The UMaine women’s field hockey team endured a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to 19th ranked University of New Hampshire on Senior Day Saturday afternoon. A day of celebration turned to one of frustration and disappointment as the Black Bears were unable to register a victory for senior back Zoe Adkins and senior goalies Alicia Frisch and Sydney Kolysher in their final home game.
UNH struck first as junior midfielder Casey Pohlmeyer took a pass to the left side of the circle and hammered the ball past Frisch to the opposite side of the cage for the 1-0 advantage. The scoring opportunity developed off a penalty corner, an area the Black Bears have struggled with all year.
UMaine would strike back quickly when junior forward Cassidy Svetek buried the equalizer a minute later making it 1-1. Sophomore midfielder Annabelle Hamilton maneuvered her way down into the Wildcat zone and was able to slip a pass from the top of the circle to set up Svetek on the left post for the goal.
The aggressive play would continue throughout the first half as both teams found their way to the net, but would come up empty each time. The Wildcats’ sloppy passing within their own zone created a few open-net opportunities for the Black Bears, but they were unable to capitalize on New Hampshire’s miscues.
Alicia Frisch was the difference-maker for the Black Bears in the first half, as the senior goalie made several big saves to keep the game tied. UNH would continually push the ball inside the circle where they were met by Frisch and the Black Bear defense, which would turn away redirections in support of its goalie.
The Wildcats almost took the lead in the closing seconds of the first half, but the luckily for UMaine the goal was waived off. With time having expired, UNH grabbed one last corner opportunity before the halftime. After a slew of quick passes, the Wildcats would rip a shot into the top right of the net for the alleged goal. Referees came together quickly to deliberate and called off the goal, ruling that it was too high and keeping it a tie game.
The Black Bears’ good fortune would not last as the Wildcats would grab the go-ahead goal midway through the second half. UNH would once again get inside the circle off another penalty corner. Frisch turned away two attempts by the Wildcat offense, one on the dive and the other a leaping glove save, and kept them off the board for the time being. A minute later, the Wildcats would finally grab the lead as Pohlmeyer would rip a shot to the left side of the net where junior forward Hannah Richard would redirect the shot past Frisch for the goal.
After the score, UNH was able to hold the ball in the UMaine end and burn time off the clock. With hope dwindling away, UMaine Coach Josette Babineau pulled Frisch with 3 minutes left in favor of an extra attacker. The move would not pan out as UNH was unfazed by the extra attacker and controlled the ball for the final minutes to secure the victory.
The Black Bears were outshot 12-9 and only drew five penalty corners compared to UNH’s 12.
Frisch made eight saves in her final home start and finishes the regular season with an 8-5 record.
UMaine finishes the regular season at 10-9 overall and 2-3 in America East play. The Black Bears will now head into the America East tournament to face Albany in a semifinal game at UNH on Nov. 2.