Costly error leaves UNH with tie
Published: Friday, October 4, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 4, 2013 02:10
The UNH women’s soccer team outplayed the University of Albany at home Thursday afternoon, but an early goal in the match kept the Wildcats from getting the win. They tied for the third straight game in overtime with the University of Albany, bringing their record to 2-5-3.
“It came down to a game of mistakes,” New Hampshire coach Sam Lopes said. “We made one and it cost us and we didn’t capitalize on the plethora of opportunities we created.”
The Wildcats might have won the game 1-0 had it not been for a goal in the 34th minute. The Wildcats played the ball back to freshman goalkeeper Mimi Borkan. Borkan cleared the ball, which was headed back to UNH junior back Hannah Blondin. On receiving the ball, Blondin sent it a few yards back to her right, only to be intercepted by Albany’s Alexa Schneider. Blondin attempted to catch up with Schneider, but within seconds Schneider had already sent the ball past Blondin, two other Wildcat defenders and Borkan.
New Hampshire showed resilience, however. Less than two minutes later, New Hampshire midfielder Kirsten O’Neil scored her second goal of the season, making the score 1-1.
In the second half, the Wildcats dominated the gameplay. New Hampshire took the ball deep into Albany territory on numerous occasions, despite not putting any in the net. UNH forward Colleen Murray had six shots on goal. Most of Albany’s attempts to get the ball past the midfield mark were snuffed out by the Wildcats’ defense, particularly senior back Kelsi O’Neil.
“UNH had really good defense, and it was a struggle putting pressure on them,” Albany’s freshman midfielder Caitlyn Paltsios said. “I think they held their line well and we couldn’t get through well.”
Despite their youth (they have 25 freshmen and sophomores), Albany was able to scrape together enough energy to stay alive in the two overtime periods. Though they weren’t able to finish, they got the ball deep in the Wildcat end. In the fourth minute of the first overtime, Albany’s freshman forward Helena Olafsdottir got a pass on a breakaway alone in front of Borkan. The pass was well ahead of its mark, however, and Borkan was able to scoop it up.
Borkan felt that she could have done better to clear the ball further downfield, eliminating any chance of Albany’s one goal on that play.
“[Once Albany took possession] there was really nothing [I] could do to save the shot,” Borkan said. “It was just what could I have done before in the play to get the ball cleared away a little further up the field.”
The tie was frustrating for New Hampshire, who outplayed Albany for the majority of the game and, according to Lopes, “played well in every facet of the game.”
The Wildcats play the University of Hartford on the road this Sunday. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.