Story by Catherine Morrison
Photos by Mike Puzzanghera
Three games into the official season, Northeastern looked a world away from its first game where they were shutout against Boston University. They looked more confident, giving up less opportunities and making the most of their chances. Despite playing in oppressive heat, Northeastern got the job done against the University of New Hampshire, winning 1-0.
Northeastern started off strong with three shots in the first ten minutes. Their first big chance to score came on a corner kick straight in front of the goal. Both UNH and Northeastern players scrambled for the ball in front of the net, with UNH desperately trying to stop the Huskies from scoring. Sophomore Northeastern defender Faith Rosenblatt managed to get control of the ball and kick it towards the net, but just missed, keeping the game scoreless. This would prove to be a running theme in the first half, with Northeastern players getting great chances to score but missing the net, often going over the top of the goal.
25 minutes in, UNH looked like they were going to take the lead when sophomore defender Ella Dudley made a shot from just outside the penalty area but the shot went just wide, keeping the game scoreless.
Finally, with seven minutes to go in the first half, Northeastern midfielder Alexis Legowski got control of the ball and smoothly passed to defender Mikenna McManus, who took advantage of a wide open net and shot the ball into the top left corner. UNH’s goaltender Cat Sheppard made a valiant effort, diving to the left, but couldn’t make it in time. Northeastern took the lead.
Both McManus and Legowski received preseason CAA honors and have been on a role in the first three games of the season. Head Coach Ashley Phillips had nothing but praise for McManus.
“I thought that was really good to see, especially in a moment where it’s a little chaotic, we just won the ball so brilliant finish from Mikenna.”
The first half ended with four corner kicks and four shots on goal for Northeastern, and nothing for UNH. Northeastern was on fire with their defense, giving no opportunities for UNH.
“I think we just talked about building off positive things, and I think as a group they’re committing to defending, their committed to the tactics,” said Phillips. “I think now we’re just being a little more patient within those tactics, not diving in, not running around people to try and win the ball, so I think we’re cleaning up some of the little stuff.”
Northeastern looked to build on their momentum in the second half, with an excellent shot from junior forward Halle McCabe that skimmed the top of the net, inches away from making it in. UNH responded in kind, making the best chance at a goal they’d had all game when freshman forward Abbie Burgess whizzed around the Northeastern defenders and kicked the ball solidly towards the net. Luckily for the Huskies, and unluckily for UNH, NU goalkeeper Megan Adams was there diving to the side and catching the ball squarely in her chest, preserving her teams lead.
Both teams were playing hard, with a player on each side drawing a yellow card, but no more goals were made for the rest of the night. In the last three minutes, UNH looked like they were going to pull something out at the last minute, but it wasn’t meant to be and Northeastern won the game 1-0.
Northeastern looks to extend their two game winning streak this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the University of Rhode Island.