– In an America East showdown pitting the top two teams in the conference against each other with the regular season champions plaque on the line, the University of New Hampshire women’s soccer team tied Boston University, 0-0, Thursday afternoon at Lewis Fields.
The tie wraps up conference play for the Wildcats, and clinches them at least a share of the regular season title. The Wildcats’ record stands at 10-5-2, including 6-1-1 in America East play, while the Terriers record is 8-6-3 overall and 5-1-1 in the conference.
Both teams came ready to play, with UNH controlling the first 25 minutes of play. The ‘Cats had their chances, including two drives to the net in the opening 15 minutes by junior Caitlin Whelan (Weymouth, Mass.), who registered a game-high nine shots, including five on net. Whelan’s first attempt was on net and saved by Terrier goalkeeper Christina Reuter, while the second sailed high over the crossbar.
With BU racking up five of its six fouls in the first half, the Wildcats were awarded four direct kicks that were taken by senior back Caitlyn Serafine (Canandaigua, N.Y.). The ‘Cats came away empty handed after Reuter and the Terrier defense held UNH at bay.
What may have been the Wildcats’ best scoring opportunity came late in the first half when Whelan played the ball from midfield up to sophomore Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.), who beat her defender up the right side with only the goalie to beat. Reuter came out by the right post, giving the speedy midfielder the entire left side of the net. Kaplan got a shot off that was heading to the left post before it tailed left and went wide.
UNH goalkeeper Ally Yost (Langhorne, Pa.) stopped three shots to post her fourth shutout of the season, while Reuter made eight saves for BU.
The Terriers, who had a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks, had multiple header chances sail over the crossbar late in the second half before the Cats’ had another great opportunity go for naught. Freshman Alli Rozelle (Stratham, N.H.) booted the ball toward the upper left corner of the net, forcing Reuter to leap and punch the ball away, ricocheting it off the post.
Both teams turned up the intensity in the two overtimes, but came away with nothing to show for it.
The ‘Cats, who outshout BU, 20-11, remain in first place in the conference with 19 points, while the Terriers sit in second with 16. BU has one conference game remaining Oct. 28 versus Binghamton University. If the Terriers win, they will share the regular season title with the Wildcats, and tiebreakers will be needed to decide the tournament seeding. A BU loss or tie, however, will give the ‘Cats their first regular season title in school history, and the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the tournament.
The Wildcats wrap up their season Oct. 27 at 5 p.m. when they travel to Connecticut to take on Yale at Reese Stadium.
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