DURHAM, N.H. – Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) and Laura McHoul (Westwood, Mass.) recorded three points apiece but the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team was defeated 18-9 by 14th-ranked University of Massachusetts in Saturday afternoon's home opener at Memorial Field.
UNH is now 0-2 while UMass won its third consecutive game – both in this series and overall this season – to improve to 3-1.
McHoul, the reigning America East Rookie of the Week, finished with a team-high three goals. Simpson recorded two goals and an assist as well as two ground balls, one draw control and one caused turnover.
UNH starting goalkeeper Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) exited the game with UNH trailing 16-7 at 13:34 of the second half; she was credited with five saves, all in the first half. Taylor Hurwitz (Holland, Pa.) allowed two goals and made one stop the rest of the way.
UMass was led offensively by Katie Ferris (three goals, three assists) and Sam Rush (four goals). Melissa Carelli and Cori Murray both netted three goals while Tanner Guarino tallied a goal and two assists.
Rachel Vallarelli made six saves and surrendered eight goals in 53:58. Jamie Schiloski played the final 6:02 and stopped one of two shots on goal.
UMass, which recorded the advantage in shots (30-22) and draw controls (16-10), built a 4-1 lead in the opening 13 minutes of the game. Murray gave the Minutewomen a 1-0 lead at 28:02, but Simpson scored on a free position shot from the top of the fan into the upper-right corner of the goal to level the score, 1-1, at 24:04.
Lauren Terracciano put UMass back in front just 77 seconds later with an unassisted tally, then Carelli and Rush struck at 20:42 and 17:19, respectively, to give the visitors a three-goal lead.
The Wildcats rallied to even the score, 4-4. Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.), from low on the left side, found Simpson in front and the senior tri-captain scored her second goal of the game to trim the deficit to 4-2 at 13:35. UNH did not capitalize on a man-up opportunity at 11:57, but the 'Cats did close within 4-3 at 6:37 when McHoul was awarded a free position at the top of the fan and fired a low shot into the cage for her first collegiate goal. Hannah Wohltmann (Towson, Md.) also scored her first goal on a free-position shot from the top-left side that sailed under the crossbar at 5:47 to forge a 4-4 tie.
UMass responded less than a minute later with the first of two goals in a 24 second span to quickly build a 6-4 lead. Courtney McGrath converted Guarino's pass into the go-ahead goal at 4:51 and Ferris curled around the left post and dropped a low shot into the cage at 4:27.
The Minutewomen capitalized on a free position to extend the advantage to 7-4 at 3:26. Guarino, from the top-left side of the fan, opted to pass low to Murray and she quickly fired the ball into the netting. UMass closed the first-half scoring at 1:15 on Ferris' second unassisted goal of the game to take a four-goal lead into halftime.
New Hampshire trimmed the deficit to 8-5 at 28:56 of the second half when McHoul curled from behind the net around the left post and placed a shot under the crossbar.
The 'Cats would get no closer the rest of the way, however, as UMass responded with three consecutive goals to build an 11-5 cushion. Rush drove down the middle of the fan and fired a shot into the upper-right corner at 27:38 to ignite the run. Carelli converted a free position into a goal at 25:42, which prompted UNH to call a timeout, but Rush, off a feed from Ferris, scored 36 seconds later.
Simpson, on the top-right of the fan, slipped a pass down low to Rachael Nock (Severna Park, Md.), who was surrounded by two defenders but quickly fired a shot into the goal to lift UNH within 11-6 at 23:25.
UMass responded with three goals in a two-minute span to surge ahead 14-6. Ferris set up Murray on the low right side for a goal at 21:16 and then Ferris scored her third goal of the game 39 seconds later and Rush's fourth goal of the game made it an eight-goal differential at 19:14.
Kelsey McGovern won the ensuing draw control, attacked the goal and scored to give UMass a 15-7 advantage just 10 seconds later. Carelli scored a man-up goal at 13:34, which chased O'Keefe from the UNH goal, and then Kelsey Sheridan gave the Minutewomen a double-digit lead of 17-7 at 10:10. Guarino scored a free-position goal at 9:10.
McHoul scored her third goal of the game at 8:08 and then Brooke McGillis (Berwyn, Pa.) recorded her first collegiate point with an unassisted tally at 4:46.
New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 27 (3 p.m.) at intrastate rival Dartmouth College. UNH's next home game is March 19 (2 p.m.) against Columbia University.