The UNH women’s soccer team (3-3) welcomed the Marist College (3-2) to Durham with a 5-0 beatdown last Thursday night.
In their second home win of the season UNH was able to spread the scoring around, as five different Wildcats were able to register a goal.
Senior forward Ally Reynolds has been a key part of the offensive attack for the Wildcats in the last few years, and she fulfilled her role by starting the scoring off against the Red Foxes. In the 16th minute of Thursday’s match, senior defender Megan Rumbold stayed poised and served a low dribbler to a stagnant Reynolds who turned and deposited the ball in the lower left corner of the net.
It wasn’t long before UNH put more pressure on Marist, as Reynolds dribbled past a defender in the 24th minute and sent a weak shot to net that junior midfielder Sofia Borea stepped in front of and turned into the ‘Cats second goal of the game.
The first half massacre was capped off by two goals scored off corner kicks by senior back/midfielder and captain Caitlyn Keenan and senior back Jill Conry. UNH finished the first half with 10 shots on net.
Marist did not get their first serious scoring opportunity until the 52nd minute when junior forward Jillian Colucci tried to capitalize on a rebound that came off UNH sophomore goalkeeper Cat Sheppard’s fingertips, but her powerful shot sailed over the crossbar.
The Wildcats string of unanswered goals concluded with senior midfielder/forward Kaylan Williams making a couple of spectacular jukes to ward off the Marist defense and score a left-footed one-on-one goal against reserve Red Fox sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner.
This was the first time UNH women’s soccer has scored five goals in a game since the 2015 campaign when they shut out Binghamton 6-0.
Thursday night’s rout was a good bounce back performance for a Wildcat team coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss to a good North Dakota State team, but the good moral lasted for a short time, as they turned their focus to undefeated Boston College this past Sunday afternoon.
Similar to the North Dakota State game, the first half between the Eagles and Wildcats was predominantly a defensive standoff.
Despite the defensive domination, Reynolds came out aggressive and ready to register a goal in her third straight game. She registered two shots in the first 10 minutes of the game, one making it on net, which was saved by BC first-year goalkeeper Allie Augur. Reynold’s assertiveness was the only eventful offensive aspect of the first 45 minutes with most of the play consisting of each team fighting to possess the ball.
The second half was night-and-day from the first. In the opening minutes, Conry put a shot into the core of an Eagle defender. This series of events seemed to jolt BC into their second wind and gave them a path to victory.
In the 61st minute, this second wind showed beneficial, as senior forward Francesca Venezia collected a rebound that bounced off multiple UNH backs and landed in her lap. This bounce gave her an open lane into the goal, and she struck the ball where it needed to be to put her team up 1-0.
The only glimpse of hope that the Wildcats had on the offensive end in the last half was a free kick by Rumbold in the 64th minute, but her shot went just above the goal and careened off the netting.
The Eagles put the game out of reach in the 77th minute when first-year midfielder Sam Smith deflected a ball into the net off a centering feed.
BC overwhelmed UNH in the second half and the 4-0 shots-on-net ratio was clear evidence of that. The Eagles outshot the ‘Cats 16-9 overall.
UNH now stands at 3-3 on the young season, and they look to add one to the win column, as they travel to face in-state foe, Dartmouth, at 5 p.m. Thursday.