UNH women's lacrosse rallies past Rutgers, 9-8

DURHAM, N.H. -- Katie Leland (Timonium, Md.) recorded seven points with five goals and two assists to propel the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Sunday afternoon's 9-8 non-conference victory against Rutgers University at Memorial Field.

UNH won its eighth consecutive game - the team's longest winning streak since the 1991 Wildcats reeled off nine straight en route to the NCAA tournament - to improve to 9-4. Rutgers, which had its two-game winning streak end, is now 6-7.

Rutgers held an 8-5 lead following Lindsay Rising's third goal of the game at 38:52. The Wildcats shut out the Scarlet Knights during the final 21:08, however, to record the come-from-behind victory.

The rally began at 41:38 with Leland's third tally of the game. She struck again at 48:24 to trim UNH's deficit to one goal, 8-7, and netted a free position goal with 9:41 remaining to tie the score and match her career high of five goals with her 34th of the year.

Following a turnover by each team, the RU defense collapsed on Leland in the middle of the fan and she found a wide-open Jess Burnap (New Canaan, Conn.) on the right side. Burnap scored her third goal of the game, and 42nd of the season, at 52:56 to give UNH its first lead since 4-3 late in the first half.

The Wildcats were able to maintain possession until two minutes remained. The Scarlet Knights worked the ball downfield and Katie Batiuk, already with two goals, fired a shot from the left side of the fan that was stopped by UNH goalkeeper Stacey Plati (Nashua, N.H.) with 1:05 to play. The 'Cats ran out the clock to secure the victory.

Plati finished with 10 saves, including six in the second half. RU goalie Lyndsey Feldmen recorded seven of her 11 saves in the first half.

Both teams played strong defense in the opening minutes but the Wildcats netted three goals within two minutes to build a 3-0 lead. Leanne Ferretti (Sound Beach, N.Y.) opened the scoring with a free position goal at 6:38, then Burnap scored at 7:11 and 8:30.

Rutgers responded with three consecutive goals by Maggie Bopp (at 11:23), Rising (13:37) and Batiuk (14:54). Leland, with the assistance of Jill Albee (Pembroke, N.H.), put UNH back in front, 4-3, at 26:46. Bopp gave the Scarlet Knights their first lead of the game with back-to-back goals 34 seconds apart and the visitors took a 6-4 lead into halftime following Batiuk's tally at 29:57.

Rising opened the second-half scoring with 31 seconds elapsed to extend RU's advantage to 7-4. Leland trimmed the deficit to 7-5 with a free position goal at 35:58.

This marked the second consecutive one-goal victory for UNH, which defeated Boston University 7-6 on Saturday. The 'Cats are 4-0 in games decided by one goal this season.

New Hampshire returns to action April 23 vs. Binghamton University. Game time at Memorial Field is 3:30 p.m.

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