Borkan earns first shutout, UNH draws
Published: Friday, September 27, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013 01:09
The UNH women’s soccer team tied with Holy Cross on the road Wednesday night, bringing their record to 2-5-2. According to coach Sam Lopes, his players rebounded substantially from their 2-0 loss last Friday at Bryant.
“I think everyone on the field last night played significantly better,” Lopes said. “I think one could argue it was their best performance to date.”
UNH freshman goalkeeper Mimi Borkan stopped six shots on goal to earn her first collegiate career shutout. UNH got 10 shots on goal, only to be stopped by Holy Cross goalkeeper Carly McCabe. After two overtime periods, the game resulted in a tie, one that the Wildcats came out of with positive feelings.
Sophomore midfielder Alexandra Laporta said the Wildcats created some good opportunities in front of the goal. Despite the inability to execute, she has confidence that it’s a sign of the offense clicking.
“It’s just a little bit of fine tuning. We’re almost there,” Laporta said. “We’re creating a lot of opportunities and we’re really kind of honing our style as a team.”
Last Friday at Bryant, both Lopes and his players felt that the team was not fully engaged mentally. Laporta said the team improved in this area yesterday. The loss on Friday was a wakeup call for the team to get focused.
“I think [Friday] was kind of a reality check for everyone,” Laporta said, “And it showed us we need to work harder, and I think we definitely took that attitude into the game last night and we’ll continue to carry that throughout the rest of the season.”
Lopes took Wednesday’s game as an opportunity to let some starters get rest and give some players with fewer minutes logged a chance to play. He was pleased with what he saw. The quality play that the less experienced UNH players gave indicated that the Wildcats have depth to work with.
“I think we showed we have more depth,” Lopes said. “We had some players that have been regular starters that didn’t play … so I think there’s a lot of positives.”
Lopes commented on how the Holy Cross pitch stands as one of the best in the conference. It was a good experience, he felt, for his players to play a match on such a well-kept grass field. Normally, grass fields in the Northeast are difficult to maintain. Unlike some of the other grass fields in the conference, Holy Cross’s was “immaculate” and divot free.
The Wildcats come home Sunday not only to host for the first match since Sept. 8th but also to launch the season’s conference play against Binghamton. All season long, Lopes has been grooming his players to peak right when conference play begins. It’s the segment of the season the girls have been ramping up for most.
“This is when the season starts for us,” Lopes said. “l think all the conference games are going to be really tough. The intensity picks up because now you’re competing for positioning to make the conference tournament.”
UNH takes the field against Binghamton at Bremner field in Durham at 1 p.m.