UNH Women’s Soccer: Guarente’s Hat Trick Boosts ‘Cats Over Terriers


Joey Rizzi , Sports Writer

DURHAM, N.H. – Oh what a relief it was, as the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wildcats (3-4-0, 0-0-0) found the back of the net a whopping four times against the Boston University (BU) Terriers (3-5-0, 0-0-0) on Sunday. The offensive struggles continued on Thursday when the Wildcats faced the Merrimack Warriors (2-4-2, 0-0-0), but Sunday washed those worries away. 

This is the point in the season when people tend to wonder if the team has found its identity and whether there is a sense of comfort amongst players and coaches. Head coach Steve Welham feels good about the changes they’ve made. 

“We moved Meghan Guarente from the left to center forward and Abbi Maier got her first collegiate start [as] a freshman,” said Welham. “We played Emily Bini on the flank who played quite a bit of central minutes,” he continued. 

Sophomore forward Meghan Guarente was the star of the show, scoring three goals and tallying an assist in the win. She was named America East offensive player of the week for her effort, proving that the position change made a major impact on the attacking third for the ‘Cats. 

The fluidity of the offense was evident. The Wildcats looked comfortable and confident with each cross and through-ball. Coach Welham felt the team pushed BU’s back line of defenders back with strong counterattacks all game. Goals on Sunday all came in or just outside of the 6-yard box. The pressure and intricate passing game in the attacking third proved crucial to the team’s success. 

Netting four goals exceeded the prior season total in just one game. With several players getting their opportunity to shine, it seems the Wildcats have the right pieces for a robust second half of the season. 

“It was nice to see young players step up and make impacts,” said the head coach, “I feel so excited to continue to shape and mold this team together and excited to see what we do this weekend,” he added.

After three consecutive 1-0 losses, the Wildcats feel good about tallying this big win. The direction of the team seems positive, and it couldn’t happen at a better time. UNH looks ahead to its conference schedule, which begins with the University of Albany Great Danes (2-5-1, 0-0-0) this Sunday, September 18th

“Now… it’s really everything counts,” said Welham, “That’s all we’re thinking about right now is preparing for the Great Danes,” he continued. 

It’s certainly an important time of year for this group as conference play is all that remains of the regular season schedule. As we saw last year, conference play can make or break a season. UNH made a strong run to the conference title game and undoubtedly hopes to get back there. The quest for their first America East trophy since 2014. The Wildcats haven’t won the America East regular season since sharing the honor with BU in 2007.

The ‘Cats return to action and look to start a winning streak this Sunday at 2 p.m. when they host the University at Albany (2-5-1, 0-0-0) Great Danes.