BOSTON - Jessie Groszkowski (Reisterstown, Md.) scored five goals, including her 50th of the season and 200th point of her career, to propel the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team into the title game of the America East Championships with Thursday afternoon's 13-4 semifinal victory against the University of Vermont at Boston University's Nickerson Field.
UNH (5-11, 4-1 AE) will play Boston University, which was 15-4 victor against Stony Brook University in the other semifinal, in Saturday's championship game. Game time at Nickerson Field is noon. BU (13-4, 5-0) defeated the Wildcats, 11-5, in last year's conference championship game in Durham and 13-8 last Sunday, also at Memorial Field.
Groszkowski entered the game with 47 goals on the season and 197 career points, and achieved both milestones with her third strike of the day, which gave the Wildcats an 8-1 advantage at 16:41. Groszkowski, the school's record-holder for career goals (176), became the first Wildcat player to record 50 goals in a season multiple times; she established the school record of 60 in 2002. She became just the second UNH player to reach the 200 point milestone and currently has 202 to trail only Karen Geromini (235).
Jess Burnap (three goals, assist; New Canaan, Conn.) quickly gave New Hampshire a 1-0 lead with an unassisted tally 35 seconds into the game. Kelly Blaney (goal, two assists; Stony Brook, N.Y.) scored at 2:44, then Burnap and Groszkowski scored nine seconds apart,- at 4:29 and 4:38, respectively - to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead and force UVM (4-10, 2-3) to take a time out.
UNH's Laura Dosdall (two goals, assist; Wellesley, Mass.) scored 35 seconds later, however. Vanessa Cox, who netted all four Catamount goals, trimmed the margin to 5-1 at 11:33, but UVM would get no closer the rest of the way as New Hampshire dominated possession of the ball.
UNH goalkeeper Danielle Martin (Ellicott City, Md.) was credited with two saves while UVM counterpart Kate McBride kept the score respectable with a 15-save effort.
Burnap answered Cox's first tally just 67 seconds later to reestablish a five-goal lead, 6-1, then set up Groszkowski's second goal of the game at 14:05. Groszkowski's landmark tally followed at 16:41, then she scored again at 18:34 to give the Wildcats a 9-1 lead.
Sarah Cahill (Lexington, Mass.) and Katie Leland (goal, three assists; Timonium, Md.) capped the first-half scoring to extend UNH's advantage to 11-1.
Groszkowski and Dosdall netted the first two goals of the second half - at 34:30 and 36:31, respectively - to push New Hampshire's lead to 13-1.