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‘Cats roll to first conference win

After a tough road stretch, it did not take long for the Wildcats to bounce back at home.

Senior captain Laura McHoul dished out seven assists, which matched her career high, to propel the Wildcats to an explosive 16-3 win over the UMass Lowell Riverhawks. Seven different UNH players had multi-point showings in Saturday’s win. The win also marked the first two points for the Wildcats in America East conference play.

“Starting with conference [play] it was a huge win for us,” head coach Sarah Albrecht said. “We’re excited about the win and moving forward.”

The ‘Cats wasted no time off the opening draw and jumped out to an early lead in the first half. Three consecutive goals from Nicole Grote helped give the Wildcats a 7-0 advantage 20:18 into the contest.

Taylor Sokol scored the only goal in the first half for the Riverhawks at the 16:28 mark, and UNH continued to pour it on Umass Lowell. Along with 11 ground ball possessions and 17 shots on goal, UNH finished the half with a 13-1 lead. McHoul assisted seven of 13 goals in the half.

Though the Riverhawks opened the second frame with two quick goals from Noelle Lambert and Rebecca Idson, the lead was too much to overcome. The Wildcats added three second half goals that came off the sticks of Rebecca Sennot, Carly Wooters and Savanna Fiehler. Both Wildcat goaltenders Kate Clancy and Sarah Lambert did not have to make a single save in the winning effort as the Wildcats improved to 3-2 at home with a 16-3 victory over Umass Lowell.

“Defense stepped up,” Grote said in regards to the big factor in the win. “They weren’t even letting them get shots off so that helped our goalie and everyone.” 

The loss to Mahattan college was still fresh in the Wildcats’ minds, and UNH knew it needed a change. The team went into Saturday’s matchup with the goal to bring the energy to the Riverhawks.

“Well coming off a tough loss to Manhattan we just needed to change our energy and our attitude,” McHoul said. McHoul led the team with seven points against the Riverhawks. “We just came in fired up, especially for our first conference game.”

“I think our last game was not our best effort so we needed to come out with fire this game.” Grote said.

With conference foes such as Binghamton University and the University of Vermont on the horizon, Albrecht understands the magnitude of this first conference win and hopes the team can continue to find success moving forward.

“I think every conference game we’re going to go in [and play like it’s] a must win for us because you just never know what’s going to happen in conference,” Albrecht said. “You can’t take things for granted and you just have to go after every single team you play against so that’s what we’re working on.”

The Wildcats continue America East conference play on Saturday when they travel to Vestal, N.Y. to battle the Binghamton Bearcats. The last time these two teams went head-to-head UNH edged out Binghamton by a 12-9 final.

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