This weekend UNH was able to take over the upstate New York area. The UNH men’s soccer team won its two games in the Empire State to close out a five-game road stint. The first win came on Friday, when the Wildcats traveled to Hamilton, New York and beat Colgate University 3-0, earning the team its first shutout of the season.
UNH then traveled an hour and a half west to Ithaca, New York and faced Cornell University on Sunday. The Wildcats came out victorious as they beat Cornell 2-0, which made it UNH’s second shutout in a row. The two victories improve the Wildcats record to 6-1-0, which is good for third place in the America East standings.
Sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Pesci was the man of the New York road trip as he put in stellar performances against Colgate and Cornell.
The Windham, New Hampshire native stood on his head against Colgate. Twelve of Colgate’s 22 shots were stopped by him, 10 of which came in the first half. His performance in the game marked his first clean sheet, and the first shutout for UNH as a team this season.
The Cornell game was much of the same as Pesci kept the opposing team from scoring when he stopped two of Cornell’s eight shots. In total, Pesci saved 14 out of 30 shots, with none hitting the back of the net against the two teams.
“Pesci did a great job anticipating shots and predicting headers,” head coach Marc Hubbard said of his goalkeeper’s performances. “He had great positioning almost all game. Those were the keys and I could not have asked any more from him.”
It wasn’t just goalkeeper play that got the ‘Cats the victories. The Wildcat offense was in peak form as well.
Sophomore forward Chris Arling continued to rack up the goals as he scored 51:17 into the game to put the Wildcats up 3-0 against Colgate. The goal marked his fifth straight game with a goal, which put Arling at five for the season. However, the scoring streak was ended against Cornell as Arling couldn’t find the back of the net.
Freshman forward Jack Dickson started a small streak of his own as he scored a goal in both games. One came against Colgate as he put UNH up 2-0 after 19:57 of play. His second goal sealed the victory for UNH against Cornell as he scored at 77:52, putting the ‘Cats up 2-0. His season total now stands at three.
Junior midfielder Juan Velasquez scored his first goal of the season when he put the Wildcats on the board first early in the game against Colgate at 7:13. Chris Wingate scored his second goal of the season against Cornell. The goal came by way of a penalty kick and put the Wildcats ahead at the 28:36 mark of the first half.
“Before the trip, we committed ourselves to defending and paying attention to detail as a team. We also focused on being healthy and fresh,” Hubbard said about his team’s game plan going into the matches. “The real challenge is to stay healthy and fresh. When we play Northeastern, we will have played four games in six days. We played two games in three days before so we’re not going to reinvent the wheel as far as the game plan.”
The Wildcats return home for the first time after a five-game road stretch. The three-game home stand will start on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. against Northeastern, at Wildcat Stadium.