Leland, Talbot pace Wildcats with five goals apiece
DURHAM, N.H. -- Katie Leland (Timonium, Md.) and Moira Talbot (Marblehead, Mass.) scored five goals each and Sarah Von Bargen (East Seatuket, N.Y.) recorded four goals to propel the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Wednesday afternoon's 17-14 non-conference victory against Brown University at Memorial Field.
UNH won its third consecutive game to improve to 4-4 while Brown lost for the second time in as many games to fall to 3-5.
Leland finished with a game-high eight points on five goals and three assists while Talbot recorded career highs in both goals (five) and points (six). Alexa Webster (Aurora, Colo.) had a personal-best three assists and also netted a goal to finish with four points. Ashley Durepo (Concord, N.H.) scored UNH's other two goals.
In her first collegiate start, New Hampshire goalkeeper Maghan Grahn (Roseau, Minn.) made five saves and exited the game with the 'Cats holding a 9-7 halftime lead. Lauren McMullen (Amherst, N.H.) made her collegiate debut at the start of the second half and stopped six of 13 shots on goal the rest of the way.
Brown was led offensively by Amie Biros (five goals, one assist), Krystina DeLuca (two goals, one assist) and Mackenzie Staffier (two goals). Melissa King went the distance in goal and was credited with 13 saves.
Von Bargen quickly gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead with unassisted tallies 17 seconds apart at 1:54 and 2:11. Talbot converted Leland's pass into a goal 30 seconds later to extend the advantage to 3-0. Von Bargen struck again at 7:54 on a free position shot to push the lead to 4-0 and Talbot, off a pass from Webster, gave the 'Cats a five-goal cushion at 8:19, which prompted Brown to call time out.
The Bears responded with a Kelly Robinson tally at 9:21 to spark a 5-2 run that lifted the visitors within 7-5 and forcing UNH to call a timeout at 21:47. DeLuca scored on a free position goal -- overall, Brown converted eight of nine free position shots into goals -- to trim the Wildcats' lead to 7-6 at 23:50.
Durepo, with the assistance of Leland, extended the lead to 8-6 at 26:30 and Leland, from Talbot, scored her first goal of the game with 56 seconds remaining in the half put the 'Cats ahead 9-6. Biros pulled the Bears within 9-7 on a tally at 29:48.
Goals 34 seconds apart by Talbot and Leland gave UNH a four-goal cushion, 11-7, at 35:43. Brown answered with consecutive goals by Biros and Jen Redd in a span of 33 seconds to pull within 11-9. Durepo's second tally of the game, this time on a free position shot, came just 48 seconds later, however, to stop the surge at 43:55 and extend the advantage to 12-9.
UNH held a 14-10 lead when Brown called time out at 49:28 and the Bears scored three of the next four goals to close within 15-13 with 4:32 remaining. Leland changed momentum of the game as she charged from the left wing and netted her fourth goal of the half just 23 seconds later, and Von Bargen's fourth goal of the game, scored into an open net at 56:34, gave the 'Cats a 17-13 advantage.
Biros struck again at 58:12 on a free position shot but the Wildcats gained possession on the ensuing draw control. UNH turned the ball over with just over one minute to play, but a solid defensive effort forced the Bears to patiently set up an attack. Justine Lupo finally fired a shot with 25 seconds remaining, but McMullen made the save to preserve the lead and the victory.
New Hampshire returns to action April 1 at home for its America East conference opener vs. the University at Albany. Game time at Memorial Field is 1 p.m.