Leland scores school-record nine goals for Wildcats
DURHAM, N.H. - Katie Leland (Timonium, Md.) recorded a school-record nine goals, her 100th career tally and 50th career assist to propel the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Monday afternoon's 21-13 America East victory against the University of Maryland, Baltimore County at Memorial Field.
UNH, which has won all three games in the series vs. UMBC, improved to 5-5 overall and 1-0 in America East by scoring 21 goals in a game for the third time this season. UMBC is now 2-7, 0-2.
Leland, who was also credited with two assists for a total of 11 points (one less than the school record), entered the game with 93 career goals and 49 assists in 46 games. She became the sixth Wildcat to record 50 assists when UNH took a 1-0 lead at 3:53 on the first of four tallies by Jess Burnap (New Canaan, Conn.). Leland finished the first half with six goals and an assist to give the Wildcats an 8-6 halftime lead, then opened the second-half scoring at 31:49 to become the ninth UNH player to reach the 100-goal benchmark. On the program's career leaderboard lists, Leland ascended into a tie for eighth in goals (102), sixth in assists (51) and a tie for sixth in points (153).
There were five ties and two lead changes in the first half. After falling behind 1-0, UMBC took a 2-1 lead on tallies by Kate Worthington and Jocena Venditti (five goals, two assists) at 5:25 and 7:18, respectively. The teams traded goals, giving the visitors a 3-2 lead, before Leland scored consecutive goals at 12:25 and 13:46 to put UNH back in front, 4-3. Venditti struck again at 16:28 to produce the fourth tie of the game, 4-4, but Leland responded with her fifth goal of the game 30 seconds later for a 5-4 Wildcat advantage.
Venditti's third goal forged a 5-5 tie at 20:48. Once again, Leland had a quick response with a goal 20 seconds later to give New Hampshire a lead it would not relinquish, 6-5. Burnap, with the assistance of Kristin Blanchette (Sudbury, Mass.; three goals, two assists), extended UNH's advantage to two goals, 7-5, at 24:55. UMBC's Ali Levendusky (two goals, assist) trimmed the deficit to 7-6 19 seconds later, but Leland closed the first-half scoring with a tally at 26:11.
Leland converted a pass from Laura Dosdall (Wellesley, Mass.) into her 100th career goal and a 9-6 UNH lead and Dosdall followed that up with a goal 12 seconds later to give the 'Cats control early in the second half. The teams alternated scoring in the next eight goals to give UNH a 14-10 lead at 43:59.
Wildcats' starting goalkeeper Stacey Plati (Nashua, N.H.) exited the game at that point and she earned the victory by recording six saves. Ashley Milley (Sudbury, Mass.) played the final 13:59 was credited with two saves while allowing three goals.
Blanchette's second goal of the game gave the 'Cats their largest lead at that point, 15-10, at 44:35. UMBC's Anna Jacobs (two goals, two assists) potted back-to-back goals 46 seconds apart to pull the Retrievers within 15-12, but New Hampshire scored three goals in the next 50 seconds to reestablish control with a 18-12 lead and 13:01 remaining in the game.
Moira Talbot (Marblehead, Mass.) scored on a breakaway at 48:12 and Blanchette socred a free position goal at 52:18 to extend the advantage to 20-12.
Following the Retrievers' last goal at 52:30, UNH gained possession and held the ball until Jill Albee (Pembroke, N.H.), who extended her point-scoring streak to 10 games with a pair of goals, closed the scoring with 20 seconds remaining.
UMBC goalie Kristina Raab was credited with eight saves.
Leland's nine tallies surpassed the previous mark of eight that was shared by four Wildcats, including teammate Burnap. UNH's single-game points record of 12 was established by Laurie Leary in 1984.
UNH returns to action April 13 (4 p.m.) at Harvard University. The next Wildcat home game is April 17 (1 p.m.) vs. Stony Brook University. UNH's 1985 national championship women's lacrosse team will be honored during halftime of that game.