By Josh Sullivan, Sports Editor
Yet another UNH team is starting the season with a freshman goalie. Barington, Rhode Island native Kate Clancy had seven saves in the team’s 12-7 loss to UMass Amherst. The goalie has started in all three games for the ‘Cats lax team, and though she’s been scored on 37 times in the games in which UNH has gone 1-2 in, head coach Sarah Albrecht is pleased with the way she’s held herself.
“She’s done a great job at keep on going at it and not getting down on herself,” she said. “I think you see that a lot with freshman goalies, they go through lulls. I’m proud of her.”
Though Clancy said it’s an honor to start as a freshman, she’s more focused on working with her defense to become a cohesive unit.
“It’s a big step up but we had a long fall to prepare,” she said. “It’s a big credit to the defense.”
Junior Kayleigh Hinkle scored at the 18:31 mark of the second half to bring the game within two goals. Rachel Nock gave her a pass behind the net, and she proceeded to wrap it around the net and send the ball between the goalie’s legs after a high shot fake. However, Minutewoman Hannah Armstrong scored one of her four goals on the day just two minutes after, and that’s as close as UNH would get for the rest of the day. Despite the loss, Albrecht was pleased with the way her team played.
“Our effort today was the best throughout the last three games,” she said.
However, despite a quality effort, the ‘Cats suffered from a lack of shots on goal. Early on, several ‘Cats missed great opportunities in close due to missing the net.
“If we put some shots away first half it would have been a closer game,” Hinkle said.
Junior Laura Puccia started off the game’s scoring with a goal assisted by Hinkle. After surrendering the next four goals to UMass, Puccia struck again, scoring an unassisted goal at the 6:49 mark. But the Minutewomen didn’t quit, and Amy Tiernan’s free position shot and Kattie Ott’s goal from Tiernan with 25 seconds left took away any momentum the ‘Cats would have gained going into the locker room.
Junior Nicole Grote got the ‘Cats going early in the second half. Grote took a pass from HInkle over the middle and buried it past UMass goalie Rachel Vallarelli. Puccia followed that up with a goal of her own five minutes later. A huge stop from Clancy, and Hinkle’s goal led to the 7-5 lead, but that’s as close as UNH got to the lead. two goals from Ott and another from Murphy led to a 10-5 lead. Hinkle scored again on a gorgeous bounce pass after taking the ball out from behind the net and Grote added another goal that was assisted by Laura McHoul, but it was too late.
UNH will take on Dartmouth Feb. 25. The game will be played at Dartmouth at 3 p.m.