Puccia Scores Three Goals; Women's Lax Ends Season With 11-6 Loss at #18 BC

ILANA COHEN

NEWTON, Mass.Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) scored three goals to extend her goal-scoring streak to 10 games and team-high total to 34, but the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team was defeated 11-6 Tuesday afternoon by 18th-ranked Boston College at Newton Sports Complex.

UNH ends the 2012 season with a 5-11 record. BC improved to 10-8.

UNH's other goals were scored by Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.), Rachael Nock (Severna Park, Md.) and Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) In her final game as a Wildcat, Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.) recorded two assists as well as three draw controls and one ground ball.

Starting goalkeeper Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) stopped three of eight shots on goal and was charged with the loss. Kate Gunts (Wilton, Conn.), who entered the game at the start of the second half, was credited with five saves and surrendered six goals in her last collegiate game. Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.), whose 20-game point-scoring streak ended in her final game donning the Blue and White, was credited with four ground balls and two caused turnovers.

BC was led offensively by Sam Taylor (2g, 2a), Brooke Blue (3g), Kristin Igoe (3g) and Brittany Wilson (2a). Eagles' goalie Catherine Conway made five saves and allowed four goals in 55:44. Emily Mata allowed two goals and was not credited with a save during a 5:16 relief stint.

Unassisted goals by Taylor and Blue at 27:06 and 23:10, respectively, gave the Eagles and early 2-0 lead. UNH pulled within 2-1 less than two minutes later when Cohen, from behind the net, found Nock cutting from the top-left of the 8-meter arc and she fired a low shot into the goal at 21:44.

BC slowly pulled away the rest of the half – the Eagles limited the 'Cats to five shots in the opening 30 minutes – to build a 5-1 halftime lead. Blue converted Wilton's pass into a goal and 3-1 advantage at 19:07, then Igoe drove from the top of the fan and rifled a shot into the upper-right corner to extend the home team's lead to 4-1 at 15:11.

Igoe was awarded a free position at the top of the fan at 4:57, but her low shot was snared by O'Keefe. Igoe would not be denied the the closing minutes of the half, as she charged from the top of the fan and shot low into the goal at 1:10. BC's Mikaela Rix took a free position from the top-right side with 30 seconds on the clock, but O'Keefe made another save to keep the 'Cats within 5-1.

Blue, with the assistance of Taylor, opened the second-half scoring at 26:39.

On a free position from the top of the fan, Puccia took three steps toward goal and fired a low shot into the goal to stop BC's run of four consecutive goals and lift New Hampshire within 6-2 at 21:45.

Igoe netted a man-up goal at 16:25 and Cali Ceglarski scored 50 seconds later to extend the Eagles' lead to 8-2. Moira Barry scored another man-up goal at 9:52 and Kelly McNelis, alone at the right post, struck at 6:51 to give BC its largest lead of the game, 10-2.

UNH closed the final 3:30 of the game on a 4-1 run. Hinkle potted a free-position goal from the right wing at 3:12 to ignite the rally. Simpson and Puccia scored unassisted goals 10 seconds apart to trim the deficit to 10-5. Simpson rolled from behind the net to the left post and continued to the top of the crease, where she fired a high shot for her 24th goal of the season at 1:35. Simpson gained control of the ensuing draw control, which led to Puccia's goal on a sidearm shot at 1:25.

From the top of the fan, Cohen slipped a pass down to Puccia, who dropped her crossed and dropped a low shot into the goal with 27 seconds remaining. BC controlled the following draw, and Taylor closed the scoring with five seconds on the clock.

Boston College finished the game with the edge in shots (25-16), ground balls (23-19) and draw controls (13-6).

The end of the 2012 season marked the last game for seniors Cohen, Gunts, Keagins and Erin Levesque (Duxbury, Mass.). In 68 career games, Gunts tallied 133 points (93g, 40a), 112 ground balls, 105 draw controls and 97 caused turnovers. Cohen finished with 115 points (61g, 52a) as well as 83 GB, 62 DC and 52 CTO in 67 games. Levesque recorded one point (1a), 35 GB, 15 Dc and 11 CTO in 51 career games. Gunts recorded 20 victories in 42 career games.