Durham, N.H. – The Bucknell field hockey team could not overcome a strong squad from New Hampshire on Sunday, dropping a 3-0 decision in non-conference action on Memorial Field.  The loss drops the Bison to 7-8 overall and 4-1 in Patriot League play, while the Wildcats improve to a 9-6 overall record and a 2-0 mark in America East action.

“I’m really proud of our effort today against a great team,” said head coach Jeremy Cook. “We were honestly unlucky not to capitalize on one of our opportunities in the first half, and then we struggled with our penalty corner defense in the second.”

Senior goalkeeper Erica Perrine was tested early by the Wildcats, as New Hampshire generated several chances in the opening five minutes of play, including a direct shot off of a penalty corner that Perrine kept out of the Bison net with a diving save.

A corner of its own at 12:49 allowed Bucknell to pressure the New Hampshire defense, as senior Liz Wills threatened with a strong shot from the top of the circle that was just blocked by a Wildcat defender. The defense on both sides prevented so much as a shot for the next ten minutes, but senior Leigh Hillman and sophomore Kiersten Sydnor both found a way to break through with skillful attempts on the New Hampshire goal that were swatted away by goalkeeper Carlie Tarbell.

The scoreless game gave way to a 1-0 Wildcat lead at 23:50 however, as Melyssa Woods gathered the rebound of a shot by Emma Compagna, and just beat Perrine to give New Hampshire the advantage.

Perrine made one more crucial save in the half, kicking away a reverse-stick shot with her leg pad at 32:27, while sophomore Abby Watson and senior Rachel Misko created prime chances for the Bison offense, but the 1-0 Wildcat lead would stand as the teams went into halftime.

In similar fashion to the first half’s action, New Hampshire came out firing in the second  35 minutes of play, scoring two goals on penalty corners in less than three minutes to take a 3-0 lead over Bucknell.

At 37:31, Megan Bozek fired a pass to the middle of the circle off the corner, and Casey Pohlmeyer collected it before sending a low shot into the Bison goal. Just 2:51 later, Pohlmeyer struck again from the top left of the circle, but this time Hannah Richard redirected the shot into the Bucknell cage to complete the tally.

The Bison continued to battle as the clock wound down, with freshman Estelle Palandjian, Sydnor and Watson all taking shots on the Wildcats’ goal within the final ten minutes of action, but they could not find a way past Tarbell, and New Hampshire would hold on for a 3-0 win.

Bucknell held a 10-8 advantage in shots at the end of the contest, while New Hampshire finished with a 5-3 edge in penalty corners. Tarbell was credited with five saves and the win, while Perrine made four stops in the loss.

“I was very happy with the commitment we showed to playing as a team, using possession and producing hard, smart work on defense to create chances for ourselves,” added Cook. “Overall, it was a good effort against a great team and fantastic preparation for our upcoming trip to American.”

The Bison will return to Patriot League play on Saturday, Oct. 26 when they head to Washington, D.C. to take on the American Eagles. Action in Bucknell’s final conference game of the regular season is set to begin at 12 p.m. and will be streamed live on the Patriot League Network.