BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.) recorded a goal and three assists and Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) scored three goals, but the UNH women's lacrosse team was defeated 11-8 by Lehigh University in Saturday afternoon's non-conference action at Ulrich Sports Complex.
UNH starting goalie Taylor Hurwitz (Holland, Pa.) exited the game at the end of the first half with six saves and the score tied, 4-4. Kate Gunts (Wilton, Conn.) played the second half and was charged with the loss as she yielded seven goals while making four saves. Amber Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.) was credited with a career-high five ground balls.
Leigh Ann Torcivia (1g, 4a), Carli Sukonik (3g), Megan Kelly (2g, 1a), Julie McBrien (2g, 1a) and Chelsea Retaleato (1g, 1a) led the Mountain Hawks' attack. MaryLeah DiNisco stopped 11 shots.
The Wildcats scored the first two goals of the game to build a 2-0 lead. Puccia finished a feed from Nock at 27:07 and Cohen netted an unassisted goal at 26:16.
Lehigh pulled even on goals by Sukonik (at 22:14) and Kelly (19:41), but Hinkle potted an unassisted goal at 16:09 to put the 'Cats back in front, 3-2. Sukonik, with the assistance of Torcivia, leveled the score, 3-3, less than one minute later at 15:21.
The teams exchanged goals 20 seconds apart to advance the score to 4-4. Simpson gave New Hampshire its third lead of the game at 14:42, but Alissa Hardiman had the quick answer at the other end of the field for Lehigh.
McBrien opened the second-half scoring with a free-position goal at 25:53 and Kelsey Yenco struck 24 seconds later to give the home team a 6-4 lead.
Gunts made two saves to keep the 'Cats within two goals and UNH called time out at 22:45. Nock converted Cohen's pass into a goal at 16:01 to trim the deficit to 6-5 and prompt the Mountain Hawks to call a timeout.
Cohen gained possession of the ensuing draw control, however, which led to Keagins' unassisted goal that tied the game, 6-6, at 15:26.
This marked the third consecutive game the Wildcats overcame a deficit to forge a 6-6 tie, but for the third time in as many games the opposition made a decisive run to pull away en route to victory.
Lehigh went on a 5-0 run spanning the next 11 minutes to build an 11-6 advantage. Kelly ignited the spurt at 14:58 and Sukonic scored her third goal of the game at 11:45 to give the Mountain Hawks an 8-6 lead. Torcivia struck at 9:21, followed by McBrien at 7:35. Lehigh won the ensuing draw control, called time out at 7:16 and maintained possession until Retaleato scored at 4:30 to increase the margin to 11-6.
Cohen set up goals by Puccia at 2:31 and 1:36 to lift UNH within 8-6. Hinkle gained possession of the ensuing draw control, which led to a free position with 50 seconds remaining but Puccia's shot was stopped by DiNisco to thwart the Wildcats' late comeback effort.
The teams finished even in both shots (23-23) and turnovers (14-14). UNH recorded the edge in ground balls (20-15) while Lehigh had a 14-7 advantage in draw controls.
New Hampshire returns to action April 14 at home against the University at Albany. Game time at Memorial Field is 1 p.m.