DURHAM, N.H. – No. 17 University of New Hampshire (UNH) men’s soccer (2-0, 1-0) hosted their first game this past weekend when the Northeastern Huskies (0-2, 0-0) came to town. The Wildcats put a beating on the Huskies in the first half, burying three goals in the first 21 minutes.
Two Wildcats scored their first goals as a part of the UNH roster. Junior Tola Showunmi and graduate student Paul Mayer both tallied their first goals as Wildcats, helping UNH gain the lead over Northeastern early in the contest. Showunmi opened up the scoring in the 13th minute of the game after first-year athlete Yannick Bright sent a high arcing pass into the box which sophomore Bilal Kamal was able to tip through to Shownumi who buried it past the Northeastern goalkeeper giving UNH the 1-0 lead.
UNH kept the pressure on Northeastern and never let them gain any traction and just over a minute later Kamal received a pass from Shownumi and got loose behind the Huskie defense. Kamal fired a shot past the goalkeeper. This was his first goal of the season giving UNH the 2-0 lead early on in the contest.
UNH wouldn’t stop there as they added another before the half was over. Continuing their domination UNH got a free kick and sophomore Rory O’Driscoll sniped the top corner for his second goal of the year and giving UNH the 3-0 lead. The Wildcats outshot the visitors 5-0 through the first 45 minutes.
UNH started the second half with the continued pressure they had in the first half ripping a shot off the crossbar and out.
Northeastern fought back and in the 69th minute they cut the UNH lead down to two with a goal from sophomore defender Bernardo Gracindo. Gracindo ripped a rebound shot past the UNH redshirt freshman goalkeeper Clay Courtmanche who made his collegiate debut at the start of the second half.
UNH answered the Northeastern goal quickly. Just 34 seconds later Mayer knocked a rebound shot past the keeper extending the UNH lead back to three. The rest of the game UNH hunkered down on the defensive end and controlled the ball. With more subs checking into the game UNH was able to get the younger players some extra playing time.
Northeastern didn’t quit and actually earned a penalty shot in the 88th minute. Courtmanche made an outstanding first shot save but redshirt sophomore Timothy Ennin was able to collect his own rebound and put it in the back of the UNH goal. The scoring finished up there and the final score remained 4-2, giving UNH their second win of the season. This marks the fifth straight game UNH has won against Northeastern with an overall record of 22-7-1.
The Wildcats love home cooking as they have a 30-1-4 record all time at Wildcat Stadium, outscoring their opponents 66-13 during that stretch. UNH will stay in Durham for their next game when they welcome in America East opponent Vermont on Friday at 3 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Vincent Dejana.