Puccia, Grote Score Four Goals Apiece To Propel Women's Lax Past Longwood, 15-10
| LAURA PUCCIA
FARMVILLE, Va. – Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) and Nicole Grote (Ellicott City, Md.) scored four goals apiece and Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) recorded 10 saves to lift the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Saturday afternoon's 15-10 victory against Longwood University at the Athletics Complex.
UNH, which recorded the advantage in shots (30-22), ground balls (23-17) and draw controls (14-13), improved to 1-5 to mark the first career victory for first-year head coach Sarah Albrecht. Longwood is now 5-2.
Puccia, who matched her season highs in both goals and points, tallied three ground balls, two caused turnovers and career-high six draw controls. Grote, who recorded her first collegiate points, was also credited with two ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Rachael Nock (Severna Park, Md.; three goals), Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.; 1g, 2a) and Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.; 1g, 1a) also finished with multiple points for the Wildcats. The three goals marked a career high for Nock.
O'Keefe finished with double-digit saves for the third consecutive game – and fourth time in six games. She also had one ground ball and one caused turnover.
Longwood was led offensively by Mary Barondess (3g), Sarah Butler (2g, 1a) and Lauren Prasnicki (1g, 2a). Christian Acker finished with 11 saves.
Laura McHoul (Westwood, Mass.) set up the first goal of the game potted by Grote at 28:57 to give UNH a 1-0 lead. Hinkle's unassisted goal extended the advantage to 2-0 at 27:24.
Barondess lifted the Lancers within 2-1 at 26:49, but Hannah Wohltmann (Towson, Md.) responded 36 seconds later with her second goal of the season to reestablish a two-goal lead and Puccia converted Hinkle's pass into a goal at 24:42 to give the 'Cats a 4-1 advantage.
Neither team scored for nearly five minutes until Sarah Jacobson netted a man-up goal on a free-position shot at 19:58 to trim the deficit to 4-2. O'Keefe kept the margin at two goals when she denied Barondess at 16:19 and Hinkle set up Puccia once again to give New Hampshire a 5-2 lead at 12:41.
Butler answered with a goal moments later at the other end of the field, but Grote's second goal of the game made it 6-3 at 9:44. Longwood once again made it a two-goal game when Sarah Arndt scored an unassisted goal at 7:28, but Grote struck again less than a minute later – at 6:36 – to put UNH ahead 7-4.
Acker made three saves the next five minutes and then Barondess scored with 51 seconds remaining in the first half to make it 7-5. She won the ensuing draw control but O'Keefe denied Liz Trainer with five seconds on the clock to send UNH into halftime with a two-goal lead.
O'Keefe turned aside Prasnicki's free-position shot at 26:17 of the second half and 30 seconds later Simpson netted a man-up goal to give the Wildcats an 8-5 cushion. The Lancers gained possession of the ensuing draw, however, and Butler scored a minute later to once again trim the home team's deficit to two goals, 8-6.
O'Keefe stopped Jamie Brentlinger on a free position at 24:18 and then stopped Trainer's bid at 21:48, but Longwood closed within one goal when Katie McHugh scored a man-up goal at 21:09.
The Lancers had an opportunity to tie the game after Arndt won the draw, but they committed a turnover and a ground ball by Cori Rees (East Hampstead, N.H.) led to Puccia's third goal of the game, a free-position tally, at 19:43 to give the 'Cats a 9-7 advantage.
UNH maintained possession for nearly three minutes before losing the ball and Barondess' third goal of the game lifted Longwood within 9-8 at 16:09.
Prasnicki responded with an unassisted goal at 8:59, but a draw control by Jamie DePetris (Radnor, Pa.) gave possession to UNH and led to Puccia's fourth goal of the game at 8:08 for a 13-9 advantage.
Longwood pulled within 13-10 just 27 seconds later, but then Nock gave momentum back to the 'Cats with a goal at 6:02. New Hampshire held the ball for the next two minutes before the Lancers advanced the ball into the attack zone and called time out at 3:23.
UNH kept the home team at bay until McHugh's shot was stopped by O'Keefe at 2:02 and Chelsea Cyeseter (Parker, Colo.) corralled the ground ball. The Wildcats quickly moved the ball to the other end of the field and went into a perimeter attack to protect the four-goal advantage. Nock capped the scoring on an unassisted tally with 15 seconds remaining.
Hinkle extended her team-leading active point-scoring streak to 10 games and assist streak to five. Simpson now has a goal- and point-scoring streak of seven games.
New Hampshire returns to action March 19 at home against Columbia University. Game time at Memorial Field is 2 p.m.