AMHERST, Mass.Michaela Hardy (Reading, Mass.) scored four goals and Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) also tallied four points with two goals and two assists to lead the 18th-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team to Tuesday afternoon’s 10-6 non-conference victory against the University of Massachusetts at McGuirk Stadium.

The Wildcats, who entered the IWLCA poll for the first time this season in the poll released earlier in the day, won their seventh consecutive game to improve to 8-2 overall. UMass is now 2-7.

Ashley Crook (South Burlington, Vt.) was the other Wildcat who recorded multiple points with two assists. The ‘Cats received single goals from Ashley Durepo (Concord, N.H.), Susie Piotrkowski (Franklin, Conn.), Moira Talbot (Marblehead, Mass.) and Sarah Von Bargen (East Setauket, N.Y.).

UNH goalkeeper Ashley Milley (Sudbury, Mass.) was credited with eight saves, including seven in the first half. Hardy also finished with five caused turnovers and two ground balls while Crook had two caused turnovers and four ground balls. The defensive effort was anchored by Bailley Mazur (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.). Mazur had three GB, one DC and one CTO; Duclos’ numbers included two GB, two DC and one CTO.

UMass goalie Colleen Speth made a career-high 12 saves.

New Hampshire led 5-4 at halftime and scored the initial five goals of the second half to build a 10-4 advantage with 13:30 remaining in regulation. Hardy potted her second goal of the game at 26:48 when she drove on the right wing off a restart and fired a shot high near side for a 6-4 advantage.

Von Bargen extended the lead to 7-4 at 24:18 when she collected the ball off the right post, cut to the middle, doubled back to the right post and deposited the ball into the upper-right corner.

UNH’s eighth goal was set up by Hardy’s caused turnover in the offensive zone. Kaplan gathered the loose ball at the top of the fan and fed a pass down low to Piotrkowski for the score at 21:35.

The Minutewomen called time out at that point, but Hardy netted her third and fourth goals of the game – her team-leading 22nd and 23rd of the season – 23 seconds apart to give the ‘Cats a 10-4 advantage at 13:41. Hardy struck at 14:04 on a close-range shot when she converted Crook’s pass from the top-right side of the fan. The Wildcats controlled the ensuing draw control and Kaplan, deep on the left side of the fan, hit Hardy cutting down the middle and she scored on another high shot into the net.

UMass quickly pulled within 10-6 when Jackie Lyons and Stephanie Hopkins scored goals 32 seconds apart – at 13:03 and 12:31. UNH’s solid team defensive effort, as well as a patient attack, kept the Minutewomen scoreless the rest of the way.

UMass took a 1-0 lead at 25:56 when Melynda Zwick, from the right wing, found Hopkins just off the right post for the goal. The Wildcats tied the score, 1-1, at 22:53 when Crook, at the top of the fan, connected with Talbot down low. The home team regained the lead on a Jeannette Villapiano free-position goal at 22:05, but then Kaplan scored consecutive goals at 12:35 and 12:08 to put the Wildcats in front, 3-2.

Kathleen Typadis pulled the Minutewomen even, 3-3, when she maneuvered from the left side to the center of the fan and fired a shot inside the right post.

Hardy’s first goal of the game gave New Hampshire a lead it would not relinquish at 8:53 when she collected a loose ball on the right wing, charged the net and beat Speth with a low shot. Durepo scored on a high shot off a left-wing free position 33 seconds later to put UNH ahead 5-3.

Kaytlin McCormick scored into an open net after Milley deflected an attempted entry pass. The goal at 3:47 capped the first-half scoring.

UNH recorded a 26-18 shot advantage and committed three fewer turnovers, 17-20, than UMass. Both teams tallied nine draw controls and 18 ground balls.

 New Hampshire returns to action March 29 at home against Binghamton University. Game time at Memorial Field is 12 p.m.

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