The Wildcats were upset on the road by Binghamton University on Sept. 29, ending their streak of seven consecutive games without a loss. They were 6-0-1 during that seven game stretch. UNH was able to bounce back with a 1-0 victory at Wildcat stadium against Harvard University on Oct. 2, staying undefeated at home.
As for their matchup with Binghamton, it was a fairly chippy game with nine cards given out, including one red.
This was the second conference game of the year for the Wildcats, who opened conference play with a 1-0 win against UMBC just over a week ago. In this match against Binghamton, sophomore Josh Bauer scored the only goal for the Wildcats on a penalty kick in the 86thminute. This wasn’t enough as UNH couldn’t get that equalizing goal in the last four minutes and ended up coming away with only their second loss of the season.
This was a tough game for UNH to lose. This loss made them 1-1 in conference. The Bearcats were 2-5-2 going into this game and if UNH wants to finish among the top teams in the country they can’t lose games to teams with bad records.
However, any soccer fan knows that the best team doesn’t always win. In the match, UNH outshot the Bearcats 11 to eight and got four shots on goal compared to Binghamton’s three. However, the Bearcats capitalized on their scoring opportunities, while UNH did not.
The Bearcats opened up the second half scoring in the 52ndminute, then increased their lead to two in the 66thminute. This was only the third time this season that UNH was trailing. It was also the first time all season they were trailing by more than one goal in a match.
Players that the Wildcats have leaned on this season did not show up. Donnet Sackie and Jack Doherty each only had one shot on goal and UNH’s leading point scorer, Antonio Colacci, recorded zero shots.
UNH was able to bounce back from their loss at Binghamton with a 1-0 win against Harvard in their next matchup, making them a perfect 6-0 in games played at Wildcat Stadium this season. There was little to no action in this game with a total of five shots on goal the entire game.
In the 40thminute Josh Bauer scored the game winner for the Wildcats. It’s the third time this year Bauer has been able to find the back of the net, and fifth time in his UNH career.
“It’s probably the easiest goal he’s every scored in his life,” Head Coach Marc Hubbard said on the rebound that Bauer tapped into the net off a shot from junior Brandon Garland.
This was a rainy one for sure as water poured down onto the turf at Wildcat Stadium for a good majority of the game. Apparently, it doesn’t affect the players though.
“It’s tough for fans to come out in this weather, but for us to get a little bit of moisture on the turf helps us. I think move the ball better,” coach Hubbard said.
Lars Huxsohl, the graduate student goal keeper for the Wildcats continues to have a great year. Huxsohl currently has a .708 save percentage, including four shut outs on the season.
This was an important win for UNH coming off a shocking loss against Binghamton this past Saturday. This was a team coming in that the ‘Cats should have beaten, and they did.
This was the Wildcats third game in eight days and while that can be a tough stretch for any team, it might have turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“It’s bad that there is a game so quick but it’s good that you have a chance to sort of erase that and build some more confidence again.” Coach Hubbard said about the squad’s busy week.
Now for the rest of the way, it’s all conference play for UNH.
It starts with Albany Oct. 5 at 7:00 p.m. at Wildcat Stadium. This matchup with Albany will be the team’s fourth game in eleven days.
This is another game that UNH can definitely win, but conference games are magnified so much. Especially in a stretch like this where your opponents are familiar foes.
Albany has had a pretty rough year going 3-7 with an 0-2 record in the America East. Yet, coach Hubbard has insisted “I mean it doesn’t matter, every conference game is so close and we’re all well coached and scouted.”
Each game becomes more and more critical as the season comes to an end and the conference tournament nears. We’ll have to wait and see how the Wildcats finish it up.