No. 20 UNH women's lax fends off Stanford, 10-9

DURHAM, N.H. - Jessie Groszkowski (Reisterstown, Md.) scored six goals and assisted on another tally as the 20th-ranked University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team held off Stanford University for a 10-9 non-conference victory Sunday afternoon at Memorial Field.

New Hampshire, which has won eight of its last nine games, is now 10-4 (4-0 America East) while Stanford is 7-7 (6-0 MPLL). With the victory, UNH reached double digits in wins in consecutive years for the first time since the 1990-91 seasons.

Groszkowski scored the last of her six goals - with the assistance of Molly Cherington (Meriden, N.H.) -- at 51:17 to give the Wildcats a 10-6 lead. The Cardinal inched closer on tallies by Abbi Hills (at 52:59) and Liz Britt (54:37), then pulled within 10-9 on Nicole Pantano's second goal of the game with 2:14 remaining.

Stanford gained possession on the ensuing draw but UNH goalkeeper Danielle Martin (Ellicott City, Md.) intercepted a centering pass from the left corner and teammate Laura Dosdall (Wellesley, Mass.) gathered the ground ball to give possession to the Wildcats. New Hampshire, mostly on the legs of Meagan Clavin (Grantham, N.H.; two goals, three assists), maintained possession for the final minute to preserve the victory. Martin finished with seven saves for the 'Cats. Virginia Solomon, who exited the game with UNH leading 8-2 at 35:28 and reentered for the final six seconds when backup Rachael Neumann received a yellow card, stopped two shots and allowed eight goals. Neumann was not credited with a save and yielded two goals.

Stanford quickly took a 1-0 lead when Julia Calzonetti scored 28 seconds into the game. Sue Yund (Castelton, N.Y.) tied the game at 5:57 with the first of her two tallies, but the Cardinal regained the lead 27 seconds later on a goal by Pantano.

UNH, ranked third in the nation defensively, held the visitors scoreless the rest of the half, however, and built a 5-2 halftime lead. Groszkowski and Clavin scored 12 seconds apart, at 16:43 and 16:55, respectively, to give New Hampshire a lead (3-2) it would never relinquish. The duo of Clavin and Groszkowski combined to produce goals 31 seconds apart in the 22nd minute to extend the advantage to 5-2.

The Wildcats carried momentum into the second half as Clavin-to-Groszkowski produced a third consecutive goal and a 6-2 cushion with just 56 seconds elapsed. Clavin potted her second goal of the game 29 seconds later to give the 'Cats a five-goal lead and Groszkowski, this time with the help of Yund, put UNH on top 8-2 at 35:28.

Stanford's comeback was fueled by Kelsey Twist, who scored free position goals at 39:41 and 43:51 to trim the deficit to 8-4. Following Yund's tally at 47:09, Twist scored two more free position goals - at 48:00 and 49:02 - to pull the visitors within 9-6.

Groszkowski now has 47 goals this season, which is tied with Pauline Collins (1987) for the fourth-best single-season effort in the program's history. She has 111 career goals, which is sixth on the all-time list, and her 128 points ranks eighth on UNH's career list.

New Hampshire returns to action April 24 against Harvard University. Game time at Memorial Field is 4 p.m. UNH concludes the regular season April 28 (1 p.m.) at home against Boston College.

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