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Regular season finale forces 'Cats to play quarterfinal round

With an opportunity to lock up the number one seed and a bye in the America East playoff, UNH let the chance slip through their fingers.
On Wednesday, the Wildcats faced cross-state foe the University of Vermont in conference matchup on the last day for the regular season. With UMass-Lowell excluded from participating in playoffs due to their recent promotion to Divison I to Division II, the Wildcats needed a win to secure the top seed. Unfortunately, the Catamounts spoiled the opportunity as they shutout the Wildcats 2-0. The loss dropped UNH down to fifth in the standings and fourth in the playoff seeding.
Three teams leaped frogged UNH as Stony Brook and the University at Albany earned the first and second seed respectively and a first round bye. The winner of the Wednesday game, Vermont, earned the third seed and will face Binghamton University. As for the game, UNH did not have their best performance.
The usually free-scoring forward Chris Arling was held in check for the game as he only had two shots with one on goal. The leading shot-taker in the game was senior midfielder William Picoux with three, none of them reached target. In total, UNH had 11 shots during the game with six on target. As for the UNH defense, it did not fare any better than the offence.
The Wildcat defense faced a suffocating Vermont attack as the Catamounts pelted goalkeeper Andrew Pesci with 21 shots for the game with 11 on goal. It looked okay early in the game for the Wildcats, as they kept a 0-0 score line in the first half. However, that would change once the second half got underway.
At 62:26, the Catamounts got on the board with a score from Charlie DeFeo. After a corner kick, the ball bounced inside the penalty box to Loftur Eriksson. He then sent a pass to DeFeo who chipped a shot into the goal. That put Vermont up 1-0 over UNH.
22 minutes later, the Catamounts struck again. At 84:16, Vermont’s Brian Wright fired a bullet of a shot on target that found its way into the back of the net and that would halt any chance of a Wildcat rally. The score would remain the same until the final whistle.
Head coach Marc Hubbard could not be reached for comment.
The loss means UNH will host the fifth-seeded University of Hartford. UNH previously defeated the Hawks on Saturday, Oct. 29 by a score of 2-1 on the road. Sophomore forward Chris Arling scored both goals in the contest.

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