BURLINGTON, Vt. – Senior midfielder Amy Avitabile (Pembroke, Mass.) scored in the 85th minute to lift the University of New Hampshire women's soccer team to a 2-1 win against La Salle University in the first game of the TD Bank Classic at the University of Vermont's Centennial Field on Friday afternoon.
The Wildcats, who earn their first win of 2010 to improve to 1-0-1, are off to their best two-game start to a season since the 2001 team began the year 1-0-2. The Explorers suffer their first defeat and fall to 1-1-0.
With 5:48 remaining in regulation, Avitabile, the America East Player of the Game, received a pass from sophomore back Kelly Spencer (Exeter, N.H.) at midfield and dribble through a handful of La Salle defenders before ripping a shot from 20 yards out that found the back of the left side of the net.
Freshman goalkeeper Erica Correa (Cheshire, Conn.) made five saves to earn her first collegiate win, while La Salle keeper Gabby Pakhtigian also stopped five shots.
After a scoreless first half, the Wildcats jumped on the board in the 64th minute when junior forward Alyssa Michel (Bellingham, Wash.) broke into the left side of the box with a defender on her right and passed up the shot in favor of a cross to Drea Nogueira (New Bedford, Mass.), who shot the ball over Pakhtigian's head and through her hands to find the back of the net.
The Explorers answered just 3:45 later when Renee Washington collected a pass from Anna Dolhansky and beat Correa to knot it at 1.
The Wildcats return to action Sunday, Aug. 29 at 11 a.m. when they take on Rider in their second and final game of the TD Bank Classic. A live video feed link is available at www.UNHWildcats.com.