DURHAM, N.H. - Junior Jessie Groszkowski (Reisterstown, Md.), the America East Player of the Year, netted five goals to propel top-seeded University of New Hampshire to a 21-5 victory over No. 4 Vermont in the semifinals of the America East Women's Lacrosse Championship Thursday afternoon at rain-soaked Lewis Fields.
With the win, the Wildcats advance to the conference final for the first time in school history. UNH (12-5, 4-0 America East) will play second-seeded Boston University, which defeated No. 3 Albany 19-4 in the late semifinal game, in the May 4 (1 p.m.) title game. UNH was a 13-9 victor against BU in Boston on April 17.
Groszkowski opened the scoring for UNH 3:51 into the game on an assist from Meagan Clavin (Grantham, N.H.), and made it 2-0 nine seconds later on an unassisted tally. New Hampshire netted the first 10 goals of the contest before UVM's Courtney Keefe notched the Catamounts' first goal with just under 14 minutes to play in the first half.
UNH, which defeated UVM 21-7 in the regular season, owned a 12-2 halftime advantage. Molly Cherington (Meriden, N.H.) made it 13-2 1:49 into the second half as UNH extended the lead to 15-2 before Sarah Booker scored for Vermont (7-8, 1-3) at the game's 35:42 mark.
Goals by Laura Dosdall (Wellesley, Mass.) and Renee Nemmers (Englewood, Colo.) pushed UNH's advantage to 17-3 over the next six minutes to keep control of the game.
Danielle Martin (Ellicott City, Md.) stopped eight shots for UNH. UVM starting goalie Kate McBride made three saves and surrendered eight goals before exiting the game at 14:10. Holly Roberts was credited with seven saves and allowed 13 goals in 45:50 of relief action.
Keefe notched a hat trick for Vermont, while Nicole Moore (Wilton, Maine), Sarah Cahill (Lexington, Mass.), Sue Yund (Castleton, N.Y.) and Cherington each notched two goals for New Hampshire, while Kelly Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) assisted on three tallies.
In all, 13 Wildcats scored a goal. Other single tallies were scored by Bronwyn Leto (Oswego, N.Y.), Jill Albee (Pembroke, N.H.), Jess Burnap (New Canaan, Conn.; two assists), Hilary Maynes (Freeport, Maine; assist), Jen Smith (Marshfield, Mass.; assist) and Clavin. It was the first career goal for Smith, who also recorded her first career point earlier in the game with an assist on Groszkowski's fifth tally of the game.
Yund, who also had an assist to finish with three points, recorded her 100th career point when she scored her second goal of the game - and 32nd of the season - with 22 seconds remaining in the contest. She has career totals of 80-20-100.
Groszkowski, who has scored a goal in 27 consecutive games, now has 58 tallies this season, which is one shy of the UNH benchmark of 59 set by Kathy Sanborn in 1979. Her 66 points ties the single-season record that was established by Colleen Christopher last season. Groszkowski's 122 career goals is No. 4 on UNH's all-time list and her 141 points ranks eighth.