WOMEN'S LACROSSE EDGES UMBC, 10-9

BALTIMORE, Md.  Moira Talbot (Marblehead, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal at 3:47 of the second half and led a balanced attack with three points to propel the University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team to Saturday afternoon’s 10-9 America East victory against UMBC at UMBC Stadium. It was the America East conference opener for both teams.

            UNH won its third consecutive game – all within seven days – to improve to 4-3. The Retrievers, ousted by the Wildcats in last year’s America East semifinals, lost their fourth consecutive game to fall to 3-6.

            Talbot (two goals, one assist) was one of six Wildcats with a multiple-point game. Senior captain Alexa Webster (Aurora, Colo.) and sophomores Ashley Durepo (Concord, N.H.) and Beth Sabiston (Bay Shore, N.Y.) each scored two goals. Sarah Von Bargen (East Setauket, N.Y.) and Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) both finished with a goal and an assist.

            UNH goalkeeper Natalie Jones (Penn Yan, N.Y.) recorded three saves in both halves for a total of six, while UMBC counterpart Susie Sweeney stopped eight shots.

            In a game that featured seven ties and five lead changes, Von Bargen converted a pass from Michaela Hardy (Reading, Mass.) into a goal at 11:56 of the second half to even the score, 8-8, then Durepo then netted an unassisted tally at 9:57 to give the ‘Cats a 9-8 lead.

            Jen Kasper pulled the home team even, 9-9, at 5:21 but Talbot struck at 3:47 to give New Hampshire its fourth lead of the game, 10-9.

            Sabiston won possession on the ensuing draw control, and UNH held possession until Durepo’s shot was stopped by Sweeney with just under two minutes remaining. UMBC was awarded a free position with under a minute remaining, but Jones preserved the one-goal advantage by denying Ali Levendusky and the ‘Cats ran out the rest of the clock.

            Levendusky opened the game scoring with a strike at 26:55, but Durepo netted a goal at 23:39 and the game remained tied at 1 until Kaplan potted the first of her two goals at 8:47. Abbey Swift scored 55 seconds later, however, to level the score and Levendusky struck again at 5:54 to give the Retrievers a 3-2 lead.

Webster scored a free-position goal 31 seconds later to lift the ‘Cats into a 3-3 tie before Sarah Willis gave UMBC its third lead of the half, 4-3, at 2:57. The Wildcats once again had a quick reply, however, as Sabiston tallied a goal 20 seconds later to send the teams into halftime tied, 4-4.

            New Hampshire opened the second-half scoring on goals by Talbot, from Kaplan, at 29:50 and Webster, from Von Bargen, at 27:23. Swift’s second strike of the game lifted the home team within 6-5 at 26:17, and the Wildcats extended the advantage to two goals when Talbot set up Sabiston’s goal at 17:46.

            UMBC then recorded the longest goal-scoring streak of the game – three consecutive goals – to take an 8-7 lead at 13:31. Kelly Fahey’s tallies at 16:41 and 13:31 surrounded Kasper’s goal at 14:41.

            UNH then closed the game on a 3-1 run to record the victory.

            The Wildcats’ defensive effort was led by Bailley Mazur (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Kelli LaPerch (Brewster, N.Y.). Mazur recorded a game-high seven ground balls and also had one caused turnover and one draw control. LaPerch’s statistics included two ground balls, one caused turnover and four draw controls.

            New Hampshire returns to action March 28 at home against Hofstra University. Game time at Memorial Field is 3 p.m.

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