The Wildcats returned home for the first time in five games, and Chris Arling showed the fans what they had been missing.
On Wednesday, the UNH men’s soccer team beat Northeastern University 3-0 at Wildcat Stadium. The victory was aided by a stellar performance from sophomore forward Chris Arling, scored two of the team’s three goals, his second came in spectacular fashion.
Leading up to his goal at 56:32, Arling had the ball at roughly 45-yards out on the wide left side of the pitch. He was able to cut through three Northeastern defenders and find the back of the net for his second goal of the game. The goal put the Wildcats up 3-0 and sealed the victory for the team.
“Initially, I was thinking that I was going to hold it up for us but I was able to turn and take it on the sideline,” Arling said when describing what lead up to the goal. “I then saw an angle to cut in behind [the defender]. Once I got [the defender] with my back shoulder, it was a one verse one situation and I was able to put it by the goalkeeper.”
Arling’s first goal helped the Wildcats to jump out to a 1-0 lead against Northeastern as he scored at 17:14 in the first half. The goal came courtesy of a Jack Dickson pass which gave Arling the position score. Arling’s multi-goal game put his season total to seven, which leads the team.
Arling’s goal streak ended on Sunday, but Andrew Pesci started a shutout streak in Arling’s absence. The 3-0 victory is Pesci’s third clean sheet in a row as he also put in a good performance against Northeastern. Of the 11 Northeastern shots, Pesci blocked five. UNH head coach Marc Hubbard was pleased with his goalkeeper’s recent play.
“I am very happy with him. He has had big saves in every game to keep the team going,” Hubbard said. “Tonight, even though it was 3-0, he stayed tuned in for a massive save to preserve the shutout. A lot of credit to him and our team for staying committed to defending.”
Like Pesci, freshman forward Jack Dickson as a streak going as well. He scored at the 50:23 mark to put the Wildcats up 2-0. The goal marks his third of the season and his third game in a row with a goal.
Overall, UNH’s offense displayed its tendency to attack the goal as it shot 19 times with 10 on goal. The defense continued to be solid as it limited Northeastern to two shots in the first half and 11 in total. This was due in part to methodical play and well timed passes. Preventing Northeastern from gaining possession and creating chances to score.
“It felt really good. We wanted to put on a show for our fans and scoring goals helps that,” Hubbard said about the home win after being on the road for five games. “It helps get people excited about the program and hopefully we get them coming back to future games.”
UNH will remain home and play Yale University Saturday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at Bremner Field.