Oct. 19, 2009

Courtesy of New Hampshire

DURHAM, N.H. – Meg Shea (Melrose, Mass.) recorded a goal and an assist, and Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) made seven saves to lead the University of New Hampshire field hockey team to Sunday afternoon’s 3-2 victory against ninth-ranked Boston College at Memorial Field.

UNH, which has won four of its last five games, is now 9-6 overall. BC falls to 11-4.

Shea extended her point-scoring streak to 15 games with the three points. She also climbed into a tie for third on UNH’s list of single-season superlatives with 19 goals, and her 44 points is tied for second.

New Hampshire quickly took a 1-0 lead at 3:22. Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) initiated the sequence with an entry pass from the right side to Shea in the middle. Shea moved the ball low towards the left post and Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) redirected a high shot into the cage, which extended her goal-scoring streak to four games.

In the ninth minute, Shea stole the ball near midfield and advanced behind the defense on the right wing. With BC goalkeeper Kristine Stigas charging, Shea swept a low, hard pass towards the left post but Leah Boody (Amesbury, Mass.), despite a diving effort, could not get a stick on the ball.

BC pulled even, 1-1, at 11:34 on a penalty corner. Nagengast stopped Marlotte van den Bergh’s initial shot from the right side, but Janna Anctil corralled the ball off the rebound and fired a shot into the cage.

The Wildcats regained the lead, 2-1, at 24:46 on a goal by Kyle Lyons (White River Junction, Vt.). On a penalty corner, Rausch pushed the ball to Kara Connolly (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) at the top of the circle. Connolly then swung the ball to the top-left of the circle, where Lyons’ low, hard shot eluded Stigas.

New Hampshire generated another dangerous scoring opportunity in the 26th minute when Shea corralled Lyons’ entry pass in the middle of the circle and blasted a shot beyond Stigas’ reach, but Jacqui Moorfield was in position to stop the shot and prevent a goal.

UNH carried that one-goal advantage into halftime with the Eagles holding the edge in shots (7-6) and penalty corners (4-3).

Boston College generated a corner early in the second half, but Nagengast preserved UNH’s lead by turning aside Chelsey Feole’s initial shot from the top of the circle as well as Courtney Tavener’s opportunity off the rebound.

The Eagles leveled the score at 2-2 when Kate Gillis’ bounding shot from the left wing went through traffic and into the cage at 47:46.

In the 50th minute, Rausch gathered a loose ball behind the BC defense just outside the 25 yard line. Stigas charged from the goal line and, nearing the top of the circle, stoned Rausch.

The Wildcats took its third lead of the game, 3-2, on Shea’s goal at 54:01. Frates drove along the right end line and swept the ball to the front doorstep, where Shea redirected a shot high into the cage.

BC took time out at 63:22 and pulled Stigas in favor of an extra field player with 3:34 remaining. UNH called a timeout at that point and attempted to maintain possession.

The Eagles forced a turnover, however, and were awarded a corner with 1:30 on the clock. Jessica Roberts’ initial shot from the top of the circle was stopped, but she regained possession and hit another low, hard shot that was turned aside by Nagaengast.

BC was unable to get into the attack zone the rest of the way.

Stigas finished with three saves in 66:26 of action. BC tallied the advantages in both shots (15-12) and corners (10-7).

The Wildcats had lost seven straight to the Eagles dating back to a 2-1 win in 2000. Five of the last eight meetings have been decided by one goal.

New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 24 against Fairfield University for its Senior Day. Game time for the last home game of the season is 1 p.m.