DURHAM, N.H. – University of New Hampshire (UNH) field hockey (1-0) won their season opener on Friday against UMass Amherst (0-1) by a final of 3-1. The Wildcats were trailing 1-0 at the half but came back and scored three unanswered goals within three minutes of each other. This quickly turned a one-goal deficit into a two-goal lead for UNH to make a great start to their 2021 campaign.
Redshirt first-year goalie Nikki Tredwell had a great showing in her first collegiate game. She ended the game with five saves, taking the win over first-year UMass goalie Brooke Richards who finished with a four-save effort.
In the first quarter UMass took the first corner of the game, which quickly turned into the first shot on net. The goal was scored at the 3:03 mark. Graduate student Amelie Green sent the ball out to sophomore Jess Beech at the top of the circle who then passed to senior Georgie McTear. McTear ripped a shot and that was their 1-0 lead. At the end of the first 15 minutes UMass had a 3-2 shot advantage.
UNH came into the second quarter with a lot of pressure against UMass. Nearly three minutes in junior Tia Raspante attempted a shot on goal. She aimed for the right post but was denied by Richards. This play resulted in a penalty stroke, but no goal was made for the ‘Cats. The Wildcats had a handful of shots on goal following this but failed to slip one past the UMass goaltender.
UMass got possession of the ball and attempted a shot on the Wildcats’ net but Tredwell denied sophomore Bella Ianni’s shot from the left side. Tredwell quickly moved to the middle of the goal to block the rebound which was picked up by UMass’s first-year midfielder Izzy Acquaviva’s.
The third quarter is where things started to heat up; Raspante’s initial shot from the top of the circle was blocked by Richards. UNH sophomore Ava Mariani got the rebound and tied the game up, 1-1 at the 33rd minute.
Just two short minutes later, first-year Wildcat Lily Rothwell had a shot on net that was blocked by Richards, but again the ‘Cats got control of the rebound. Junior Finn Caron followed up with a shot from just five yards out and pushed UNH to a 2-1 lead. About a minute later Van Den Brekel raised the score to 3-1 by intercepting a clear attempt from UMass’s right wing and shot a reverse-stick past Richards.
The fourth quarter was back and forth but neither team had a shot or penalty recorded in the final 14 minutes of the game. UNH finished with a 13-8 shot advantage including 8-6 on goal.
UNH will go on to play Merrimack College on Wednesday, March 3 at Memorial Field in what will be the Warriors’ first action of 2021.
Photo courtesy of UNH Athletics.