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UNH Men’s Soccer: First Loss of the Season, Followed by a Bounce Back Win

UNH’s Bilal Kamal in action. Courtesy of UNH Men’s Soccer.

DURHAM NH- The University of New Hampshire (UNH) men’s soccer team (3-1-1) season is in full swing with two games this past week. 

The Wildcats had their second home match of the season on Sept. 4 against the Cornell Big Red men’s soccer team (2-1-0). The non-conference matchup took place on Tucker Field due to construction work in Wildcat Stadium. 

The first half of the game was left scoreless, with dominance from UNH, multiple corner kicks, and close shots on goal. 

The first 29 minutes of the second half was extremely similar to the first half of the game. There was not a change in score until the 10:50 mark. 

Cornell’s senior defensemen Kisa Kiingi scored the only goal of the game, which was marked as unassisted. That would be the first time this season UNH had been scored on first, which caused a change in the perspective for the team according to head coach Marc Hubbard. 

“That is the first time we got scored on first this season, even when you put in preseason as well, so there’s really no way of seeing they’ll react until that actually happens,” said Hubbard. “…we just sort of changed up the system to create a little bit more width and get some numbers higher up in the field so that we maybe take a little bit more risk and try and get a goal to equalize”. 

Despite the loss, UNH outshot Cornell significantly by 14-4. Coach Hubbard noticed the power from his team with just a few mistakes that the Big Red capitalized on. 

“I felt like we were in control of the game and had some good opportunities to score in the first half,” said Hubbard. “and felt like the second half we were kind of taking it to them, dictating play and just compounding three or four mistakes in a row and they punished us for it”.

However, the loss to Cornell did not hinder the Wildcats success and confidence in the next game. On Sept. 8 UNH traveled down to Florida International University (FIU) for a 2-1 victory. 

The FIU men’s soccer team (2-1-2) were ranked 11th leading up to the game. During the game UNH’s graduate student midfielder Bilal Kamal scored first. Which was then followed by UNH’s second and final goal of the game from graduate student back Dominik Kurija, his first goal as a Wildcat. FIU’s only goal was scored by junior forward Eduardo Mustre. 

UNH will be back at Wildcat Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. for a match against the Princeton Tigers (1-1-0).  


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