DURHAM -- The UNH men’s soccer team dominated possession against Dartmouth and took down the Big Green 1-0 at Wildcat Stadium to win the unofficial state title Wednesday night.
Despite the close scoreline, the game was all New Hampshire. The Wildcats outshot Dartmouth 16-3 and drew 10 corner kicks to just two from the Big Green. UNH controlled possession for 64 percent of the game.
After a slew of near misses, the goal finally came in the 69th minute when Bilal Kamal found a streaking Fabian Lutz, who slotted it in just inside the far post. It was Lutz’s third goal in the last two games.
“It’s always frustrating when the score is 0-0 especially when I thought we deserved a goal by then,” UNH senior centerback Josh Bauer said. “But you’ve just got to keep playing. That’s the way the game goes. We did that and were finally able to break through and get a goal.”
Bauer led a defensive unit that kept the Big Green at bay for nearly the entire game. Bauer, a Bedford native, Jonny Wolf, Alan Kehoe, and Chris Mannix locked down the defensive third of the field.
The only time goalie Alejandro Robles was asked to make a save was a spectacular diving save on a header off of a set piece late in the second half.
Mannix, especially, was a key cog in the machine for New Hampshire. From his central midfielder position Mannix was able to dictate the pace of play in the middle of the field and come back into the backline to provide defensive relief.
“He’s done a great job,” UNH coach Marc Hubbard said of Mannix. “He’s come in off the bench and been incredibly consistent the last two games. He’s provided a lot in there and allowed (Kyle) Brewster to move higher on the field, which I think helps our team more. All good things.”
The Wildcats got additional help late when Dartmouth captain Braden Salvati was sent off with a red card with five minutes left in the game.
The win pushed New Hampshire’s unbeaten streak to Dartmouth to four games, which includes a win in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
“There’s a lot of pride that comes with the result of this game,” Bauer said. “They’re always good. This result kinds of sets the tone for us going into conference (play).”
UNH returns to Wildcat Stadium on Saturday with a game against Marist College at noon.