WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Sophomore midfielder Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) scored late in the 35th minute to lead the University of New Hampshire women’s soccer team to a huge 1-0 conference victory over the University of Hartford on Sunday at Yousuf Al-Marzook Athletic Field.

The win lifts the Wildcats’ record to 10-5-1, including 6-1-0 in the America East, where the ‘Cats have clinched a bye in the first round of the America East Championships. The Hawks fall to 5-6-4 overall and 3-1-2 in the conference, and have their 15-game unbeaten streak against conference opponents snapped.

With 10:09 remaining in the first half, the speedy Kaplan intercepted a pass in the offensive zone, made a move to fake Hawks goalkeeper Elizabeth Cook, and buried the ball in the back of the empty net for her second goal of the season.

Sophomore goalkeeper Nikki Golding (Milton, Mass.) made the goal stand up for New Hampshire, stopping all five shots she faced to post her third shutout of the season, improve her record to 6-1-1, and lower her nationally-ranked goals-against-average to 0.61.

Cook made four saves for the Hawks.

actually outshot the Wildcats 14-7, including 9-3 in the first half, but also made the one mistake that the ‘Cats were able to capitalize on.

The Wildcats, who have won three games in a row and six of their last seven, chose the perfect time to record their third road win of the season. The win keeps the Wildcats in first place in the conference, and clinches the team a spot no lower than second in the standings. The top two teams in the standings at the end of the regular season receive a first-round bye in the conference championships. The ‘Cats hold a three-point edge over second-place Boston University.

The Wildcats need at least a tie to clinch the America East regular season title when they play host to BU in their last conference game of the season, Thursday, Oct. 25 at 2:30 p.m. on Lewis Fields.

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