Logue, Nickerson lift ‘Cats past Crimson
Published: Friday, September 13, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 13, 2013 02:09
The UNH women’s soccer team broke a winless streak Wednesday night when they outplayed what coach Sam Lopes called “probably the best team we’ve played this year,” winning on the road 2-1 over Harvard and advancing to 2-4-1.
Junior Jordan Logue and sophomore Kennedy Nickerson both scored in the first half, while freshman goalkeeper Mimi Borkan held off the Harvard offense long enough to earn the Wildcats’ second win of the season. Borkan also earned her first collegiate win in goal. Harvard’s Margaret Purce notched a goal at the 51 minute mark, but it was not enough to catch Logue’s game winning second goal of the night. Borkan made 11 saves in her second start of the season, bringing her record to 1-1-0.
The Wildcats lost their previous two matches, the first and second of three matches played in seven days this past week, including a tough 1-0 loss on Sunday to UMass.
Lopes said their current record does not reflect the level of play they’ve maintained during this stretch. It wasn’t until their game against Harvard that they got what “they deserved.”
“For us, it was a matter of challenging to play the way we’ve played but also having the extra effort we need,” Lopes said. “And as a result, I think the girls really put the effort in collectively to be organized, really controlled their personalities as best they can. They earned that result.”
Sunday’s loss was emphasized as a motivator for the girls. Despite leading UMass 14-7 in shots, it was a freak play that did the Wildcats in; a misplaced pass 25 yards from the goal that resulted in the only score of the night.
“The UMass player’s intentions were to cross it but miss hit it,” Lope said, “It turned into a cross into a shot and just kind of sailed over our goalkeeper’s head with the wind … it was really against the run of the play.”
“We were frustrated. We definitely thought we deserved to win that game,” Nickerson said. “But Coach Lopes definitely motivated us and told us how proud he was of us even though we didn’t get out the results [we wanted].”
Lopes is still one to hold his players accountable. As commendable as it is to pin the opponent in its own end for as much of the time as UNH did, it doesn’t dismiss the zero in the score column or the fluke UMass goal.
“We were the better team of the two teams on the day, in every aspect,” Lopes said. “But we didn’t have that final play in order to score the goal. It was either too erratic or just too slow. We were just a bit off [offensively] … On the defensive side, you can’t really concede a goal from 25, 30 yards out. That’s a problem in itself.”
Not taking the field until next Friday afternoon at Bryant, the Wildcats will be taking advantage of a nine-day layoff, not necessarily by getting some hard earned rest, though. Lopes said he intends to use this week to make sure his players not only maintain their fitness level for next Friday but to potentially improve it as well. He’s been planning all season long to use this lull between matches for just that.
“Now because of the week off, we can push the envelope a little bit with their level of fitness,” Lopes said, “Make them a little bit fitter in terms of their speed, their endurance, their ability to recover.”
UNH takes the field again next Friday afternoon, Sept. 20 at Bryant, at 3 p.m.