VESTAL, N.Y. – Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) tallied a career-high eight points with three goals and a personal best of five assists to propel the 18th-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team to a 21-9 victory against Binghamton University in Saturday afternoon’s regular-season finale at the Bearcats Sports Complex.
UNH won its third consecutive game to improve to 11-6 overall and 4-2 in America East. Binghamton ends its season at 3-13, 0-6.
In addition to Kaplan, who extended her point-scoring streak to 10 games and also recorded four draw controls and a caused turnover, four ‘Cats finished with multiple points. Michaela Hardy (Reading, Mass.) equaled her season high of five points with four goals and an assist and Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) recorded a personal-best four points by matching her career high of three goals and adding an assist. Ashley Durepo (Concord, N.H.) scored three goals and Deb Dale (East Northport, N.Y.) netted two goals.
UNH starting goalkeeper Kate Gunts (Wilton, Conn.) yielded six goals and made three saves in the first half to earn the victory; she was also credited with three ground balls. Nikki Hume (Hampton, N.H.) played the second half and stopped four of seven shots on goal. Also noteworthy for the Wildcats was the line for Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.), who tallied one goal, five draw controls and three ground balls.
Bearcats’ goalie Lauren Scott made five saves and surrendered 20 goals in 44 minutes, 31 seconds of action. Emily Miller turned aside two of the three shots on goal she faced in 15:29. Their attack was led by Kate Tesi (2g, 1a), Meg Brown (2g) and Ali Castiglie (2a).
After Binghamton answered each of UNH’s initial two goals of the game, the Wildcats scored three consecutive goals to build a 5-2 lead. The Bearcats pulled within 7-5, but New Hampshire scored two of the next three goals to extend its advantage to 9-6. UNH then closed the first half on a 3-0 run to take a 12-6 lead into halftime and opened the second half with eight consecutive goals to put the game out of reach.
The Wildcats finished the game with advantages in shots (35-23), ground balls (14-12) and draw controls (22-10).
Durepo opened the game scoring with an unassisted tally at 25:11, but Tesi pulled the home team even, 1-1, just 20 seconds later. Hardy put UNH back in front, 2-1, with her unassisted goal at 23:26, but once again the Bearcats had a quick response as Brown struck 15 seconds later.
Hardy netted her second goal of the game, this time on a free-position shot, at 22:12 to give the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish. Rausch then scored consecutive goals 71 seconds apart – first with Hardy’s assistance at 19:13 and then at 18:02 off a pass from Kaplan – to push the lead to 5-2.
Lizzie Wright ended the spurt with a goal at 17:46 to lift BU within 5-3, but goals by Hardy and Beth Sabiston (Bay Shore, N.Y.) at 16:23 and 14:43, respectively, gave UNH a 7-3 advantage.
Castiglie then set up goals by Tesi and Emily Thon in a 20-second span – at 12:38 and 12:18 – to quickly pull the Bearcats within 7-5.
The momentum swing was shortlived, however. UNH called time out and Cohen controlled the ensuing draw, which led to Kaplan’s goal at 12:02. Durepo’s second tally of the day, this time on a free position, pushed the advantage to 9-5 at 7:01.
Lis Zuern’s goal at 4:46 decreased Binghamton’s deficit to 9-6, but UNH also proved resilient with three goals in a 44-second span to quickly push the score to 12-6. Kaplan won possession on the ensuing draw control following Zuern’s goal and Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.) scored a free-position goal at 4:27. Kaplan then set up Rausch’s third goal of the game (at 4:00) and scored her second of the game at 3:43 to close the first-half scoring.
Hardy (28:06) and Cohen (27:44) opened the second-half scoring with free-position goals to give UNH a 14-6 lead. Kaplan then set up the next three goals by Dale (27:35), Durepo (24:18) and Dale (21:58) to push the advantage to double digits.
JoJo Curro (Amherst, N.H.), with the assistance of Rausch, scored at 20:40 and Kaplan netted her third of the game 63 seconds later to give the Wildcats a 19-6 lead.
Susie Piotrkowski (Franklin, Conn.) scored the last of UNH’s 11 consecutive goals at 18:11, then Binghamton’s Riley Newman (16:16), Melissa Jaworski (11:36) and Brown (7:23) scored to trim the deficit to 20-9.
Sarah Von Bargen (East Setauket, N.Y.), UNH’s leader in goals and points, recorded her only point of the game with a goal at 5:37 to close the game scoring.
New Hampshire will be making its league-record 12th consecutive appearance in the America East Championship tournament this season. The third-seeded Wildcats will play second-seeded University at Albany (9-7, 4-2) in an April 30 semifinal game at Boston University’s Nickerson Field. Game time is 3:30 p.m. The winner of that semifinal will advance to the May 2 (1 p.m.) league title game. The winner of the tournament will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.
Tickets, available day of games, are $8 for adults, $5 for youth under 14 and $2 for all America East students with valid school ID. Live stats will be available for all three games, while the championship contest on Saturday will be streamed live at the America East Zone in partnership with Pack Network.