DURHAM, N.H. – Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.) recorded two points, including the 100th of her career, but the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team was edged 12-9 by the University of Connecticut in Wednesday afternoon's non-conference action at Memorial Field.
UNH, which closed the game on a 6-1 run in the last 17:30 of the game, is now 0-3 while UConn improved to 4-1.
Keagins recorded a goal and an assist and attained the 100-point benchmark with her second-half goal that was part of the Wildcats' 6-1 surge to close the game. Amber Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.; three goals) and Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.; two goals, one assist) led the UNH attack with three points apiece.
UNH starting goalie Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) exited the game at 16:37 of the first half with the 'Cats trailing 6-2; she was credited with one save and charged with the loss. Taylor Hurwitz (Holland, Pa.) went the rest of the way and stopped eight of 14 shots on goal.
UConn was led offensively by Kiersten Tupper (4g, 1a) and Lauren Kahn (2g, 2a) while Brittney Testa made 10 saves.
New Hampshire struck first at 29:23 when Keagins, at the top-left of the fan, swung the ball low to Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.), who charged towards the left post and scored her fourth goal of the season to extend her goal-scoring streak to 11 games.
Mackenzie Rainone scored on a free position from the right wing at 28:31 to tie the score, 1-1, then gave the Huskies a lead they would not relinquish when M.E. Lapham found Rainone cutting down the middle of the fan at 25:22. The visitors controlled the ensuing draw control and Tupper curled behind the net to the left post to extend the advantage to 3-1 at 24:26.
UNH pulled within 3-2 at 23:40 when Simpson, from behind the net, snapped a pass to Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) at the right post for a catch-and-shoot goal.
The Huskies scored seven consecutive goals spanning the first and second halves to build a 10-2 lead. Tupper drove the left wing for an unassisted goal at 22:30, then in transition Kahn sent a pass to Tupper behind the defense to extend the lead to 5-2 at 17:32.
UNH called time out at that point, but Kahn netted an unassisted goal 55 seconds later to push the margin to four goals. Chelsea Hauswirth then finished a feed from Tupper to give UConn a 7-2 lead. The score remained that way until Tupper's fourth goal of the half pushed the advantage to 8-2 at 2:48.
UConn took that six-goal lead into halftime despite the home team's 16-15 shot advantage. The Huskies did record a 14-8 edge in shots on goal as well as the edge in both ground balls (12-5) and draw controls (6-5).
Kahn opened the second-half scoring at 25:05 and Shannon Kerr potted a free-position goal at 22:48 to give the Huskies a 10-2 lead.
Casiano ignited UNH's second-half surge with an unassisted goal at 21:56. Adriane Ghidotti scored into an open net at 17:47 to reestablish an eight-goal cushion, but Cohen answered 98 seconds later to trim the deficit to 11-4.
Keagins then recorded her 100th career point on a free-position shot from the right wing under the crossbar at 15:14 and Casiano, positioned low in the fan, converted a Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.) pass from behind the net into a goal at 9:52 to pull the 'Cats within 11-6.
UConn called its timeout, but New Hampshire's Brittany Conner (Wilton, Conn.) gained possession on the ensuing draw control, which led to Cohen's second goal of the game – this time off a pass from Rachael Nock (Severna, Park, Md.) – to close the gap to 11-7 at 9:19.
It appeared Tupper gave the visitors a five-goal lead at 8:20, but the goal was disallowed because of an illegal stick. They regained control, however, and Lapham capped an extended UConn possession with her 15th goal of the season at 5:56 to give the Huskies a 12-7 lead.
Keagins was awarded the ensuing draw control and Cohen set up Casiano's third strike of the game at 5:03. After an exchange of possessions, Chelsea Cyester (Parker, Colo.) rolled from behind the net to the left post and cut insider her defender before firing a low shot into the cage at 3:33 to lift UNH within 12-9.
The Huskies gained control immediately after the draw control and held the ball for three minutes before Keagins forced a turnover and picked up the ground ball with 21 seconds remaining.
UNH finished with a 29-22 shot advantage and the 14-9 edge in draw controls. UConn recorded more ground balls (20-15) and fewer turnovers (23-25).
New Hampshire returns to action March 11 (4 p.m. Eastern) at 20th-ranked Stanford University. The Wildcats continue their West coast trip March 14 (6 p.m. Eastern) at Fresno State University. UNH's next home game is March 18 (12 p.m.) vs. Fairfield University.