UNH battles to 0-0 tie vs. UMASS

By Justin Doubleday
On September 15, 2009

After a pair of double overtime games in the past week, the UNH women's soccer team was in desperate need of some rest. But this past Sunday against the University of Massachusetts, the squad once again needed two extra periods to reach an outcome.

Despite holding an 11-2 edge in shots during the twenty minutes of extra time, the Wildcats (1-4-1) were unable to put the ball in the net, and the game ended in a scoreless tie. After losing their first two overtime games of the season, the Wildcats would have loved to get a win, but there were some bright spots in this otherwise frustrating game.

Senior captain/goalkeeper Ally Yost was brilliant in the net for UNH, recording a career high ten saves. It was Yost's second shutout of the season, this one after bouncing back from a slight concussion suffered in Friday's game against Northeastern.     

"It was the best ninety minutes I've seen from Ally Yost to date," UNH head coach Michael Jackson said. "We're looking for more of that… she's a very talented goalkeeper."  

"Sometimes I just sort of get in the zone, but I definitely had some great defensive help," Yost said. "Kelly Mooney and Kelly Spencer played awesome in the back. They definitely shut down some really good attacks."    

The UMass Minutewomen (0-4-1) were able to get off 23 shots, while the Wildcats peppered the Massachusetts defense with 26 shots of their own. Perhaps the best scoring opportunity for UNH came fifteen minutes into the game, when senior forward Shauna Kaplan broke free from the UMass defense and fired a shot past goalkeeper Lauren Luckey. The ball ricocheted off of the right goal post and bounced across the front of the net before being cleared by a UMass defender.

That play summed up the day was for the Wildcat offense, as they were unable to capitalize on any of their numerous scoring chances.    

"The frustrating thing is the lack of goals," Coach Jackson said. "But I'm pleased that we've now figured out how to compete consistently, because that was a goal, and it's something that we weren't doing earlier in the year."  

The game's momentum swung back and forth during regulation, with both teams combining for thirty-six shots. But both defenses held strong, and the game went into overtime. By the end of the game, the Wildcats had played their sixth overtime period in little more than a week, but Coach Jackson refused to use all those extra minutes played as an excuse for not winning the game.     

"It's tiring," explained Coach Jackson. "The game is physical…the amount of energy we are expending has a toll, but we don't use that as a reason not to play. We told them at halftime, and then the overtimes, fatigue is not a reason that we're not going to win the game."    

The Wildcats are now 1-4-1 on the season, putting them in the middle of the pack in the America East conference. But Yost was encouraged by the Wildcat's performance on Sunday.    

"I think we've definitely taken a step forward. We've been struggling in the past couple of games to just get a rhythm, and to get a lot of offensive momentum. Even though we didn't win, we made a good progression. It's still not good enough, but we're going in the right direction."    

After three grueling double overtime games in the same week, the Wildcats will receive some much-needed rest before they travel out west to take on Colorado College on Friday, September 18. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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