UNH women's lacrosse holds off UConn, 15-14

DURHAM, N.H. -- Jess Burnap (New Canaan, Conn.) scored four goals and both Kelly Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) and Katie Leland (Timonium, Md.) also recorded four points to lead the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Friday afternoon's 15-14 non-conference victory against the University of Connecticut at Memorial Field.

UNH improved to 1-2 while this was the season opener for UConn.

The Wildcats took a 15-11 lead with 5:50 remaining when Blaney (three goals, assist) scored an unassisted goal. UConn's Bonnie Levin (goal, three assists) and Kariane Lauri (three goals) netted goals 69 seconds apart, prompting a UNH timeout with 4:29 to play. Tracy Mullaney (four goals, assist) trimmed the deficit to 15-14 with 42 seconds on the clock.

Shannon Burke (three goals) was awarded a free position shot with 13 seconds remaining, but her shot was blocked by the UNH defense. Wildcat Cristina Covucci (Concord, Mass.) picked up the ground ball to secure the victory.

UNH goalkeeper Stacey Plati (Nashua, N.H.) recorded her first career victory with a 12-save effort. Connecticut's Jennifer Wong stopped seven shots.

UNH took a 1-0 lead on a Leland goal 45 seconds into the game. The Huskies tied the game 55 seconds later, but tallies by Burnap and Laura Dosdall (Wellesley, Mass.) at 6:31 and 8:31, respectively, gave the 'Cats a 3-1 advantage.

A pair of goals by Mullaney and single tallies from Abby VanDeusen and Burke gave UConn its first lead of the game, 5-3, with 12:10 remaining in the first half. Leland and Burnap rallied UNH into a 5-5 tie before Burke scored a free position goal at 22:12.

Leland initiated a five-goal Wildcat surge at 25:41. Blaney and Burnap scored 13 seconds apart at 26:45 and 26:58, respectively, followed by an unassisted Kristin Blanchette (Sudbury, Mass.) at 28:09. Burnap's fourth goal of the game increased UNH's lead to 10-6, but Tammy Michel struck with 18 seconds remaining in the opening half to create a three-goal halftime differential.

The teams exchanged goals in the opening 10 minutes of the second half to give New Hampshire a 12-9 lead. Jill Albee (Pembroke, N.H.) and Leanne Ferretti (Sound Beach, N.Y.) potted goals at 42:06 and 44:04 to extend UNH's advantage to 14-9. Lauri and Michel lifted UConn within 14-11 prior to Blaney's goal.

New Hampshire returns to action March 9 (3 p.m.) at Brown University. The next Wildcat home game is March 24 vs. Boston College. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 3:30 p.m.

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