The #18 UNH men’s soccer team (4-0-2) took on Dartmouth (2-2) and defeated them 1-0. This was the first meeting between the two teams since the 2018 season which ended in a tie. Their previous meeting came in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2017, and that game ended in a tie as well.
This was an incredible defensive game with no goals scored in the first half. UNH had control for most of the game, however; 19% of their possession time was in the attacking third and 38% of the time was on Dartmouth’s side of the field.
UNH had seven shots in the first half compared to Dartmouth’s one and it felt like UNH was bound to score. “They were defending more in a shell and trying to play for countering opportunities, and we were moving and creating a lot of chances especially on corners and crosses,” said head coach Marc Hubbard.
Senior midfielder Antonio Colacci normally takes corners for the Wildcats, but he wasn’t sharp tonight. UNH had just as many corners as they did shots in the first half, yet they couldn’t find the back of the net.
It was in the 69th minute that graduate student midfielder Fabian Lutz shot a ball from 10-yards out across the front of the net against the left post and in for his team-leading third goal of the season. Lutz, when asked if he could keep up this production, said, “I mean I hope so, but the most important thing is team performance.”
With this win, UNH improves their record to 4-0-2 this season as they keep climbing the NCAA rankings moving up four spots in the last three weeks. When asked how far he thinks this team can go coach Hubbard said, “Our goal is to make it to the College Cup and it’s one game at a time, but we think we can remain healthy and get ourselves back into the national tournament, from there it’s a little bit of luck and timing.”
That’s all it may take this year for the Wildcats who had some bad luck last season when junior back Josh Bauer missed a penalty kick in a first-round 1-0 loss to Colgate. When it comes to winning a championship in any sport, you’ll always need a little luck and timing, but you have to get there first. With the Wildcats’ 4-0-2 start they’re certainly on their way.
Be sure to tune in this Saturday at 12 p.m., at Wildcat Stadium to see UNH take on Marist (2-3) in their seventh game of the season as they look to keep their undefeated season alive. Marist finished with an 8-5-5 record in 2018.