WORCESTER, Mass.  Moira Talbot (Marblehead, Mass.) matched her career high of five goals, including one in overtime, to rally the University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team to Tuesday afternoon’s 14-13 victory against the College of the Holy Cross at Hart Center AstroTurf Field.

            This game marked the season opener for UNH (1-0) while Holy Cross, which defeated the Wildcats 14-13 in OT last year in Durham, is now 1-1.

            Trailing 12-9 with three minutes remaining in the second half, the ‘Cats rallied to force overtime. Alexa Webster (Aurora, Colo.; 1g, 2a) sparked the comeback when her shot from the left wing sailed into the net at 2:27.

            UNH inserted Ashley Milley (Sudbury, Mass.) into goal at that point to create defensive pressure if necessary. Holy Cross won the ensuing draw control, but UNH’s Kelli LaPerch (Brewster, N.Y.) gained possession of a loose ball. At the other end of the field, Sarah Von Bargen (East Setauket, N.Y.; 3g, 1a) passed the ball from behind the net to Talbot in front for the score at 1:28.

            Holy Cross once again won the draw control, but LaPerch intercepted a pass along the right sideline to give New Hampshire possession with 30 seconds remaining in regulation. Von Bargen’s initial shot from the top of the arc went just wide of the right post. UNH maintained possession, however, and Von Bargen rolled from behind the net across the goal mouth to score at the right post with 4.6 seconds to play at tie the score, 12-12.

            The Crusaders struck first in the pair of three-minute overtime sessions when Kristine Corkum (3g, 2a) scored at 2:17. Talbot pulled the ‘Cats even, 13-13, when she converted Webster’s pass from the top of the arc into her fifth goal of the game at 1:18. UNH gained possession off the draw control and held the ball for a final shot. It produced the Wildcats’ first lead of the game, 14-13, as Ashley Durepo (Concord, N.H.; 2g) drove down the middle of the fan and scored on a high shot with 7.4 seconds on the clock.

            That proved to be the game-winning tally because New Hampshire won the draw control at the outset of the second three-minute OT frame and possessed the ball around the perimeter to secure the victory.

            UNH starting goalie Natalie Jones (Penn Yan, N.Y.), who was reinserted for overtime, made 11 saves. HC counterpart Megan Orr stopped 21 shots.

The Wildcats fell behind 4-0 less than six minutes into the game. Patricia Sutton (4g) netted an unassisted goal 45 seconds into the game, then Amy Archambault scored a free-position goal at 27:55. Sutton struck again at 25:14 and she extended the Crusaders’ lead to 4-0 at 24:35 on a free position shot.

            UNH trimmed the deficit to 4-1 at 18:09 when Talbot scored from the left wing. Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.; 2g, 1a), with a pass from the middle of the arc, recorded her first collegiate point with an assist.

            HC reestablished a four-goal advantage when Jenna Constantino (3g, 1a) converted a pass from Nikki Bolduc at 10:20, which ended a scoreless drought of 14:15. The ‘Cats once again pulled within three goals, 5-2, at 8:10 when Von Bargen cut from the right wing to the middle of the fan to score an unassisted goal.

            The Crusaders took that 5-2 advantage into halftime and struck first in the second half on a tally by Constantino at 29:29 to claim a four-goal lead for the third time in the game.

            New Hampshire rallied to tie the score with four consecutive goals. Durepo ignited the surge with an unassisted goal by driving from the top-left wing to the low middle at 24:10. Talbot netted her second goal of the game when she scored off a rebound in front at 21:22 to lift the ‘Cats within 6-4. She struck again two minutes later and Kaplan scored the first of her two goals at 17:41 to force the first tie of the game, 6-6.

            HC went back in front at 17:30, but Michaela Hardy (Reading, Mass.) had a quick response for the Wildcats at 17:10 to level the score at 7-7.

            The Crusaders netted four consecutive goals to build an 11-7 advantage with 5:39 left in regulation. Kaplan and Von Bargen scored 59 seconds apart – at 4:36 and 3:37, respectively – to lift UNH within 11-9 before Constantino gave the home team a three-goal lead, 12-9, with 3:05 to play.

            New Hampshire returns to action March 3 at Dartmouth College. The Wildcats’ home opener is March 7 vs. Yale. Game time at Memorial Field is 3 p.m.

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