By Sam Donnelly, Staff Writer
After a strong win at home against Albany last Wednesday, the Wildcats were shut out 2-0 on Saturday at Hartford. The Hawks scored on a penalty kick in the 36th minute and a shot from just inside the box in the 61st minute. The Wildcats were outshot 11-6 and were only able to muster one shot on goal. Senior goalie Travis Worra made two saves for the Wildcats.
The turning point in the game was when UNH senior forward David Shlatter received a red card in the 37th minute. There was an altercation between players of both teams during play. Shlatter became confrontational and received a red card, while Hartford midfielder Rohan Roye received a yellow. Being down a player put the Wildcats at a severe disadvantage for more than half the game.
“It is always harder when you’re a man down,” assistant coach Logan Hoffman said. “David was standing up for a teammate but didn’t do it in the best way possible.”
Hartford found the scoreboard early when sophomore Udi Cohen earned a penalty kick, which he buried into the back of the net to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute.
Just two minutes later, Shlatter received the red card, putting the Wildcats down one man for the rest of the game. UNH was able to hold strong and go into halftime trailing only 1-0. Although the Wildcats played down a man, they still were able to tally five shots in the first half and only surrendering one.
Early in the second half, the Hawks found the back of the net again, this time off a shot by sophomore forward Jeff Tyron in the 61st minute. The opportunity came on a through ball from junior forward Javoni Simms. Tyron collected himself and sent the ball passed the outstretched arms of Worra.
“We can’t blame our defense for the two goals,” Hoffman said. “Like I said, it is always harder when you have to play down a man.”
The Hawks dominated the rest of the way, holding the Wildcats to just one shot in the second half. The loss drops UNH to 5-7-1, with a 1-3-0 conference record. Hartford improves to 7-5-2, with a 2-2-0 record in America East play.
As Hoffman has said all season, the biggest area of improvement for this team is their discipline. That discipline was not present on Saturday night.
“Whenever you lose a man to a card, there is a lack of discipline,” Hoffman said. “That’s not why we lost that game, but we need to be better. We can’t afford to lose players.”
The message from the coaches to their players stays the same: improve.
“We didn’t execute our game plan against Hartford,” Hoffman said. “In order to win games and be successful we have to do that. Everyone needs to execute their jobs a little bit better.”
The penalty of a red card with force Shlatter to miss UNH’s next game, someone who won’t be easy to replace, Hoffman feels.
“We will miss him this weekend. He is a valuable player for this team.”
The Wildcats return home Saturday Oct. 25 for a conference match against the University of Maryland at Baltimore. UMBC comes into the game with a record of 6-4-3, with an undefeated 2-0-1 record in conference.