As much as UNH wanted to stay undefeated, the Crusaders had to spoil the Wildcats party Friday night in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Wildcats fell to Holy Cross 3-1 in a game that was highlighted by a costly own goal and a poised Holy Cross team, who had three goals come off three shots.
UNH also did not display its tendency of attacking the goal with an abundance of shots in Saturday’s contest. They only shot eight times compared to 27 previous games.
Of those eight shots, five were on target. UNH had its chances offensively, but they unfortunately met a wall in Holy Cross goalkeeper Henry Stutz. However, the beginning of the game was in favor of the Wildcats.
UNH got on the board first at 16:53 with a goal from Chris Arling. The play was started by senior co-captain Duff Thomson as he sent a pass to William Picoux. Picoux then passed the ball to Arling who received it about 10 yards out and struck it into the back of the net.
That put the Wildcats up 1-0 over Holy Cross early in the contest. The tally marked Arling’s fourth consecutive game with a goal, and his fourth of the season, which leads the team.
The lead did not last long as a goal tied the game up at 1-1. However, the goal was not off the foot of a Crusader, but rather the head of a Wildcat.
The Wildcats tried to clear the ball away from the net in order to relieve pressure off of the defense. Unfortunately, an unlucky bounce found its way past goalkeeper Andrew Pesci resulting in an own goal for UNH, leveling the score again.
“I think we have to be better on restarts because that’s how the own goal started,” head coach Marc Hubbard said regarding the situation. “Our legs were tired so we didn’t do the necessary defensive and midfield work we needed to do. It was one of the crazy soccer games where we created more chances, had more of the ball but we didn’t come out on the winning side. It was disappointing.”
The ‘Cats found themselves in trouble once the second half started. Senior forward Matt Villano of the Crusaders scored at 51:13, which was his third goal of the season. He gained possession of the ball outside of the box and shot from 20 yards out into the upper right corner of the net, which put Holy Cross up 2-1 over UNH.
The Crusaders continued to build their lead a mere five minutes later, when Holy Cross scored again, off of a 12-yard shot from Joey DeVivo, making it 3-1 in favor of Holy Cross. The score would remain the same until the final whistle blew. The loss now puts UNH at a 4-1-0 record and puts Holy Cross at 3-1-0
Going into the next game, Hubbard knows the test that lies ahead with Colgate, looking to prevent mistakes from happening that may cost the team a win.
“Colgate has a good team so we’re going to have a good week of work here,” Hubbard said. “We’re going to have to be mentally and physically fresh so that we can come out flying, and also working to get better on both sides of the ball.”
UNH goes on a New York trip as they head to Colgate University, next Friday, Sept. 16 on Beyer-Small ’76 Field. Kickoff is slated to be at 7 p.m. The ‘Cats will remain on the road until they return home Sept. 21 to face off against Northeastern at Wildcat Stadium.