ALBANY, N.Y. – Sarah Von Bargen (East Setauket, N.Y.) and Alexa Webster (Aurora, Colo.) both scored two goals and Natalie Jones (Penn Yan, N.Y.) made nine saves to lead the University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team to Saturday afternoon’s 6-4 America East win at University at Albany at John Fallon Field.

            UNH improved to 6-5 overall and 3-0 in America East while Albany fell to 5-6, 1-1. The four goals marked the fewest allowed by the Wildcats this season and the six goals tied a season low for the attack, which also featured multiple-point games by Michaela Hardy (Reading, Mass.; 1g, 1a) and Ashley Durepo (Concord, N.H.; 2a).

            After two shots on goal and three turnovers in the first four offensive possessions of the game, the ‘Cats took a 1-0 lead at 23:05 on Von Bargen’s first tally of the game. Hardy, with a free position on the left wing, passed the ball low to Von Bargen, who curled behind the net around the left post to catch the pass and score.

Webster gave UNH a 2-0 advantage at 17:38 when she cut from the top of the fan to the left wing. Jones made one of her three first-half saves with 12 minutes remaining in the half when she stopped Brittany Scott’s low free-position shot to preserve the two-goal lead.

            Hardy extended the visitor’s lead to 3-0 on a free-position goal at 11:29 when she drove from the top-right wing to the middle and scored on a high shot.

            Kayla Best pulled the Great Danes within 3-1 at 8:07 by cutting left-to-right across the fan and firing a shot into the upper-right corner.

            Jones preserved UNH’s two-goal lead with 1:45 to play when she stopped Christine Gruenger’s free-position shot from the top of the fan. The Wildcats then held for one last shot. An errant pass in the closing seconds appeared to spoil UNH’s chance to score, but Durepo collected the loose ball outside the top of the fan and fired a pass into traffic in the middle, where Von Bargen executed a catch-and-shoot while falling down to score with 2.3 seconds on the clock and give the ‘Cats a 4-1 halftime lead.

            Held to just one goal – and four shots on goal – in the first half, Albany rallied to tie the score, 4-4, with three goals in a span of 1:57. Gruenger opened the flurry with a tally at 24:50, then Kate Fontana netted a free-position goal at 23:51 and struck again at 22:53 on a shot from the top of the fan inside the left post to tie the game.

            New Hampshire called time out at that point and Webster scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at 20:17. Off a free position from the top-left, she cut to the middle and fired a shot inside the right post to give the Wildcats a 5-4 lead.

            UNH extended the advantage to 6-4 at 18:03 when Beth Sabiston collected a pass in the middle of the fan and scored. Durepo, with the pass from the left wing, matched her career high of two assists on the tally.

            Jones and UNH’s defense preserved that margin the rest of the way. She stopped Fontana’s free-position shot with 10 minutes remaining, then turned aside Kayla Best at 8:30 and again at 6:00.

            The Wildcats regained possession with 2:30 to play and attempted to utilize a perimeter-passing game to secure the victory, but they turned the ball over with 35 seconds to go. Bailley Mazur (Longmeadow, Mass.) immediately caused an Albany turnover, however, and gathered the loose ball to help the ‘Cats kill the clock.

            Mazur finished the game with two ground balls and two caused turnovers. Kelli LaPerch (Brewster, N.Y.) recorded three ground balls and three caused turnovers, while Christine Carbone (Nashua, N.H.) had two ground balls and three caused turnovers for the ‘Cats.

            Albany goalie Jen Daly also finished with nine saves, seven in the first half.

            New Hampshire returns to action April 11 at home against Stony Brook University. Game time is 3 p.m.

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