ALBANY, N.Y. – Sophomore midfielder Amy Avitabile (Pembroke, Mass.) notched the first goal of her collegiate career, but it was not enough as the University of New Hampshire women’s soccer team dropped Sunday afternoon’s 3-1 decision to the University at Albany at Varsity Field.
The Wildcats’ first conference loss of the season drops them to 3-8-1, including 2-1-0 in America East play, while the Great Danes move to 3-11-0 and 1-2-0 in the conference.
UNH busted through the door just 2:33 into the contest when Avitabile found the back of the net for the first time in a Wildcat uniform. Junior forward Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) took a pass from freshman midfielder Stephanie Gilkenson (Cranston, R.I.) and dropped it back to Avitabile, who rifled the ball from the left side of the top of the box, off the far post and past Albany goalkeeper Amber Maisonet. Kaplan and Gilkenson kept pace with each other by collecting their team-leading fifth assists of the season.
The tone changed quickly, however, when Kendra Harrell-Vigil took a feed from Ashley Tirabassi and beat Wildcat goalkeeper Ally Yost (Langhorne, Pa.) to tie the game at one in the 17th minute.
Albany, which outshout the Wildcats, 14-10, jumped out to a 2-1 lead with 3:31 left in the first half when Tirabassi set up another goal, this time to Katie Grant who found the back of the net with a blast from 20 yards out.
UNH battled but could not gain the equalizer before the Great Danes widened their advantage to two when Teresa Boring struck in the 84th minute off a feed from Grant.
Yost, who allowed more than two goals in a game for the first time this season, made four saves for the Wildcats, while Maisonet stopped six shots for the Great Danes.
The Wildcats return to action Thursday, Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. when they play host to the University of Maryland-Baltimore County at Lewis Fields.