By Will Sirbono
On a roll lately, UNH arrived in Hanover, N.H. to take on the Big Green of Dartmouth. Being two of the better teams in the country as of the last few years, they met for the third time in the last two seasons and this matchup did not disappoint.
Besides being an actioned packed game with plenty of shots and saves, this game was not able to determine a winner. In fact, one could argue there was no action at all because there were no goals scored by either team. However, the Wildcats took 21 shots on the day while only getting five on net. Dartmouth took 14 while only getting three on net. There were a total of 10 corner kicks in the game as well. The Wildcats put out a valiant effort. Point leaders Antonio Colacci and Linus Fallberg gave it all they could, each getting five shots off.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get one in the back of the net.
This matchup just keeps getting better and better every time they play. Being two top teams last season, they played in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year and tied after double overtime. It took a penalty shoot out to determine who would move on (UNH would end up winning the shootout). Now, in the 2018 season their anticipated matchup ended with the same result; yet this time it was the regular season, so the teams settled at a 0-0 tie. If Dartmouth is able to turn their season around, maybe the two teams will meet again in the NCAA Tournament. With this matchup behind them, it is time for the ‘Cats to continue with business as usual. So here is a little preview of the schedule ahead for the Wildcats.
UNH faces UMBC at home on Sept. 22. The Retrievers are currently 4-2 on the season. Their only tough opponent they have faced so far this year has been Air Force (7-1), who they lost to 1-0 on Sept. 2. Up next they have UNH at Wildcat Stadium where the ‘Cats have yet to lose this season.
After UMBC, the ‘Cats will travel down to Amherst to face the Minutemen of UMass. UMass is 4-2-2 on the season and could be another challenge for UNH. Earlier in the year UMass played UMass-Lowell (5-1-2) and lost 1-0, but besides that they haven’t really faced another difficult opponent. They do play Dartmouth before the UNH game, so if the Big Green can win, UMass could potentially endure a sweep by the New Hampshire teams.
After UMass, UNH will finally begin conference play against the Bearcats of Binghamton who are off to a rough 1-4-2 start to the season. This is absolutely a game that UNH should win if they are looking to rejoin the Top 25 rankings. Everywhere in this matchup UNH is the better team. UNH has scored 10 goals this year while Binghamton only five, UNH has seven players with at least two points where Binghamton only has four.
After that first conference game, UNH will play their second Ivy league opponent of the year in Harvard. Harvard has a 1-5 record, yet it may not accurately reflect the team’s performance so far. In those six games played, three were against Top 25 opponents and one was in the Top 5 (Denver).
This is a team that could give an unranked UNH team a run for their money. Yet, we’ll have to wait and see how these next few games play out for UNH in the meantime.