BURLINGTON, Vt. – The 15th-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team rallied from a 5-4 halftime deficit to take an 8-6 lead, but the Wildcats were held scoreless thereafter and the homestanding University of Vermont Catamounts broke an 8-8 tie with 20.9 seconds remaining to record a 9-8 victory Wednesday afternoon at Moulton-Winder Field.

The Wildcats, who entered the game with a nine-game winning streak, is now 10-3 overall and 3-1 in America East. Vermont is 7-5, 4-1.

Michaela Hardy (Reading, Mass.), Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) and Sarah Von Bargen (East Setauket, N.Y.) each scored two goals for the Wildcats; both Von Bargen and Hardy also tallied an assist to finish with three points.

Ashley Crook (South Burlington, Vt.) and Deb Dale (East Northport, N.Y.) both scored one goal, and it was Dale's first career goal. Crook added four draw controls, one caused turnover and one ground ball.

Trailing 5-4, UNH pulled even, 5-5, on Hardy’s second goal of the game at 21:58 when she was awarded a free position at the top-right side of the fan and fired a shot low inside the near post.

UVM won the ensuing draw control, but Piotrkowski’s caused turnover led to a Von Bargen goal – and UNH’s 6-5 lead – just 35 seconds later at 21:23. Von Bargen gained possession at the top of the fan and beat the defense with a step to the left, then scored with a shot inside the right post.

UNH’s Milley then made one of her four second-half saves – she finished the game with seven overall – to keep the Wildcats in front. At the other end of the field, Von Bargen executed the same play to beat the defense, but this time fired a shot inside the left post to give the visiting ‘Cats a 7-5 advantage at 18:42.

Vermont called time out, won the ensuing draw control and Megan MacDonald trimmed the deficit to 7-6 at 17:10 with a low shot from the left side that bounced under the crossbar.

New Hampshire responded with a goal 23 seconds later. Crook won the next draw control – the Wildcats won just two of nine second-half draws after taking 7 of 10 in the first half – and moved the ball behind the net to Hardy. Hardy threw a high pass down low and Kaplan executed a catch-and-shoot to deposit the ball into an open net at 16:47.

The visiting ‘Cats were held scoreless the rest of the way, however, with seven turnovers and just one shot in eight possessions.

UVM pulled within 8-7 at 13:48 when Kristen Millar connected with Alison Haigh cutting across the fan and Haigh scored on a high shot. One minute later, Millar was found along in the middle of the fan, but she was denied by Milley.

With 10:01 remaining, UNH’s Moira Talbot (Marblehead, Mass.) circled from behind the net to the right post, but her shot was stopped by Meaghan Hanley, who recorded both of her two saves in the second half.

Still ahead 8-7 with 2:45 remaining, the Wildcats were awarded a free position but elected to maintain possession. But the Catamounts regained possession within 25 seconds and a quick counterattack led to Kaitlyn Fuller’s goal from the right doorstep at 2:11.

Vermont again won the draw control and patiently held the ball for the last shot. That opportunity presented itself when MacDonald, at the top of the fan, fed the ball low to Fuller, who caught the ball with her back to the goal, turned and scored with 20.9 seconds on the clock.

The Catamounts gained possession on the draw and, despite temporarily losing control of the ball, ran out the remainder of the clock to secure the victory.

In the first half, UNH took a 1-0 lead on Hardy’s unassisted goal at 26:10. UVM’s Sarah DeStefano netted a free-position goal 61 seconds later to tie the score. Crook struck at 22:08 to put the visiting ‘Cats back in front, 2-1, but Vermont pulled even again at 18:59 on a Tori Wasson goal.

UNH regained the lead 46 seconds later on Kaplan’s first goal of the game, then Dale extended the advantage to 4-2 by finishing a pass from Von Bargen at 16:43.

In a bit of foreshadowing, the Wildcats would not score again the rest of the half and UVM took a 5-4 lead into halftime on goals by MacDonald (at 13:23) and Fuller (10:51 and 6:36).

UVM recorded the advantage in shots (23-17), draw controls (10-9) and turnovers (15-18). Both teams tallied 11 ground balls.

New Hampshire returns to action April 12 (1 p.m.) at Boston University. The Wildcats’ next home game is April 16 (3 p.m.) against the University at Albany.

View: Mobile | Desktop