September 13, 2009

WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYS UMASS TO SCORELESS TIE

DURHAM, N.H. - Senior goalkeeper Ally Yost (Langhorne, Pa.) made a career-high 10 saves as the University of New Hampshire played the University of Massachusetts to a 0-0 draw Sunday afternoon at Cowell Stadium.

The Wildcats move to 1-4-1 on the season, while the Minutewomen go to 0-4-1. The ‘Cats are now unbeaten in their last five matches with UMass (2-0-3), having not lost since Sept. 28, 2001. UNH has also not been beaten at home by UMass since Oct. 5, 1991 (1-0-2).

Yost, the America East Player of the Game, came up big time after time, including with 45 seconds to go in double overtime when she turned away Therese Smith's shot from point blank on the left side of the box to preserve the tie. Yost now has two shutouts to go along with a 0.93 goals-against average and an .857 save percentage.

"That is the best of Ally Yost I've seen to date," said UNH head coach Michael Jackson.

The Wildcats had chances of their own in the overtime session. Just over a minute into the first overtime, senior Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) sent a nice ball from the left flank to the right flank where she found classmate Morgan Keefe (South Burlington, Vt.), who sent a shot from in close just over the crossbar. Just 30 seconds later, UNH had another point-blank look when freshman Monique Lamotte (Blackstone, Mass.) tried to sneak a shot inside of the near post from the left side of the box, but was thwarted by diving UMass goalkeeper Emily Cota.

Half a minute into the second extra period, Keefe returned the earlier favor when she sent a ball from midfield to the right flank for Kaplan, who chased it down before the endline, but was forced to get off a tough shot that went just wide to the right.

Yost made a pair of brilliant saves in the second half. In the 63rd minute, Yost punched a Rachel Miranda blast, from the right side of the box, out of the upper corner and off the near post for her defense to clear away. Then in the 74th minute Yost made a diving save and managed to elude the near post to deny Sydney Stoll, who had rifled a shot from the right side.

"I just really wanted to win today," Yost said, when asked to describe her performance. Her team did not earn the win, but Yost helped the Wildcats gain a tie with her spectacular play.

The Wildcats nearly gave Yost enough offense to grab the victory with numerous chances in the first half. Just 10 minutes into the game sophomore Jordyn Krall (Duxbury, Mass.) - as she was falling down - hit a ball down the left flank for Kaplan. Kaplan then sent a service to the far post that sailed inches high of the head of junior Marika Posehn (Duncan, British Columbia), who had crept in on the back doorstep.

In the 14th minute, freshman Chelsey Tewell (York Harbor, Maine) hit a ball from 30 yards out on the left toward the far post where this time in connected with Posehn, whose shot was stopped by UMass' starting goalkeeper Lauren Luckey. Luckey came up big a minute later when she made a diving save at the far post on Kaplan's shot from the left side of the box. Luckey finished with four saves, while Cota stopped three shots.

Yost capped the first half with another stellar save in the 40th minute. A loose ball came out to the middle of the box for Miranda, who sent a rocket from in close that looked destined to find the back of the net before Yost fully extended and dove to make the save.

The game played out as evenly in the box score as it did on the scoreboard. UNH had a small, 26-23 advantage in shots, while UMass held a 4-3 edge in corner kicks.

The Wildcats return to action Friday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. EST when they head west to take on Colorado College at Stewart Field.

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