DURHAM, N.H. – Michaela Hardy (Reading, Mass.) scored a season-high five goals to propel the 20th-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team to Saturday afternoon’s 21-7 America East victory against Stony Brook University at Memorial Field.
UNH, now 4-0 at home this season with a 10-game winning streak at Memorial Field, improved to 7-3 overall and 1-1 in America East. The 21 goals marked the highest total by the Wildcats since April 28, 2007 (22-5 win at Binghamton University). Stony Brook lost its fifth consecutive game to fall to 3-9, 0-2.
Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) was one of 12 Wildcats who recorded at least one point in the game and tallied her 100th career point on her first point of the day, an unassisted goal that gave the ‘Cats a 10-0 lead at 7:28 of the first half. She finished the game with two goals and an assist to increase her career totals to 65-37-102.
In addition to Hardy and Kaplan, four Wildcats recorded multiple points. Ashley Durepo (Concord, N.H.) finished with three goals and one assist while Sarah Von Bargen (East Setauket, N.Y.) and Susie Piotrkowski (Franklin, Conn.) each tallied two goals and an assist and Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) had a goal and an assist.
UNH goalkeeper Kate Gunts (Wilton, Conn.) improved to 4-1 with a three-save effort. SBU goalie Mickey Cahill stopped 20 shots, including 11 in the first half. Samantha Djaha led the SBU offense with two goals and one assist.
Defensively, Beth Sabiston (Bayshore, N.Y.) was credited with four caused turnovers, four ground balls and three draw controls. Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.) tallied 11 draw controls, four ground balls and one caused turnover.
New Hampshire jumped out to a 3-0 lead less than 2 minutes, 30 seconds into the game en route to building an 11-0 advantage and a 12-1 halftime lead. The Wildcats recorded 50+ shots for the second consecutive game with a 54-13 shot advantage. They also had the edge in ground balls (29-18) and draw controls (19-11), and committed fewer turnovers (16-29).
Hardy netted free-position goals at 29:15 and 28:45 – both from the top of the fan – to quickly give UNH a 2-0 lead. Duclos extended the advantage to 3-0 at 27:34. Durepo’s initial free-position shot caromed off the post but Duclos, positioned near the right post, corralled the rebound and scored with a high shot into the open net.
The visitors called time out, but were unable to slow the ‘Cat attack. Von Bargen collected a loose ball just outside the offensive zone and cut down the middle of the fan to score at 25:25 and extend her goal-scoring streak to 22 games.
Hardy, with a drive down the right side, extended New Hampshire’s lead to 5-0 at 24:25. The ‘Cats then executed off a restart to increase the margin to 6-0 at 22:14. Von Bargen, with the ball in the right corner, passed the ball to an unmarked Piotrkowski at the right post, and she shot the ball high into the net.
Piotrkowski struck again at 20:56 when she curled behind the net to the left post and continued to the top of the goal crease before tucking a low shot into the net. Von Bargen’s free-position goal at 12:57 on a drive from the left wing to the middle of the fan extended UNH’s lead to 8-0.
Durepo pushed the advantage to 9-0 at 10:03, then Kaplan recorded her milestone point when she drove down the right side of the fan and shot inside the near post at 7:28. The ‘Cats took an 11-0 lead at 5:26 when Durepo, from the left wing, found Hardy cutting alone down the middle of the fan and she scored from close range.
Stony Brook trimmed the deficit to 11-1 when Kim Wodiska, with the assistance of Jackie Hughes, scored at 1:55. Durepo scored on a free-position shot at 1:07 to close the first-half scoring.
The Seawolves opened the second half with a 5-1 spurt to pull within 13-6, but the ‘Cats regained momentum and outscored SBU 8-1 in the last 18 minutes of the game to pull away from the visiting team.
Djaha struck at 29:14 to make the score 12-2, but Kelli LaPerch (Brewster, N.Y.) scored her first career goal when she cut down the left side of the fan, collected a pass from Piotrkowski and shot the ball into the back of the net at 27:10 to give New Hampshire a 13-2 advantage.
Kaitlin Leggio, with the assistance of Jenna Celano, netted a goal at 25:09 and Djaha struck again at 22:25 to lift the Seawolves within 13-4. Free-position goals by Melissa Cook and Wodiska at 20:57 and 18:29, respectively, trimmed the deficit to 13-6.
The visitors would get no closer the rest of the way, however, as UNH responded with goals by Rausch and JoJo Curro (Amherst, N.H.) 63 seconds apart – at 17:22 and 16:19 – to build a 15-6 lead.
Amy Hallion, off Djaha’s pass from the left wing, scored at 8:38, but Kaplan potted her second goal of the game 76 seconds later when she curled behind the net to the left post.
Hardy netted her fifth goal of the game at 5:51 to reestablish a double-digit lead, 17-7, and Durepo scored at 4:57 to keep momentum in UNH’s favor.
Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.) scored on a free position at 1:51, then Sabiston increased the margin to 20-7 when she knocked down a pass at midfield, gathered the ball, raced into the offensive zone behind the SBU defense and scored at 1:37. Allie Bratton (Windermere, Fla.) closed the scoring with 20 seconds remaining.
New Hampshire returns to action April 1 at home against Boston University. Game time at Memorial Field is 3 p.m.