Women's Lax Upended by No. 10 Stony Brook, 16-6, On Senior Day


DURHAM, N.H.Amber Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.) and Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) both scored two goals for the University of New Hampshire, but the Wildcats were defeated 16-6 by 10th-ranked Stony Brook University in Saturday afternoon's women's lacrosse game at Memorial Field.

UNH, which honored its five seniors – who played their final game at Memorial Field – following the game, is now 4-9 overall and 1-3 in America East. Stony Brook, which tallied the edge in shots (27-16), ground balls (15-10) and draw controls (14-8), extended its winning streak to seven games to improve to 12-2, 4-0. 

In addition to Casiano and Puccia, Laura McHoul (Westwood, Mass.) recorded multiple points with a goal and an assist. Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) was credited with eight saves, including six in the first half, as well as three ground balls and two caused turnovers – both of which were team highs.

SBU was led offensively by Demianne Cook (five goals), Michelle Rubino (four goals) and Janine Hillier (one goal, four assists). Cook also tallied six draw controls and three ground balls. Frankie Caridi stopped eight shots. 

Neither team scored in the opening six minutes of the game. O'Keefe stoned Emily Mercier in the opening minute, then denied Hillier at 28:47 to keep the Seawolves off the board. Caridi kept the game scoreless when she snared Puccia's shot at 28:07 and then she turned aside Casiano at 25:24.

Stony Brook scored five goals in less than four minutes to quickly turn a scoreless game into a 5-0 lead. Cook ignited the spurt on a free position from the top of the fan and shot into the upper-right corner of the cage at 23:58. 

Nicole Grote (Ellicott City, Md.) won the ensuing draw and fired a shot that Caridi blocked aside to preserve the 1-0 lead at 22:47. SBU cleared the ball to the attack zone and Hillier, from the left wing, found Alyssa Cardillo cutting around the near post and she fired a high shot into the goal for a 2-0 lead at 22:21.

UNH once again gained control of the draw, but then an errant backward pass eluded O'Keefe and the ball bounced into the cage to give the Seawolves a 3-0 lead at 22:09. 

Amber Kupres extended the advantage to 4-0 65 seconds later on a shot in traffic from the middle of the fan. O'Keefe made a save against Cardillo at 20:55 to keep the 'Cats within four goals, but the visitors retained possession and Rubino fired a free-position shot from the top of the fan into the upper-right corner to make it 5-0 at 20:14.

UNH called time out, but Stony Brook continued to steadily pull away to build a 10-0 lead at 12:55. From the right wing, Hillier found Cook at the top of the crease and she deposited a shot into the upper-left corner for a 6-0 advantage at 18:07. Rubino drove the left wing and scored on a high shot at 17:23, then Cook scored her third of the game on a free position from the top-left in which she leapt in the air before shooting under the crossbar for a 8-0 lead at 15:05. Emily Mercier scored a free-position goal at 13:22 and then finished a feed from Hillier for a goal and 10-0 cushion at 12:55. 

Casiano trimmed the deficit to 10-1 at 11:11 when she was awarded a free position on the top-left of the fan and scored on a shot into the upper-right corner. O'Keefe denied Mercier on a free position at 10:16. At the other end of the field, Puccia, with her back to the net, backed in from the middle of the fan, turned and scored at 8:45 to lift the 'Cats within 10-2.

Faridi kept the Wildcats at bay with saves against Casiano at 8:01 and Grote at 6:50 and then Cook converted a free position into her fourth goal of the game when her bounce shot went over O'Keefe and under the crossbar at 6:12.  Hillier found Jessica Romano in the middle of the fan for a man-up goal and 12-2 lead with 17 seconds remaining in the first half. 

SBU took that 10-goal lead and 20-7 shot advantage into halftim.

The Seawolves extended the margin to 14-2 on goals by Rubino at 28:35 and Hillier at 20:52. 

Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.), who tallied a team-high four draw controls, scored with a backhanded shot at 18:52 to trim the deficit to 14-3, but Rubino responded with a goal at 16:46.

McHoul caused a turnover in the attack zone and corralled the ground ball in the fan. She charged the net and fired a shot into the cage to make the score 15-4 at 8:30. 

Cook pushed her nation-leading goal total to 65 with her fifth tally of the game at 5:38 as she gained possession of the jump ball on the right wing and raced to the middle of the fan.

Casiano one-timed McHoul's pass into the cage for a man-up goal at 4:11, then Puccia closed the scoring with five seconds on the clock when she caught the Molly Gaffey (North Hampton, N.H.) entry pass and ripped a shot into the goal. 

Casiano, O'Keefe, Chelsea Cyester (Parker, Colo.), Casey Doyle (Ivyland, Pa.) and Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) were honored postgame on Senior Day.

New Hampshire concludes its three-game homestand April 17 at home against Boston University. Game time at Cowell Stadium is 4 p.m.

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