March 9, 2010

#15 WOMEN'S LACROSSE EDGED 10-9 IN DOUBLE OVERTIME BY HARVARD

HAYLEY RAUSCH
SHAUNNA KAPLAN

DURHAM, N.H. -- Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) recorded her 150th career point and Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) tallied five points to lead the attack for the 15th-ranked University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team, but Melanie Baskind scored with 20 seconds remaining in double overtime to lift Harvard University to a 10-9 victory Tuesday afternoon at Memorial Field.

UNH, which prevailed 11-9 in overtime at Harvard last season, is now 4-1 overall. Harvard improved to 2-1.

With the score tied 9-9 at the end of regulation, the game moved to a six-minute overtime session split into two halves. The Crimson won the draw control of the opening OT and patiently moved the ball around the perimeter. Jen VanderMeulen (five goals) drove from the top-left of the fan and her shot was stopped by UNH goalkeeper Kate Gunts (Wilton, Conn.). The Wildcats then went into a perimeter offense, but turned the ball over behind the goal with eight seconds to go. The 'Cats immediately got the ball back, but time expired before they could get a shot.

The second half of the first overtime session also started with a draw control possessed by Harvard. A pass attempt low on the right wing went awry and Gunts picked up the loose ball to give possession to the Wildcats. She turned the ball over to VanderMeulen, however, but then a stick check by UNH's Casey Doyle (Ivyland, Pa.) gave possession back to the 'Cats with 48 seconds remaining. Havard's pressure defense prevented UNH from advancing the ball through midfield before time expired.

At that point, the game moved to a sudden-victory three-minute overtime session. UNH's Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.) controlled the draw and, after each team committed a turnover, she was awarded a free position deep along the right wing with 50 seconds remaining. She opted to pass to a cutter in the middle of the fan, but the ball bounced back to her and a shot from the right doorstep was stopped by HU goalie Katherine Martino.

The Crimson quickly moved the ball into the offensive zone and Melanie Baskind gained possession at the top of the fan. She continued towards the top-right side before driving the fan and firing a shot inside the near post to give Harvard a 10-9 win with 20 seconds on the clock. HU had been held scoreless since taking 9-5 lead at 24:56 of the second half -- a span of 33 minutes, 36 seconds.

Kaplan, who entered the game with 149 career points, became the 11th UNH Wildcat to attain the 150-point milestone on her only point of the game, a goal at 21:28 that leveled the score, 1-1. Rausch, the America East Player of the Game, matched her career highs in both goals (four) and points (five). Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.; 2g) and Cohen (1g, 1a) also had multiple points for the 'Cats. Keagins also contributed four caused turnovers, three ground balls and one draw control.

Gunts played 54 minutes, 46 seconds and was charged with eight goals allowed, as well as the loss; she was credited with four saves. Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.), in her collegiate debut, entered the game with UNH trailing 7-3 at 3:07 of the first half and exited the game at 19:13 of the second half; she surrendered two goals and was credited with one save in 13:54 of action.

Harvard was led offensively by VanderMeulen and Sara Flood (1g, 2a). Baskind and Danielle Tetrault both finished with two goals. Martino made 11 saves, including one in the sudden-victory OT frame.

UNH recorded a 24-16 shot advantage, including 13-2 in the second half. The ground balls were even at 14.

Harvard scored three of the first four goals to build a 3-1 advantage 10:30 into the game. Tetrault, off Flood's feed from behind the net, opened the game scoring at 25:09. Kaplan then scored a free-position goal at 21:28 when she drove from the top of the fan, shifted to the right to elude a charging defender and fired a shot inside the right post. VanderMeulen netted free-position goals at 20:17 and 19:32 to put the visitors ahead 3-1.

Keagins pulled the 'Cats within 3-2 at 14:49. Jess Cassotis (York, Maine) corralled a ground ball at UNH's defensive line and quickly sent a pass ahead to Keagins, who raced down the center of the field and scored from the top of the fan on a low shot.

New Hampshire called time out, but it was Harvard that respond with two goals to establish a three-goal lead, 5-2. VanderMeulen cut through the middle of the fan for a goal at 9:47 and Flood scored from the right wing at 5:08.

UNH converted a turnover at midfield into a transition goal at 3:51 to pull within 5-3. Allie Bratton (Windermere, Fla.) collected the ground ball and drove through the center of the fan for the score.

Tetrault struck again off a pass from Flood at 3:24 and Baskind scored 17 seconds later to give the visitors a 7-3 lead, then VanderMeulen netted her fourth goal of the half at 2:12 to give Harvard its largest lead of the game -- five goals -- at 8-3.

Keagins caused a turnover with 32 seconds remaining in the first half and UNH capitalized when Rausch side-armed a shot from the right wing into the net with 14 seconds to play to lift the 'Cats within 8-4. Jo Jo Curro (Amherst, N.H.) was credited with an assist.

Rausch struck again at 25:57 of the second half when she curled from behind the net to the left post and dropped a low shot into the goal.

VanderMeulen potted another free-position goal at 24:56 to put HU ahead, 9-5.

UNH held the Crimson scoreless the remainder of the half, however, and methodically pulled closer to force the extra sessions.

Rausch began the surge at 17:42 when she circled from behind the net to the left post, caught Cohen's entry pass from the top of the fan and once again dropped a low shot past Martino. Rausch continued the rally with her fourth goal of the game at 15:11. She drove from the top of the fan towards the right post and, from close range, quickly snapped a shot into the upper-right corner.

The Wildcats pulled within 9-8 on Cohen's goal at 14:09. Deb Dale (East Northport, N.Y.), from behind the goal line on the left side, passed the ball into the fan and Cohen fired a one-timer from close range.

Following a Crimston timeout, UNH's Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.) won the ensuing draw control and the 'Cats went into a patient offensive set that resulted in Curro's close-range shot that was stopped by Martino with 10:24 remaining in regulation.

Neither team attempted a shot for the next eight minutes, and that's when a UNH transition attack set up Rausch on the right wing, where she fired a shot that ricocheted off the far post. The Wildcats retained possession, however, and leveled the score at 9 with 1:42 to play. Rausch, deep on the right side, found Keagins cutting through the fan and she fired a high shot into the cage.

UNH once again controlled the ensuing draw control and went into a spread offense to hold for the last shot. Keagins collected a pass outside the top of the fan with six seconds on the clock, drove through the middle and fired a shot from seven yards that was snared by Martino, thereby sending the game into overtime.

New Hampshire returns to action March 13 (12 p.m.) at second-ranked University of Maryland. The Wildcats' next home game is March 28 against Fairfield University. Game time at Memorial Field is 12 p.m.

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