DURHAM, N.H. - The Harvard University women's lacrosse team scored the first three goals of the game and built a 6-2 halftime lead en route to Wednesday afternoon's 8-5 upset of 20th-ranked University of New Hampshire at Memorial Field.
UNH, which was unbeaten in five previous home games this season, is now 10-5 overall. Harvard won its third consecutive game to improve to 7-6.
Trailing 8-2 with five minutes remaining, the Wildcats made a late surge that began with a free position goal by Laura Dosdall (Wellesley, Mass.) at 56:38. Molly Cherington (Meriden, N.H.) scored an unassisted goal 34 seconds later to trim the deficit to 8-5 with 2:48 to play. UNH gained possession three more times the rest of the way but was unable to record a shot.
Harvard goalkeeper Laura Mancini stopped five shots. UNH's Danielle Martin (Ellicott City, Md.), who entered the game ranked third in the nation in goals-against-average at 7.10, recorded six of her nine saves in the second half.
Harvard took a 1-0 lead on a Katie Shaughnessy goal at 4:38. Erin Kutner extended the lead to 2-0 with an unassisted tally and 9:17 and Katie O'Brien gave the Crimson a 3-0 advantage at 11:14.
Meagan Clavin (Grantham, N.H.; one goal, two assists) put UNH into the scoring column with an unassisted goal at 20:14. Kelly Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.), with the assistance of Clavin, scored 90 seconds later to pull the 'Cats within 3-2.
Harvard's Leslie Moroz made it a 4-2 game at 25:57, then Melissa Christino (goal, two assists) and Shaughnessy potted goals in the final minute of the half to give the visitors a 6-2 halftime cushion.
Both teams were held scoreless for over 15 minutes in the second half. The drought ended when Jessie Groszkowski (Reisterstown, Md.) pulled UNH within 6-3 at 48:02.
The Crimson did not allow New Hampshire to get any closer, however, and extended its lead to 8-2 on goals by Jen Brooks and Hilary Walton at 52:47 and 53:42, respectively.
New Hampshire concludes the regular season April 28 (1 p.m.) at home against Boston College. The Wildcats, as the top seed in the conference, will host the America East Championships from May 2-4.