The UNH Wildcats men’s soccer team is continuing the habit of starting off strong, much like they did last season. The ‘Cats are off to a 3-0-0 start after beating Siena College and the University of Rhode Island.
Sophomore forward Chris Arling is off to a great start offensively as he has netted two goals and one assist in the two games. Goalkeeper Andrew Pesci has also been in stellar form through three games, only allowing two goals and earning one shutout.
On Tuesday August 30, the Wildcats won their first home game of the season beating Siena College by a 2-1 final score. Both Arling and Chris Wingate continued their success from last season as they both netted a goal each. The defense was also stout, only allowing five shots through the entire game.
The match between the two teams started off at a rapid pace with all three goals coming before the 20th minute. The first goal came in the ninth minute, courtesy of Chris Arling. A couple of good bounces and an assisted header by Riley Ellis allowed Arling to get a wide open shot on goal, rolling it past the goalkeeper to the bottom left corner of the goal. This put the ‘Cats up 1-0.
However, Siena answered relatively quickly, netting an equalizing goal in the 16th minute. The score came off a free kick and powerful header by both Sienna’s Alexander Tejera and Conor McGlynn. This allowed David Itoafa to tap the ball into a wide open goal.
Before Siena had a chance to capitalize on their newfound momentum, a foul in the box by goalkeeper Aleks Radosavljevic lead to a penalty kick. Chris Wingate took advantage of this opportunity and tucked it into the goal in the 20th minute putting UNH ahead 2-1. It wasn’t all Wingate as he credited his teammate for setting up the penalty.
“[Jack Dickson] is good at going at guys and attacking their center backs. He is just too fast for them,” Wingate said “He draws the contact and gets the [penalty kick]. I’m the lucky one that gets to tap it in.”
The remainder of the game was a defensive standstill, which allowed UNH to hold off and win its first home game of the season 2-1. The game marked the end of a brief home stint, and the start of a long road trip. Coach Marc Hubbard has prepared his team for this and even sees it as an advantage.
“We’ve been talking about [the road trip] for a awhile and I think it is sometimes easier to play away from home,” Hubbard said “I think it will make us hungrier to come back here and to show how well we had done during that stretch.”
The second game came on Saturday, Sept. 3 vs. the University of Rhode Island. The game marked the first of a five-game road trip for the Wildcats. The team was able grab a win to kick off the trip, beating the Rams 2-1.
The game did not lack any drama as Chris Arling netted a late goal in the 84th minute, which won the Wildcats the game 2-1. Sophomore forward Kristain Piippo got his first goal of the season as he netted the first Wildcat goal in the 18th minute, which put UNH on the board first. Andrew Pesci and the defense looked impenetrable as they allowed only five shots the entire game, with Pesci saving two of them.
The Wildcats will continue their road trip when they clash against The University of Massachusetts Amherst Minutemen on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 4 p.m. The Wildcats will not return home until Sept. 21, when they face Northeastern University at 7:30 p.m.

Executive Editor