April 6, 2011

New Hampshire Ends BU Hex, Wins First in Series Since '04

from press release

DURHAM, N.H. – Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) scored with 38 seconds remaining in the second overtime session to lift the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Wednesday afternoon's 13-12 victory against Boston University in America East action at Memorial Field. UNH, which has lost 13 consecutive games in this series dating back to a victory in the 2004 America East championship game, is now 6-5 overall and 1-1 in the league. BU, which entered the game with a three-game winning streak, falls to 6-5, 2-1.

Rausch's game-winning tally capped a five-goal, one-assist effort – both the five goals and six points are career highs – to garner UNH's America East Player of the Game honor. Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.) finished with two goals, two assists and four caused turnovers while JoJo Curro (Amherst, N.H.; 2g, 1a), Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.; 2g) and Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass. 1g, 1a) also tallied multiple points.

Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.), who entered the game with UNH trailing 8-5 with 1:58 remaining in the first half, played the final 40:20 of the game and stopped five of nine shots on goal to earn the victory. Starting goalie Kate Gunts (Wilton, Conn.) was credited with four saves.

Six Terriers, led by Hannah Frey (3g) and Erica Baumgartner (2g, 1a), recorded multiple points. Danielle Etrasco, BU's America East Player of the Game, finished with two goals, two ground balls, two draw controls and one caused turnover. Christina Sheridan played the full 68:22 and made 11 saves.

With the score tied 12-12 at the end of regulation, the teams entered overtime, which is a six-minute session split into two halves. BU's Kate Cipolletti controlled the opening draw, but O'Keefe kept the game tied with 2:25 on the clock when she denied Frey. The Wildcats slowly advanced the ball the length of the field, but managed just a 12-meter shot by Cohen in the closing seconds that Sheridan snared. The Terriers' Danielle Etrasco controlled the draw to start the second half of the first extra session but O'Keefe once again kept the visitors at bay when she denied Baumgartner on the left doorstep with 2:04 on the clock. The teams then exchanged fruitless possessions the rest of the first overtime session.

The game then advanced to a three-minute sudden-victory extra session and UNH's Cori Rees (East Hampstead, N.H.) gained possession of the opening draw control. Curro was awarded a free position on the left wing with 1:10 remaining, but she was stopped by Sheridan off a quick return pass.

The 'Cats maintained possession, however. Rausch caught a pass from Amber Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.) 8-meters out on the right wing, cut straight across the fan and fired a shot into the upper-left corner with 38 seconds remaining to end the game.

New Hampshire finished with a slight edge in shots (29-27) and draw controls (16-13). BU had an 11-6 advantage in ground balls and the turnovers were even at 11.

UNH took a 1-0 lead at 26:58 when Curro found Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.) in the middle of the fan. BU's Godett responded with a goal 19 seconds later, however, to spark a four-goal spurt that forced the Wildcats to play catch-up the rest of the game. Rachel Collins gave the Terriers a 2-1 lead at 25:17, then Frey (22:37) and Godett (21:03) extended the advantage to three goals.

Keagins converted a pass from Rausch into a goal at 19:05 to lift the 'Cats within 4-2, but Molly Swain reestablished a three-goal margin of 5-2 at 17:21, which prompted New Hampshire to call time out.

The Wildcats scored a goal in transition at 16:00 when Keagins, from the top-right side of the fan, connected with Curro in the middle.

BU's Frey struck again at 11:05 and Swain scored a free-position goal 56 seconds later to give the Terriers a 7-3 lead.

UNH clawed within 7-5 on goals by Simpson at 5:01 and Curro – from Keagins – at 4:11. Baumgartner closed the first-half scoring at 1:58 to send BU into halftime with an 8-5 advantage.

The Wildcats opened the second-half scoring with consecutive goals to close within 8-7. Cohen, from the top-right side, executed a pass low to Rausch and she scored with a shot into the upper-right corner at 27:48. Rausch struck again at 26:10, this time an unassisted tally as she rolled from behind the net to the right post and beat Sheridan high to the near post.

Etrasco finished a feed from Catie Tilton to give BU a 9-7 lead at 25:41, but Cohen once again lifted the 'Cats within one goal when her shot from the right side sailed past Rausch and eluded Sheridan.

New Hampshire leveled the score – the first tie since 1-1 – at 21:16 when Rausch scored her third goal of the half on a low shot from eight meters.

BU called a timeout at 19:33 and it paid immediate dividends with a Frey goal at 19:17 as she cut down the middle off a pass from Baumgartner.

Simpson's second strike of the game once again tied the score, 10-10, at 9:27 and Rausch's fourth goal of the half – again on a roll from behind the net to the right post and high shot – gave UNH an 11-10 lead, the first for the 'Cats since 1-0 in the opening minutes of the game, at 7:24.

The Terriers called another timeout at 6:08 and once again produced a goal, this time off the stick of Baumgartner to even the score, 11-11, at 5:40.

O'Keefe kept the game deadlocked with five minutes remaining when she denied Swain cutting down the middle of the fan. UNH deliberately moved the ball through midfield into the attacking zone and went into a spread attack that produced a go-ahead goal, 12-11, by Keagins at 2:56. She maneuvered from the right wing to the middle of the fan, hesitated and split a double team before scoring.

BU won possession of the ensuing draw control and, after a patient set up, Frey fired a shot wide of the cage. The Terriers retained possession, however, and Etrasco netted her 33rd goal of the season with 1:11 remaining when she drove down the middle of the fan and shot inside the right post.

Boston University won the draw control but Keagins immediately forced a turnover. Sheridan then turned aside Rausch with 26 seconds remaining, but Keagins forced another turnover to give possession back to the 'Cats with 10 seconds remaining. Keagins drove deep on the left wing and her off-balance shot in the waning seconds was stopped by Sheridan to force overtime.

New Hampshire returns to action April 9 (1 p.m.) at the University at Albany. The Wildcats' next home game is April 16 (1 p.m.) against Stony Brook University.

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