By BRIAN DUNN
It was nothing short of a blowout on Saturday at Bremner Field, as the UNH women’s soccer team recorded a season-high six goals in a dominating 6-0 conference victory over the Binghamton Bearcats.
“The floodgates opened, the ladies came out in the right frame of mind,” UNH head coach Steve Welham said. Three different Wildcat players recorded goals in the team’s first conference win of the season.
The Wildcats came into the matchup with a 2-5-3 overall record, with a tough stretch of non-conference games to begin the season. The ‘Cats were on a mission to make a statement in their defense of last year’s America East conference title.
“I know everyone was excited it’s conference time. Now is the time to really go,” Brooke Murphy said. Murphy was the Wildcats’ leading goal-scorer in the contest. “We knew when we stepped on the field we had to make a statement we were coming back as the defending champs.”
The game started with a strong offensive showing from the Wildcats, with the first goal coming from Caroline Murray, her first of the season, only six minutes into the match. From there, Brooke Murphy took over, as she tallied two goals at 11:01 and 31:08 in the first half, adding to her team-leading total of six goals this season. The Wildcats ended the first half with a 3-0 lead over the Bearcats.
The second half was the more impressive performance for Welham’s Wildcats, as they’ve struggled with second half play. UNH had allowed 11 total goals from second half and overtime play on a total of 94 shots. Knowing they had to fix that part of their game, the Wildcats wasted no time getting back on the right track.
“They can still come out and attack us and we knew we had to come out stronger,“ Murphy said. ”We can’t let down and I think that’s what we did. We kept going, we kept pushing.”
Three goals came in the second half for the Wildcats. Gabrielle Sloan came in off of a cross from Caroline Murray to tally the fourth. Freshman Gaby Dorsey and sophomore Kendra Prince added their first goals of the season at 68:40 and 69:57, respectively. Welham was happy to have three different goal scorers in the second half.
“It is a great thing for the team’s confidence,” Welham said. “It did not matter who we put on the field, the level stayed high, and that is a testament to the depth of our team.”
With the remaining seven games of the season against conference teams, the Wildcats have to continue the momentum they built with this game.
“Every team in conference has been working hard,” Murphy said. “We know if we want to be champs again, we have to work just as hard, if not harder.”
The Wildcats continue America East play as they travel to Burlington to take on the Catamounts on Thursday, Oct. 1.