DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team rolled out to a six-goal lead and held off a late surge by Towson University to record a 14-9 America East victory Sunday afternoon at Memorial Field. UNH improved to 5-6 overall and 3-1 in the conference and is in control of its own destiny for a league postseason berth. Towson fell to 3-8, 0-3.
Senior co-captain Steph Keefe (Newton, Mass.) gave New Hampshire a 10-6 advantage with her fourth goal of the game with 15:54 remaining in the game. Towson rallied within one goal on tallies by Cheryl Back (13;52), Kristyn Krastel (goal, two assists; 11:03) and Portia Gotwalt (career-high five goals; 9:43).
After calling time out, UNH regrouped and Colleen Christopher (Newington, N.H.) netted her third goal of the game to extend the Wildcat advantage to 11-9 at 6:58. Megan Mangano (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) gave the 'Cats a three-goal cushion 41 seconds later and Sue Yund (Castleton, N.Y.) potted a pair of goals in the final two minutes to close the scoring.
Junior co-captain Amanda Warren (Amherst, N.H.) held the Tigers scoreless for the last 9:42 of the game and finished with 10 saves. TU goalkeeper Jacquie Sica stopped eight shots.
Keefe gave New Hampshire a quick 1-0 lead when she scored with 1:46 elapsed. Jessie Groszkowski (Reistertown, Md.), the reigning conference Rookie of the Week, scored 50 seconds later and Keefe struck again at 26:15 for a 3-0 advantage. Goals by Meagan Clavin (Hanover, N.H.), Mangano and Christopher pushed the lead to 6-0.
Kat Brady and Gotwalt trimmed the deficit to 6-2 at the half, then Gotwalt opened the second half with a pair of goals to lift Towson within 6-4.
Christopher, Groszkowski and Keefe netted goals 21 seconds apart to make it 9-4 with 21 minutes to play. Courtney Benner and Gotwalt scored at 18:49 and 17:17, respectively, to close the gap to 9-6.
UNH continues its four-game homestand April 18 against No. 16 Penn State. Game time at Memorial Field is noon. The Wildcats also play host to Boston College on April 20 (3:30 p.m.) before returning to the road.