Hartford Hawks Athletics – Red-Hot Hawks Host UNH in America East Debut Sunday

Hartford Hawks Athletics – Red-Hot Hawks Host UNH in America East Debut Sunday

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — A red-hot Hartford women’s soccer team looks to keep the ball rolling when it opens America East action at home against New Hampshire on Sunday at 1 p.m. Closing out the non-conference slate with a 5-1-1 record for the best winning percentage in the league, the Hawks ride a four-game unbeaten streak into the start of conference play.
 
HARTFORD HAWKS (5-1-1, 0-0-0 AE) vs. NEW HAMPSHIRE WILDCATS (2-4-1, 0-0-0 AE)
LOCATION: Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium (West Hartford, Conn.)
DATE/TIME: Sunday, Sept. 19 (1 p.m.) 
WATCH: America East TV (Shawn Mecchi)
LIVE STATS: Sidearm Stats
TWITTER: @HartfordWSOC | #FlyHigh | #AEWSOC
 

HARTFORD QUICK HITS

  • Finishing the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 5-1-1 mark, Hartford rides a four-game unbeaten streak into the start of America East play
  • The Hawks went 1-0-1 in their final week of out-of-league action, playing Fairfield to a 1-1 double-overtime draw (Sept. 9) before defeating reigning MAAC Champion Siena, 3-0, this past Sunday
  • With its lone loss of the non-conference slate coming by way of a 1-0 decision at Big 12 member Texas Tech (Aug. 26), Hartford is currently on top of the America East standings with a .786 winning percentage
  • With six different players accounting for the Hawks’ league-best 14 goals, the Hawks enter Sunday’s game ranked first in the America East in goals per game (2.00), assists per game (2.00) and points per game (6.00) 
  • Sophomore forward Imani Jenkins has scored five of Hartford’s last six goals and enters the week as the America East’s leader in goals per game (0.86) and points per game (1.86)
  • The Hawks have been just as impressive defensively, as they lead the America East in three categories: GAA (0.41), save percentage (.914) and shutout percentage (.571) 
  • Nationally, Hartford ranks sixth in save percentage, 19th in GAA and 31st in shutout percentage
  • The Hawks — who opted out of competition in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic — went 10-7-2 and advanced to the title match of the America East Tournament in their last full season in 2019

 
SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • Snapping a four-game winless streak earlier this month with a 1-0 win at Siena (Sept. 9), New Hampshire concluded non-conference play with a 2-1 loss at Boston University last Sunday 
  • New Hampshire’s other win in 2021 came in its opening match against Merrimack, a 3-0 decision
  • Posting a 2-4-1 record in their out-of-league slate, the Wildcats tied Stony Brook for the seventh-best non-conference winning percentage (.367)
  • Five different players have scored the team’s six goals this season, with Meghan Guarente adding an assist to lead the Wildcats with three points
  • Goalkeeper Cat Sheppard has played every minute this season, allowing seven goals through seven games for a 0.96 GAA

 
INSIDE THE SERIES

  • Hartford has not faced any conference foe more frequently than New Hampshire, as the two teams are set to meet for the 40th time on Sunday
  • The Hawks own a 23-14-2 advantage in the all-time series, which began in 1985
  • The Wildcats have held the edge as of late, however, going 3-1-0 over the past four meetings

 
LAST TIME THEY MET

  • Hartford saw a four-game winning streak come to an end after New Hampshire took a 1-0 decision on Al-Marzook Field on Oct. 20, 2019
  • Ally Reynolds scored the lone goal of the match on a penalty kick in the 14th minute
  • The Hawks held a 14-8 advantage in shots and a 6-1 edge in corner kicks

 
LAST TIME OUT

  • Jenkins exploded for three goals to lead Hartford past reigning MAAC Champion Siena, 3-0, in its non-conference finale this past Sunday
  • Scoring the eventual game-winner in the fifth minute, Jenkins tacked on insurance tallies and notched her first career hat trick with goals in the 67th and 79th minutes
  • Senior Maia Perez registered five saves between the posts for her fourth shutout victory of the season

 
A REPEAT FOR JENKINS

  • One week after earning her first career America East Rookie of the Week honor on Sept. 6, Jenkins was named both the league’s co-Rookie of the Week and Offensive Player of the Week this past Monday
  • She became the first Hawk to earn multiple Rookie of the Week honors in the same season since 2015, when Julia Carr received the distinction four times
  • In addition, Jenkins became the first player to win the award in back-to-back weeks since Carr did so in 2015 (Sept. 8 and Sept. 14)
  • The first America East player since Stony Brook’s Alyssa Francese to win Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week honors on the same date (Oct. 2, 2017), Jenkins is the first player in program history to receive both awards at the same time

 
HOW ‘BOUT THAT HAT TRICK?

  • Jenkins rallied last Sunday against Siena and put together her first career hat trick
  • It marked the sophomore’s second multi-goal outing this season, as she previously scored twice to lead Hartford to a 2-0 win against Merrimack (Sept. 2)
  • The hat trick was Hartford’s first since 2015, when Aalyiah Ingram netted three goals against Iona on Sept. 3

 
FOR STARTERS

  • Hartford is 20-5-4 when making its league debut
  • The Hawks have dropped just one America East opener in the past 10 years, going 7-1-2 in that stretch
  • Under head coach John Natale, Hartford is 9-3-4 in conference openers

 
MY OH MAIA

  • Perez has put together an impressive career in goal for the Hawks since joining the team in 2017
  • She has played 5,065 consecutive minutes between the posts
  • With clean sheets in four of her seven starts this season, the Kentwood, Mich., native is first in the America East in GAA (0.41), save percentage (.909) and shutouts per game (0.57)
  • Her numbers are some of the best among the nation’s Division I goalkeepers, as she enters the week ranked sixth in the nation in shutouts, 12th in save percentage and 23rd in GAA
  • Perez is currently ranked sixth in program history in saves (236), sixth in wins (29) and eighth in shutouts (16)
  • She is coming off a 2019 campaign that saw her earn spots on the America East All-Conference Second Team and the NEWISA All-New England Third Team

 
QUICK SIX

  • Despite her sophomore status, Jenkins is considered a freshman athletically, due to the Hawks opting out of the 2020-21 campaign
  • Jenkins’ six goals are the most scored by a rookie since Carr netted six in 19 appearances in the 2015 campaign
  • She ranks among the nation’s leaders in scoring, as she is 25th in goals per game and 18th in total goals
  • Jenkins’ six goals this season are the third-most scored by a rookie in all of NCAA Division I 

 
INSTANT IMPACT

  • Hartford’s 2021 roster boasts a crop of newcomers, including one graduate student, two transfers, eight sophomores and six rookies
  • These new players have had an instant impact on the Hawks’ offense through nine matches, as all but one of the team’s 14 goals have been netted by players who made their Hartford debuts this season
  • In addition, 90 percent of Hartford’s 42 total points in 2021 have been produced by newcomers (38 points)

 
MILESTONE REACHED

  • Amidst his 18th season at the helm of the Hawks, Natale recorded his 150th career victory last Thursday (Sept. 2) with a 2-0 victory against Merrimack 
  • Beginning his career in 2006, he reached the 150-win mark in 16 full seasons, as Hartford’s 2020-21 campaign was canceled due to COVID-19
  • The winningest coach in program history, Natale enters Sunday’s match with a career record of 152-111-46

 
NEXT ON TAP

  • The Hawks continue America East action with a road trip to UMBC on Sunday, Sept. 26
  • Kickoff from Retriever Soccer Park is set for 2 p.m.   
  • Riding four straight wins, Hartford is 13-5-1 in the all-time series with the Retrievers

For more information on the Hartford women’s soccer team, stay with HartfordHawks.com for updates and follow the team on social media (Twitter | Instagram).

 
 
 
 
 


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