CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Sarah Von Bargen (East Setauket, N.Y.), the reigning America East Player of the Week, recorded a career-high eight points with six goals and two assists to propel the 13th-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team to Wednesday afternoon’s 11-9 overtime victory against Harvard University at Cumnock Turf.
UNH won its third consecutive game to improve to 5-1. Harvard is 2-2.
With the score tied, 9-9, at the end of regulation, Harvard won the opening draw on the first of the two three-minute overtime sessions. Susie Piotrkowski (Franklin, Conn.) caused a turnover, however, but then UNH lost possession with 2:10 on the clock. JoJo Curro (Amherst, N.H.) intercepted a pass to give possession back to the Wildcats with 1:55 to play in the first extra session. Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.) was awarded a free position at 1:12. She charged from the top of the fan and fired a low shot into the goal to give the ‘Cats a 10-9 lead at 1:10.
The Crimson once again controlled the draw, but once again committed a turnover in the offensive zone when Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.), who compiled four ground balls, two draw controls and three caused turnjovers, scooped the loose ball in the fan back to goalkeeper Kate Gunts (Wilton, Conn.). New Hampshire turned the ball back to the home team with 25 seconds on the clock, but Harvard did not generate a shot before the clock ran out.
At the start of the second extra session, HU continued its pattern of winning the draw and then committing a turnover. The Wildcats went into a perimeter attack but lost possession with 1:19 to go. Sara Flood fired a shot from the top of the fan that was stopped by Gunts and Kelli LaPerch (Brewster, N.Y.) corralled the ground ball with 50 seconds remaining.
UNH advanced the ball into the offensive zone and Von Bargen charged from the back-left side of the net to the post and scored her sixth goal of the game – 28th of the season – with :08 on the clock to secure the win.
Gunts, who entered the game at halftime, was credited with the win. She made five saves and surrendered four goals in 36 minutes. Starting goalie Nikki Hume (North Hampton, N.H.) stopped two shots and exited the game with UNH holding a 7-5 halftime lead.
Flood (2g, 2a).
Von Bargen quickly gave New Hampshire a 2-0 lead with an unassisted goal at 29:40 and a free-position tally at 28:57 in which she drove from the top of the fan and fired a shot under the crossbar.
Harvard rallied to tie the score, 2-2, on free-position goals by Kaitlin Martin at 27:40 and Halpern at 27:06.
UNH regained the lead, 3-2, when Curro caught a pass deep on the left side, spun to beat a defender and scored at 27:06. The Crimson leveled the score, 3-3, at 20:00 when Halpern found Flood in the middle of the fan.
Von Bargen’s third goal of the game put the ‘Cats back in front, 4-3. Beth Stankus (Derry, N.H.) drew a charge in the defensive zone and made an outlet pass to Von Bargen. She raced down the right wing and scored from close range with a high shot at 15:51.
Flood helped pull the Crimson even, 4-4, when her pass from behind the net found Sarah Bancroft low in the fan for a goal at 15:21.
New Hampshire scored three goals in less than two minutes to build its largest lead of the game, 7-4. Kate Keagins (Bayshore, N.Y.) scored the first of her career-high two goals when she converted Von Bargen’s pass from behind the net into a goal from close range at 6:13. Von Bargen’s fourth goal of the half extended the advantage to 6-4 at 5:59. On a free position from the left wing, she rifled a high shot into the center of the net. Piotrkowski closed the flurry at 4:17 when she scored on a free-position shot from the top-right of the fan.
Halpern scored with nine seconds remaining in the first half to pull Harvard within 7-5 at the half and the Crimson scored the initial three goals of the second half to take their first lead of the game, 8-7. Flood opened the second-half scoring at 26:04 when she curled from behind the net to the right post. Tyler Petropulous struck at 20:54 and 11:15 to put the home team in front.
UNH pulled even, 8-8, when Von Bargen once again connected with Keagins in front of the net at 9:38.
Harvard called time out at 7:35 but immediately committed a turnover and Von Bargen scored at 6:15 by maneuvering from the left side past two defenders to the center of the fan to give the ‘Cats a 9-8 advantage.
UNH gained possession with 2:45 remaining and went into a perimeter offense to protect the one-goal lead. Harvard regained possession with 60 seconds to play and Shannon Flynn was awarded a free position with nine seconds remaining. As she charged from the top-left side, Cohen extended her stick from behind to block the shot wide left. Harvard retained possession with six seconds and Halpern scored with just one second on the clock to send the game into overtime.
Harvard finished with the advantage in both ground balls (14-9) and draw controls (13-11). UNH had the slight edge in shots, 25-22, and committed fewer turnovers (19-21).
Von Bargen climbed past Colleen Christopher (137) into fifth place on UNH’s career goals leaderboard. Von Bargen now has 140 goals and 25 assists for 165 points.
New Hampshire returns to action March 15 (1 p.m.) at Maryland. The Wildcats’ next home game is March 18 (3 p.m.) against UMass.