DURHAM, N.H. - Meagan Clavin (Grantham, N.H.) and Jess Burnap (New Canaan, Conn.) both recorded five points to lead the 20th-ranked University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to its first America East regular season championship with Saturday afternoon's 16-2 conference victory against the University at Albany at Memorial Field.
UNH, which improved to 9-4 overall with its seventh victory in eight games, will host the America East Championships from May 2-4 by virtue of its 4-0 conference record. Albany is now 5-7 overall and 1-2 in the league.
New Hampshire, which entered the week ranked third in the nation defensively, held the opponent to five or fewer goals for the fourth time this season. Goalkeeper Danielle Martin (Ellicott City, Md.), who was No. 3 in the nation in goals-against-average at the beginning of the week, stopped six of eight shots on goal to reduce her GAA to 6.95 and increase her save percentage to .578.
Clavin, who finished with four goals and an assist, opened the game's scoring at 3:38 on an assist from Molly Cherington (Meriden, N.H.; goal, three assists). Albany's Maria Ferrucci, who scored both of the Great Danes' goals, tied the game at 12:08, prompting a UNH timeout.
The Wildcats responded with five goals over the next five minutes and were never challenged the rest of the contest. Sue Yund (Castleton, N.Y.; two goals) broke the tie on a free position goal at 13:52 and Clavin increased the lead to 3-1 23 seconds later. Jessie Groszkowski (Riestertown, Md.) netted the first of her three goals at 15:08 to create a 4-1 advantage. Clavin and Groszkowski potted goals 24 seconds apart, at 17:01 and 17:25, respectively, to increase UNH's cushion to 6-1. Cherington struck at 22:24 and Clavin tallied the last of her four goals with 12 seconds remaining in the first half to give the Wildcats an 8-1 halftime lead.
Burnap scored the first of her four goals 21 seconds into the second half to keep momentum in UNH's favor. The 'Cats went on to build a 14-1 lead before Ferrucci ended the run of 13 consecutive New Hampshire goals at 58:02. Burnap closed the scoring with two goals in the final minute.
Kelly Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) had a goal and an assist. UNH's other tally was scored by Bronwyn Leto (Oswego, N.Y.). Both Jill Albee (Pembroke, N.H.) and Hilary Maynes (Freeport, Maine) recorded an assist. UNH head coach Bridgeman recorded her 46th victory at the helm of the Wildcats to become the program's second all-time winningest head coach. Marge Anderson (1986-93) heads the list with 75 wins.
Albany starting goalie Francine Beltempo surrendered 13 goals and made 10 saves before exiting with 16:10 to play. Michelle Talviste made five saves and allowed three goals the rest of the way.
New Hampshire concludes the regular season with three home non-conference games beginning April 21 vs. Stanford. Game time at Memorial Field is 11 a.m.