The Huskies fell, 5–3, tothe Uni­ver­sity of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Wild­cats, ranked fourth in then­ation, on Friday after­noon at his­toric Fenway Park in the first-​​ever out­door women’s col­lege hockey game.

The 12–4-2 Huskies, ranked ninth,were pre­pared to put on one heck of a show for up to 38,000 spec­ta­tors, said co-​​coach Lauren McAu­liffe. “Anyone who sees us will like what they see, and it will hope­fully open their eyes to how fast-​​paced the women’s game is.”

It’s an Olympic year,” con­curs North­eastern senior for­ward Annie Hogan, one of the team’s three co-​​captains. “The U.S. women’s team is looking pretty good, and women’s col­lege hockey is making noise. The sport is growing.”

UNH bested the Huskies, 2–1, in the teams’ first match-​​up of the season. But after two periods of play on Friday, North­eastern held a 3–1 lead. Unfor­tu­nately, a four goal, third period rally by New Hamp­shire swept away any hopes of the Huskies coming out on top in this his­toric matchup.

Despite the dis­s­a­pointing result, McAu­liffe was proud of the way her team played. “Hope­fully the game was real­lyen­ter­taining for everyone who was there,” she said in a postgame press con­fer­ence. “The out­come is absolutely not what you hope for, but we’re proud of what our girls did out there.

Like we said going into the game,we wanted to show­case thebest hockey we can, andUNH and­North­eastern did a pretty good job of that.”

Last Friday’sgame at Fenway could build the audi­ence for women’s col­lege hockey as Brandi Chastain’s game-​​winning shootout goal against China did for U.S. women’s soccer in the 1999 FIFA World Cup. “This is the kind of sea-​​changing event that cap­tures pre­vi­ously untapped audi­ences,” said George Gardner, Northeastern’s asso­ciate ath­letic director of external affairs.