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Wildcats drop to No. 5 seed

Thursday’s match between the UNH Wildcats and Hartford Hawks began as a rematch from the 2014 American East Championship but ended quite differently from last year’s contest. Both teams entered tied for No. 1 in America East.
After coming off a 4-0 start to the season, head coach Steve Welham’s Wildcats have dropped to 4-3 in conference play, struggling to find a win in America East these past few weeks. However, led by top scorer Brooke Murphy, the Wildcat’s hoped to walk away from the match with a victory and a top seed in the upcoming conference tournament. But the Hawks were able to get revenge for last season, grabbing a 2-0 win.
The first half was predominantly marked by back and forth action, each team unable to put the ball in the back of the net.
However, Murphy and the Wildcats created a lot of opportunities for themselves with good possession and shooting in the first half.
The second half took a different path.  The Hawks, who were somewhat quiet the first half, came out attacking the ‘Cats defense in the second 45-minute period.
Hartford’s Julia Carr put the ball in the back of the net quickly in the second half off of a penalty shot.  The Hawks continued their offensive strategy following the score, bringing on the pressure against the ‘Cats defense.
UNH responded to the penalty score with multiple shot attempts in the minutes following the 1-0 deficit.  The primarily defensive first half had transitioned to an offensive shootout for both teams.
Carr netted another PK after a second foul in the box was called against UNH in the 64th minute.  Despite a few solid attempts by UNH, Hartford’s defense was able to contain the ‘Cats offense.
The loss, plus the weekend’s slate of games, dropped UNH to the No. 5 seed in the America East conference. UNH will travel to Maine to take on the Black Bears on Thursday, Oct. 29. The last time the two teams met, UNH dropped a 2-1 decision at home.

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