MARIETTA, Ga. – Amber Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.) recorded a career-high six points to lead the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Friday afternoon's 20-6 non-conference victory against Presbyterian College in a neutral-site game at Lassister High School's Frank Fillman Football Stadium.
UNH, winners of four of its last five games, recorded season highs in both goals and assists (11) to improve to 5-3 overall. Presbyterian has lost five consecutive games to fall to 1-7.
Casiano, who scored a personal best of four goals and added two assists, was one of nine Wildcats who recorded multiple points. JoJo Curro (Amherst, N.H.) tallied four points on one goal and three assists and Sarah Campbell (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) also finished with four points on three goals and one assist..
Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.) netted three goals while Meghan Bridges (Sandy Hook, Conn.; 1g, 1a), Chelsea Cyester (Parker, Colo.; 1g, 1a), Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.; 2g), Molly Gaffey (North Hampton, N.H.; 1g, 1a) and Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn; 2g) also finished with multiple points.
Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.) and Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) accounted for UNH's other two goals while Cara Dowdle (Northbrook, Ill.) and Ally Stager (Reading, Mass.) each had an assist. It marked the first career points for Campbell, Dowdle and Gaffey.
Kate Gunts (Wilton, Conn.) made eight saves, including six in the first half, and held the Blue Hose scoreless for a stretch of 38 minutes, 34 seconds spanning the first and second halves. Keagins recorded a game-high six ground balls as well as a game-high six caused turnovers. Casiano and Cori Rees (East Hampstead, N.H.) tied for the team lead in draw controls with three apiece.
Presbyterian's offense was provided by Brianne Ward (2g) and Lauren Lefeber (2g). Susan England surrendered 10 goals and stopped seven shots in 30:15 of action and was charged with the loss. Bridget Hogan made four saves and yielded 10 goals.
UNH quickly built a 4-0 goal on unassisted tallies by Simpson (at 29:33), Keagins (28:10) and Simpson (27:31) as well as a free-position goal by Keagins (26:50).
The Blue Hose stopped the run on Ward's goal at 24:42, but the Wildcats closed the first half with seven consecutive goals to take an 11-1 lead into halftime. New Hampshire also had the edge in shots (22-10) and ground balls (17-13) at the break.
UNH extended the advantage to 16-1 before Lefeber ended the 12-0 run with a goal at 16:08. The Wildcats responded with goals 93 seconds apart – at 14:22 and 12:49 – to extend the margin to 18-2. Ward (5:28) and Lefeber (2:38) sandwiched strikes around a goal by Casiano (3:27) to move the score to 19-4 and Campbell capped the scoring with 1:21 remaining.
The 'Cats finished with a 38-16 shot advantage as well as the edge in both ground balls (27-21) and draw controls (14-13) while committing fewer turnovers (16-28).
The 20 goals marked the highest UNH output since April 2009 (21-7 vs. Stony Brook University). It also was the most goals scored on the road since April 2007 (22-5 at Binghamton University) and the most against a non-league team since March 2006 (20-8 vs. Marist College).
New Hampshire returns to action March 26 (12 p.m.) for its America East conference opener at UMBC. The Wildcats' next home game is April 6 (4 p.m.) against Boston University.