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College Roundup: Wenczkowski happy to be back for UNH women's hockey

Special to the Union Leader

October 22. 2017 10:33PM
University of New Hampshire's Devan Taylor, right, gets tripped up by Dartmouth's Emily McLaughlin during the third period of their game Sunday at The Whittemore Center in Durham. UNh won 6-1. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

DURHAM — It’s been a long road back for the University of New Hampshire’s Taylor Wenczkowski.

The sophomore forward, of Rochester, missed all of last season with a concussion.

With her first and second seasons so far apart, it doesn’t seem like she’s missed any time at all.

“It was hard missing the season,” she said. “Being back, it’s an exciting season and I think our team has all the talent in the world. We’re going to do good things this year.”

Wenczkowski scored the third goal of the game against Dartmouth College on Sunday two minutes into the second period for her second goal of the season, en route to a 6-1 win. The Wildcats are 4-0-1 overall.

She’s already on pace to shatter her seven-goal total from her freshman season.

“I had a year off, so it’s been an adjustment,” she said. “Just trying to get back into the swing of things. Having a year two years ago, I’m used to the pace, I know what it takes out there, and the intensity to get wins.”

The Wildcats are thrilled to have her back after she earned a role on the top line and has helped contribute at the start of the season.

“She’s got all the talent in the world,” said UNH coach Hilary Witt. “We’re excited to have her back. It was nice to see her score that power-play goal, because she has the ability to do that. It’s good to have her out there. She’s a player you want out there as much as you can.”

Grace Middleton scored her first career goal, as the fourth line winger was able to send one in halfway through the opening period.

Senior captain Carlee Toews tallied eight minutes later on a rebound in front to open the Wildcat lead to 2-0.

After Wenczkowski put it in, Toews scored her second of the day to extend the lead to 4-0 going into the third.

Dartmouth (0-2-0) defender Caroline Shaunessy cut into the deficit with a 5-on-3 goal in the third, but Meghara McManus responded with a shorthanded goal moments later.

Julia Fedeski, one of two NWHL drafted prospects on the Wildcats roster, closed out the score with 41 seconds left.

The UNH offensive output has been a pleasant surprise.

“We lost our top goal scorer (Jonna Curtis) last year,” Wenczkowski said. “We have a lot of people who need to step up, and all of the returners have done that, scoring goals. Freshmen as well, Grace got her first goal today. It’s a good start for us.”

The Wildcats will have an early test on Wednesday when they head to Boston to face No. 10 Northeastern, another undefeated Hockey East team.

“Stick to what we know,” she said. “We’ve been practicing hard, and if we stick to the game plan, we can come out on top. It’s a good top 10 team. It’s a challenge but we’re ready for it.”

Women’s Soccer

Colby-Sawyer 5, Maine-Farmington 1: The Chargers are perfect again.

Colby-Sawyer celebrated senior day with a win over Maine-Famington on Sunday in New London to finish 9-0 in the North Atlantic Conference for the third time in five seasons. Colby-Sawyer is 12-2-1 overall and will be the top seed in the upcoming NAC Tournament.

Hannah Fields, Natalie Shear, Amanda Martin, Corrie Hoyt and Milly MacLure scored for Colby-Sawyer. Netminder Sam Mitchell, of Chester, played the first half and allowed one goal.

UMBC 3, UNH 1: In Baltimore, Brooke Murphy scored for the Wildcats before the Retrievers tallied three straight in the final 20 minutes of the contest. UNH is 11-5-1 overall, 5-2-1 in America East play.

Men’s Soccer

UNH 2, Stony Brook 0: At Wildcat Stadium on Saturday night, Robin Schmidt scored both goals as the Wildcats clinched a spot in the upcoming America East Tournament.

Goalie Andrew Pesci, of Windham, made two saves for his ninth shutout of the season. UNH is 11-1-3 overall, 4-1 in the league.

Field Hockey

UNH 4, UMass Lowell 3: In Durham, Gianna Bensaia had a goal and an assist to lift the Wildcats (6-10 overall, 3-3 in America East).

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