On March 12, 2016, in a game against Harvard University down in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a heroic second-half comeback fell just a goal short as UNH fell to the Crimson 12-11 last season.
In the season opener, withthe ‘Cats, down in the secondhalf, the team could not rekindle the same spark. The Crimson outscored the Wildcats by a 10-13 margin in the half and UNH fell to Harvard in the home opener 18-11. Devon Croke and Krissy Schafer were the leaders offensively with four and three goals respectively. Junior goalkeeper Kate Clancy also recorded a career-high 19 saves in the loss on 43 shots.
Devan Miller was the first goal-scorer on the season for the ‘Cats as her tally in the opening minutes gave the team the early lead. Schafer and Carly Wooters quickly went to work to extend the Wildcat lead, to two goals and make the score 4-2. Six times the lead was changed during the matchup, and for the majority of the first half UNH was able to climb out of early holes, including coming back from four unanswered goals to tie the game at eight going into the second half.
From there, Harvard took over the game and stymied the ‘Cats’ attack. Keeley MacAfee and Marisa Romeo both added to multi-goal efforts on the day to drastically extend the lead. Harvard went on a 7-1 scoring run to round out the halfway point of the second half to put the game out of reach. Clancy was tested with shots and the ‘Cats could not find offensive answers, leaving the game 17-9 at 9:30 in the second half. Two Wildcat goals near the end of the period resulted in an 18-11 loss. The first loss of the season for UNH.
With the departures of Laura McHoul and Nicole Grote, the Wildcats will have to look for the young talent to fill the shoes of what once was the team’s top goal-scorers. Croke and Miller seem to most likely be the ones to do so in the early stages of the season, as Croke and Miller are first and second on the team in point totals with four and three respectively.
UNH will be staying in Durham for a non-conference bout against Granite State rival Dartmouth College Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.