DURHAM, N.H. Emma Compagna (Canton, Mass.) scored twice and Chandler Giese (Trappe, Pa.) recorded a goal and an assist to power the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to a 4-0 victory against Fairfield University in Thursday afternoon's America East semifinal game at Memorial Field.
UNH, the top seed for the fourth consecutive America East Championship by virtue of a 5-0 record, extended its winning streak to seven games to improve to 14-6 overall. Fairfield, which also lost 4-0 at UNH last Friday, was ousted from the conference tourney by New Hampshire for the second consecutive season to end the year at 11-7.
The Wildcats advance to the title game for the fourth consecutive year and play second-seeded University at Albany, a 1-0 victor against the University of Maine in the other semifinal, in the Nov. 9 championship. Game time at Memorial Field is 2 p.m.
Compagana recorded career highs in both goals and points (four) and the three points also marked a personal best for Giese. Carlie Tarbell (Wakefield, Mass.), the America East Goalkeeper of the Year, was credited with three saves -- all in the second half -- for her sixth shutout of the season, all of which have been the past seven games. Fairfield goalie Caitlin Bennett stopped three shots.
Following a scoreless first half in which the Wildcats recorded a 9-1 shot advantage and 5-0 edge in penalty corners, UNH scored goals 3:32 apart early in the second half to quickly build a 2-0 lead.
At 42:52, Giese notched her second goal of the season to give the Wildcats the first lead of the game. Holding the ball on the left wing, the back blasted the ball in the arc, seeking a Wildcat forward. However, the ball ricocheted off a Fairfield defender over Bennet and found the back of the cage for the goal.
Moments later, Compagna earned her fourth goal of the season at 46:24 as Giese was credited with the assist. Off the penalty corner, Meg Flatley (Townsend, Mass.) dished the pass to the top of the arc. Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) struck a pass to Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), who then found Giese waiting on the left wing. The back then served a hard pass to Compagna that was redirected past Bennett's left pad for the goal and two-goal lead.
Fairfield look to cut the deficit in half as the Stags still trailed 2-0 with 20:31 remaining in the match. Emily McCauley was advantageous of an open gap atop of the arc and struck a low blast toward the left post. Tarbell made a diving save with her right leg pad to direct the ball out of traffic.
Compagna double her goal tally for the game and notched UNH's third goal at 53:20. Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.) directed a pass into the arc, attempting to find Melyssa Woods (Glens Falls, N.Y.) in front of the net. A Fairfield defender momentarily broke up the pass, finding an open Compagna. The forward was able to make contact on the bouncing ball and propel it by the far side of Bennett for the Wildcats' third goal.
UNH added one more goal for the game at 63:01 to give the 'Cats a 4-0 advantage. Off a penalty corner, Giese cleanly set up Pohlmeyer to tee up a shot from the top of the arc. Pohlmeyer's bid struck the left post and redirected behind the netminder. Flatley crashed the net from the endline to collect the rebound and sink the shot, earning her team-leading 16th goal of the season.
Fairfield tried to come back with under six minutes remaining. However, the Wildcats were able to fend off the Stags' attack to ensure the 4-0 victory and an appearance in the America East Championship title game.
UNH finished with a 17-7 shot advantage and an 11-2 edge in penalty corners.