Swain (West Simsbury, Conn.) served the ball to the far post. Chiara Best's (Rose Valley, Pa.) header was knocked down by NU goalie Shellie Parkinson, but Courtney Papaz (Ringwood, N.J.) one-touched the ball into the open net off the rebound.
UNH took that 1-0 advantage into the second half and the Huskies tied the game in the 56th minute. On a direct kick from 25 yards just right of midfield, Michelle Carberry right-footed the ball into the upper-left corner to make it 1-1.
The Wildcats, who generated an 11-3 shot advantage in the first half, regrouped and continued to generate the better scoring chances until regaining the lead with 14:05 remaining in regulation. The 'Cats ended the match with an 18-8 edge in shots.
Ouellette finished with four saves for UNH. NU starting goalie Parkinson recorded four saves and surrendered two goals in 84 minutes. Cynthia Slowik played the final six minutes of the game and was credited with one save.
New Hampshire's next match is Oct. 19 (3 p.m.) at the University of Vermont. The next Wildcat home game is Oct. 26 vs. Towson University. Game time at Lewis Fields is 3 p.m.