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Men's Soccer: Wildcats win, advance to showdown with Dartmouth

Staff report
November 17. 2017 12:56AM
UNH's Robin Schmidt celebrates his first goal with Kristian Piippo against Fairfield at UNH in Durham on Thursday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

The stage is set. It will be an all-Granite State battle in the second round of the NCAA Division I men’s soccer tournament.

The University of New Hampshire made sure, beating Fairfield 3-0 in a first-round contest on Thursday night at Wildcat Stadium in Durham. The victory was the first-ever (in two tries) in NCAA tournament play for the Wildcats and pushed them to a second-round matchup on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Dartmouth at Burnham Field in Hanover.

The Big Green, the Ivy League champs, had a first-round bye.

Robin Schmidt, a freshman from Cologne, Germany, scored the Wildcats’ first two goals, and goalkeeper Andrew Pesci, of Windham, made five saves for the shutout.

Schmidt scored at the 13-minute mark, off a rebound from five yards out, then scored again with 10 seconds remaining in the first half, blasting home a 12-yard shot from the right side.

Kristian Piippo, a transfer from Binghamton, salted away the contest with less than five minutes to play in the game. The junior drilled home a rebound from eight yards out.

UNH is 13-3-4 overall. Dartmouth will bring a 12-3-1 record into Sunday’s showdown.