The UNH Field Hockey team entered the weekend 1-3 coming off their first win against Holy Cross. Last Friday they had their biggest challenge to date, playing #18 Stanford (5-3) at home.
The game started slowly with a lot of good defense being played. Wildcats first-year goalkeeper Jemma Woods had three saves to keep the first quarter scoreless.
The defense continued into the second as a couple close scores were knocked away by UNH as Stanford started to put the pressure on. With three minutes left in the second quarter, Stanford put the first point on the board as they scored on a low shot to the right side of the net. UNH rallied back late in the quarter, missing a couple close tries including a shot with 30 seconds left that fell just wide of the post.
Keeping the momentum going, UNH quickly pounced in an opportunity. Senior midfielder Kayla Sliz scored first for UNH with a bouncing shot on a pass across the face of the net. Moving quickly down the field again, UNH was able to score on a goal from sophomore forward Finn Caron just 17 second later to take the lead 2-1 over Stanford.
At the start of the fourth, the ‘Cats still held a 2-1 lead over Stanford. Stanford started the quarter quickly, with a corner being turned just wide. Late in the period Stanford would tie up the game 2-2. UNH was able to act quickly as first-year forward Ava Mariani scored on a tipped pass to put the ‘Cats up with little time left. With one-minute left Stanford was able to generate a corner. The corner was knocked away by Woods in a great effort. UNH would then clear the ball and not allow the Cardinals to have any chances with the time remaining, securing the win over ranked Stanford, 3-2.
Following the win the ‘Cats had Saturday off. On Sunday they were right back at it with another big game against Brown (1-4).
UNH seemed a little slow after the big win and Brown was able to take the lead eight minutes in. Late in the quarter the ‘Cats showed life as Caron swept a goal in from first-year forward Emily Eckels.
The second period was rather uneventful until Caron knocked in a goal courtesy of a long pass from senior back Nicky Bajus. This gave the ‘Cats a 2-1 lead that they would carry into halftime.
As for the second half, Brown was able to score quickly as they evened the game out at two a piece. It was all UNH after that as they barely missed on a corner. Soon after, first-year forward Jaiden Wittel scored her first career goal with a waist high shot.
In the fourth the ‘Cats continued to dominate. Caron scored her third goal of the game off her own rebound. UNH went up 4-2 and rode that lead through the end of the game
The ‘Cats swept the two games at home this weekend to bring them back to .500 on the season. With their 3-3 record they have won their last three and will continue to ride that into next weekend as they will take on Dartmouth (1-3) in Hanover, N.H.
Caron will be a player to look out for this year as she won America East Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors after scoring four goals this weekend including a hat trick Sunday at Brown.