AMHERST, Mass. – Taylor Hurwitz (Holland, Pa.) recorded a career-high 16 saves, but the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team was defeated 12-6 by 10th-ranked University of Massachusetts at McGuirk Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
UNH is now 0-2 on the road – both against nationally-ranked teams – and 2-4 overall. UMass remains unbeaten at 6-0.
Hurwitz recorded eight saves in each half and was also credited with three ground balls and a caused turnover. Francesca LoVerde (Chicago, Ill.) finished with team highs in both caused turnovers (three) and ground balls (two).
Nicole Grote (Ellicott City, Md.) and Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) both scored two goals and Laura McHoul (Westwood, Mass.) recorded a team-high three points, all on assists. Becca Graves (Rowley, Mass.) also tallied multiple points with a goal and an assist.
UMass was led offensively by Sam Rush (5g) and Erica Eipp (1g, 4a) while Rachel Vallarelli was credited with four saves, all in the first half.
The game was scoreless nine minutes into the game before Rush scored goals at 20:47 (unassisted) and 19:05 (free position) to give the Minutewomen a 2-0 lead.
Rachael Nock (Severna Park, Md.) extended her goal streak to four games when she converted McHoul's pass into a goal that pulled the Wildcats within 2-1 at 17:55.
Hurwitz denied Katie Ferris at 16:25 to keep the 'Cats within one goal, but UMass regained possession and Tanner Guarino scored a free-position goal at 15:18 to extend the advantage to 3-1. Rory Sadoff's goal at 13:32 made it 4-1.
Both goalkeepers recorded a save before Puccia potted her 13th goal of the season to trim the deficit to 4-2 at 11:02.
Hurwitz kept the margin at two when she denied Guarino at 7:22 and again on a free position at 6:53. Hurwitz then stopped Nicole Troost's free-position shot at 4:52, but a UNH turnover led to Rush's goal and a 5-2 margin at 4:15.
Eipp's shot was blocked aside by Hurwitz at 3:40 but UMass maintained possession and Eipp set up Guarino for a goal and 6-2 advantage at 3:05. Eipp also assisted on Rush's goal at 2:12 that gave the Minutewomen a 7-2 lead heading into halftime.
Puccia, with the assistance of McHoul, opened the second-half scoring at 28:13 to lift New Hampshire within 7-3, but Sadoff responded with a goal 18 seconds later to reestablish a five-goal differential.
UNH committed two turnovers before Eipp once again set up Rush for a goal and 9-3 advantage at 24:45.
Hurwitz kept the 'Cats within striking distance with saves against Melissa Carelli at 23:15 and Troost at 22:35. UMass sustained possession, however, and earned a free position at 20:56. Hurwitz once again made the stop against Troost.
The Wildcats' next two possessions ended by turnover and Hurwitz responded with another save – this time against Ferris – at 15:35. UNH cleared the ball to the attack zone and McHoul set up Grote for a tally at 14:59 that trimmed the deficit to 9-4.
A yellow card was issued to the 'Cats less than a minute later to give UMass a man-up advantage for two minutes. Hurwitz fended off the first challenge – Rush's shot at 13:50, but Eipp gave the Minutewomen a 10-4 lead with an unassisted goal at 12:45.
Neither team scored for more than 10 minutes, then Graves potted her first goal of the season at 2:22. McHoul gained possession of the ensuing draw control and Graves set up Grote's second strike of the game, which trimmed the deficit to 10-6 with 35 seconds remaining.
Callie Santos scored with 18 seconds left and Carelli closed the scoring with one second on the clock.
UMass finished with the edge in shots (36-10), ground balls (22-16) and draw controls (13-6) while committing fewer turnovers (15-22). Twelve of UNH's 22 turnovers were on failed clear attempts.
New Hampshire continues its road trip March 10 (3 p.m.) at Iona College. The Wildcats then return home to play host to both Fairfield University (March 14, 3 p.m.) and the University of Colorado (March 16, 12 p.m.).