CAMBRIDGE, Mass.Michaela Hardy (Reading, Mass.) and Moira Talbot (Marblehead, N.H.) scored two goals apiece for the University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team, but Harvard University stormed out to a 5-0 lead en route to Wednesday afternoon’s 12-6 non-conference victory at Harvard Stadium.

      UNH fell to 6-9 with its fourth consecutive loss while Harvard improved to 4-10.   

      Harvard netted the first five goals of the game to build a 5-0 lead as UNH’s offense was held without a shot in the opening 15 minutes of the first half, and the Wildcats recorded more turnovers (11) than shots (six) heading into halftime.

      Tara Schoen (5g) opened the scoring at 26:29, then Sarah Bancroft netted a free position goal at 24:27 when she drove from the top of the fan and fired a shot into the lower-right corner. Schoen struck again, this time by rolling from behind the net to the right post, to give the Crimson a 3-0 lead at 22:43 and prompt UNH to call time out.

      The Wildcats recorded their first shot midway through the half when Talbot was denied from close range by Harvard goalkeeper Katherine Martino. On UNH’s next possession, Ashley Durepo (Concord, N.H.) was turned aside by Martino on a free position shot.

      Harvard then extended its advantage to 5-0 on tallies by Caroline Simmons (3g, 2a) at 12:25 and Kaitlin Martin at 11:06.

      Talbot, with an off-balance shot as she drove through the middle of the fan, put UNH into the scoring column at 6:56. Hardy scored 96 seconds later by driving from the top of the fan and firing a low shot that bounced into the net to trim the deficit to 5-2.

      Simmons scored her second of the game at 4:13, then Schoen’s third tally of the half at 2:41 reestablished a five-goal advantage for the home team.

      Hardy, with a shot inside the near post after driving down the right side, closed the first-half scoring (7-3) at 1:11.

      The Wildcats pulled within 7-4 just 27 seconds into the second half when Sarah Von Bargen (East Setauket, N.Y.) cut from the left side to the middle and rifled a side-arm shot into the cage.

      Schoen potted her fourth goal 68 seconds later, however, and Martin’s second strike extended Harvard’s advantage to 9-4 at 17:18. Talbot, with the ball on the left wing, took a step back but quickly reversed direction towards the center and fired a shot into the netting at 13:32 to lift the ‘Cats within 9-5.

      Simmons put the ball into the goal at 11:17, but UNH issued a stick challenge and the goal was disallowed because of an illegal pocket.

      Webster, with two quick steps in the middle of the fan, scored off a pass from Ashley Crook (South Burlington, Vt.) to pull the ‘Cats within 9-6 at 5:47. The Crimson won the ensuing draw control – Harvard recorded a 16-4 advantage in that statistic – and Ali Hines scored at 5:03 to push the lead to 10-6. Schoen, off a feed from Simmons, scored 11 seconds later and Sara Flood capped the scoring at 1:31.

      UNH goalkeeper Ashley Milley (Sudbury, Mass.) recorded double digits in saves for the second consecutive game with 10 and kept the ‘Cats within striking distance in the first half with her strong play. HU’s Martino finished with six saves.

      The Wildcats finished the game with 25 turnovers – Harvard was charged with 28 turnovers – and 19 shots.

      New Hampshire concludes the regular season April 28 (12 p.m.) at Binghamton University. UNH has secured a berth in the America East Championships for the 10th consecutive year. The tournament will be held at the site of the highest seed May 4-6.

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