DURHAM, N.H. -- Katie Leland (Timonium, Md.) scored a career-high six goals and also recorded two assists to propel the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to its 10th consecutive victory with Sunday afternoon's 20-1 America East win against the University at Albany at Memorial Field.
UNH, which tied the school record for consecutive wins established in 1991 by winning its sixth straight home game, improved to 11-4 overall and 4-0 in America East. The combination of this win and Binghamton's 18-6 loss to UMBC on Sunday secures a UNH berth in the America East Championships for the seventh consecutive season. Albany is now 5-9, 2-2.
Jill Albee(Pembroke, N.H.), who matched her career high of three goals and finished with four points, quickly gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead 34 seconds into the game. She struck again at 2:57 for a 2-0 advantage. Albany slowed the pace of the game at that point, but Laura Dosdall (Wellesley, Mass.) netted the first of her two tallies at 9:04 to extend UNH's lead to 3-0.
Kate Fontana pulled the Great Danes within 3-1 at 13:08, which ended the shutout streak of UNH goalkeeper Stacey Plati (Nashua, N.H.) at 64:16.
Leland, whose eight points matched her career high, responded with a goal 58 seconds later, however, and Albany called time out at 14:06. The Wildcats retained momentum with a Jess Burnap (New Canaan, Conn.) tally at 14:22 - just 16 seconds after the timeout - and Leland struck again at 14:42 to quickly increase UNH's lead to 6-1. Two more Leland goals and the second of four by Burnap, who finished with five points, pushed UNH's advantage to 9-1 at halftime.
Kristin Blanchette (Sudbury, Mass.), who established personal bests in both assists (three) and points (five), opened the second half scoring at 32:13. Burnap extended the lead to double digits, 11-1, at 35:38 and New Hampshire maintained control of the game the rest of the way.
Plati recorded three saves in 44:35 before yielding to Julie Bevad (Sea Cliff, N.Y.), who stopped both shots she faced in the last 15:25 of the game. Albany starting goalie Jen Daly turned aside five of the 22 shots she faced in 50:14. Barbara Czaplinski went the rest of the way, in which she allowed three goals and was credited with one save.
UNH recorded a 36-12 shot advantage and also had the edge in both ground balls, 23-16, and draw controls, 14-9.
Kelly Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) recorded three points with a goal and two assists and Alexa Webster (Aurora, Colo.) also had a multiple-point game with a goal and an assist. UNH's other goal scorer was Leanne Ferretti (Sound Beach, N.Y.).
Leland vaulted to No. 3 on UNH's list of single-season superlatives for points with 65, and her 23 assists ranks sixth. Burnap increased her goal total to 53, which is fifth, and her 60 points is ninth. With 125 points between them, Leland and Burnap are the highest scoring Wildcat teammates in the program's 28-year history - Karen Geromini and Laurie Leary set the previous mark of 122 points in 1984.
New Hampshire returns to action April 28 (4 p.m.) at the University of Vermont. The Wildcats conclude the regular season at home May 1 vs. UMBC. Game time at Memorial Field is 1 p.m.