DURHAM, N.H. -- Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.) scored as time expired in regulation to lift the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Wednesday afternoon's 12-11 non-conference victory against Columbia University at Memorial Field.
UNH won its second consecutive game to improve to 2-5 overall and send Columbia to its sixth consecutive loss and a 1-6 record.
Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) led five Wildcat multiple-point scorers with three goals. Laura McHoul (Westwood, Mass.) and Rachael Nock (Severna Park, Md.) both scored two goals while Hinkle and Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) both tallied a goal and an assist. Puccia and Hinkle tied for the team lead in draw controls with four apiece.
Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) recorded 11 saves for her fourth consecutive double-digit save performance. She was also credited with a team-high two caused turnovers.
Columbia was led offensively by Katie Angulo and Paige Cuscovitch, both of whom scored three goals. Kacie Johnson and Ashley Rinere both netted two goals. Colleen Packer was credited with six saves.
Simpson's third goal of the game gave UNH a 10-6 advantage at 13:18 of the second half. The Lions responded with goals 66 seconds apart when Rinere converted a Kelly Buechel pass into a goal at 11:54 and Cuscovitch scored on a free-position shot at 10:48.
The 'Cats called their first timeout at that point, but Columbia continued its comeback with an extended possession. Cuscovitch fired wide right on a free position at 9:42 and then Johnson was denied by O'Keefe 30 seconds later. Sarah Greenberg corralled one of her game-high three ground balls to retain possession for Columbia, which trimmed the deficit to 10-9 when Johnson scored an unassisted goal at 8:49.
Hinkle gained possession of the ensuing draw control and New Hampshire went into a perimeter attack to quell the visitor's momentum, and eventually Nock penetrated through the middle of the fan to score an unassisted goal and reestablish a two-goal margin of 11-9 at 4:51.
Columbia responded quickly with Rinere's free-position goal at 4:40. Puccia won the draw control and UNH once again went into a perimeter attack, but the 'Cats lost possession with 2:11 on the clock. The Lions advanced into the attack zone and generated a free position that resulted in Buechel's goal at 1:29 that tied the score, 11-11.
Puccia once again gained possession of the draw and the Wildcats called time out at 1:16. Columbia's defense prevented UNH from attacking the cage and checked the ball out of Hinkle's crosse at the top of the fan with five seconds remaining. Hinkle corralled the ball, however, charged down the left side and fired a shot into the cage as time expired to give New Hampshire a 12-11 victory.
CU recorded a 25-21 shot advantage that included a 16-9 edge in the second half. The visitors also had a 12-10 ground ball advantage, whereas UNH had a 14-10 edge in draw controls. The one-goal victory marked a reversal of fortunes for the 'Cats -- four of their losses have been by a combined five goals.
The Wildcats opened the game on a 4-0 run. Puccia finished a pass from Nicole Grote (Ellicott City, Md.) at 26:44, then Simpson scored her 20th goal of the season at 23:24 to give the 'Cats a 2-0 lead. A Lions' defender inadvertently scored an own goal at 21:45 when a centering pass from behind the net was blocked back into the goal. Jamie DePetris (Radnor, Pa.) corralled the ensuing draw control and McHoul potted an unassisted goal 37 seconds later to give the home team a four-goal advantage.
Angulo scored consecutive goals more than 10 minutes apart – at 20:47 and 10:17 – to left Columbia within 4-2. Simpson struck again at 7:03 for her 90th career goal and McHoul, off a pass from Hinkle, closed the first-half scoring at 1:01 to give UNH a 6-2 lead.
Johnson, the only player in Columbia history to record 200+ points, recorded her first point of the game with an unassisted tally at 28:55 of the second half. Nock netted a free-position goal at 27:21 and Puccia found Molly Gaffey (North Hampton, N.H.) cutting down the middle for a goal and 8-3 advantage at 25:46.
Angulo scored her third goal of the game 35 seconds later and Cuscovitch scored at 19:42 to trim the deficit to 8-5. Hannah Wohltmann (Towson, Md.) and Cuscovitch exchanged free-position goals to advance the score to 9-6 before Simpson's third goal and Columbia's late rally.
Hinkle extended her team-leading active point-scoring streak to 11 games and assist streak to six games while Simpson's team-high goal-scoring streak was extended to eight games.
New Hampshire returns to action March 24 (12 p.m.) for its America East conference opener at the University at Albany. The Wildcats' next home game is March 27 (4 p.m.) against Iona College.