At the 78:41 mark of the second half, Caitie Green put a header past UNH goalkeeper Mimi Borkan to open the scoring, and gave the University of Vermont Catamounts a 1-0 lead. As the clock winded down, the ‘Cats’ unbeaten 3-0 conference record was in jeopardy.
Brooke Murphy made sure that didn’t happen, as she netted one with 32 seconds left in regulation to save the streak for the Wildcats, and force overtime. After two 10-minute overtime periods and high-caliber scoring chances, the two teams played to a 1-1 draw, settling for two points apiece in the America East conference standings. The Wildcats’ remain unbeaten in conference play at 3-0-1.
Murphy recorded three shots, with one on goal. After a frustrating start, Murphy admitted it was nice to put one on target and tie the score for UNH.
“Definitely that first [shot] early in the second half, that was a tough miss,” Murphy said. “Definitely nice to get [the game-tying goal] there and plus with only like  seconds left it was a big time goal that we needed to keep going.”
Minutes before Murphy’s goal, Kaylan Williams was substituted in as an extra offensive player, to create a better offensive opportunity to tie the game. Head coach Steve Welham noted that the decision ultimately may have saved the game for the Wildcats.
“We went with basically four strikers, we were very direct, it was like a 3-3-4, so we knew we had to hit the ball forward,” Welham said. “[Megan Kikosicki] found [Murphy] there, great finish and that was the difference.”
In the overtime portion of the game, it was a tale of two periods. In the first overtime frame, UNH took control of the game, building on the momentum gained from Murphy’s tally. The Wildcats peppered goalkeeper Coco Speckmaier with four shots in ten minutes but the Catamounts stood their ground and forced double overtime. In the next and final round, Vermont found its opening. The Catamounts held the Wildcats to zero shots offensively, as well as putting six shots of their own on Borkan, that were all stopped. Two scoreless periods resulted in a 1-1 tie, UNH’s third tie of the season.
“It wasn’t a pretty game by any means, it wasn’t a pretty day but we found a way to grit this one out and come from behind,” Welham said. “It gets us a little closer to where we want to be, but you’re going to have days like this where things don’t go your way… We showed a lot of heart and character today.”
Sunday’s game was the Wildcats’ “Think Pink” game in which the team sported pink jerseys as well as raffled off prizes during the halftime intermission. All the proceeds collected will go to the Seacoast Cancer Center. The game also was part of the America East Food Exchange where teams in conference give each other boxes of food to donate to local food pantries in their area. Vermont gave UNH a box to donate to the Cornucopia Food Pantry in Durham. UNH will provide a box for another conference team at a later date.
The Wildcats will try for five games unbeaten as they prepare for their next test, the University at Albany Great Danes. That game will be on Thursday, Oct. 13 in Albany, New York starting at 7 p.m.