Hinkle nets five goals as UNH beats Binghamton 12-9
By Ben Nawn, Contributing Writer
Kayleigh Hinkle and Laura McHoul each registered six points to help lead the University of New Hampshire Wildcats to a close 12-9 victory over the Binghamton Bearcats on Friday afternoon from Bremner Field.
New Hampshire (5-8, 1-3 America East) continues to dominate Binghamton (6-7. 1-3 AE) by winning 15 straight matchups, but the Bearcats stayed around late in this one led by sophomore Brianne Arthur who tailed five goals on the day.
“This game was huge, because if we lost it conference was out of the question so we just came out like there was nothing to lose and I thought the energy was good all game,” McHoul said.
Binghamton struck first as Arthur whipped one past Wildcats freshman goalie Kate Clancy, but the Wildcats answered when Hinkle captured the first of five goals on the day.
Throughout the first half it looked as if the Wildcats would not slow down firing 11 shots on Bearcats junior goaltender Erin McNulty. Clancy felt the pressure as well, but stifled many Bearcat players toward the end of the game. She ended with 11 saves.
Third-year coach Sarah Albrecht was delighted with her team’s effort from the start.
“We made some mistakes and have things to fix, but overall I’m pleased moving forward,” she said.
With a 7-5 lead after the first half, the Wildcats continued to sling shots past McNulty with three unanswered goals. Led by McHoul and Hinkle, the Wildcats looked primed to win this one convincingly.
“They were really aggressive getting to the cage which I think made a huge difference in terms of moving their defense and getting some good shots off,” mentioned Albrecht.
For a team that ranked fifth in America East in both offense and defense, the Wildcats had been struggling to score and needed the assurance from their two individual leaders in points/assists per game.
With the second half winding down, the Bearcats scored four consecutive goals to make it a one-goal game. Callon Williams weaved around Wildcat traffic and let two goals fly past Clancy to help lead the final push.
The Wildcats were 0-1 on the season in games decided by one goal, and were in danger of letting this one slip away. But with five minutes left in the game, the defense tightened up.
McHoul was happy with her team’s performance down the stretch.
“Everyone on the field contributed,” she said.
With six minutes left in the contest and momentum clearly in Binghamton’s favor, Albrecht called a key time out and in response sophomore Marissa Gurello scored to create some breathing room for the Wildcats.
“We just needed to work a little bit harder on defense in terms of getting the backside to slide into the middle and I think we were missing that as we got tired so I think making that adjustment and pointing that out helped our defense more,” mentioned Albrecht who was happy with her teams close victory.
The Wildcats are in the midst of a four-game homestead and look to string along some important wins.
Next time out for the Wildcats: Boston University on Wednesday April 15th at 4 p.m.
Follow Ben Nawn on Twitter at @NoNawnsense.