BOSTON -- In a battle of 17th-ranked women's lacrosse teams, Boston University built a 5-0 lead en route to a 10-4 victory against the University of New Hampshire in Wednesday afternoon's America East action at Nickerson Field.
UNH, which entered the game with a three-game winning streak and ranked in the Inside Lacrosse media poll, is now 7-4 overall and 1-1 in America East. BU, which has won 12 straight in the series vs. the Wildcats, improved to 2-0 in the league and 6-6 overall; the Terriers are nationally ranked in the IWLCA coaches poll.
Amber Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.), Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.), Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) accounted for UNH's goals and Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) tallied an assist to move into third place on the program's career list at 68.
UNH starting goalkeeper Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) played the initial 51:03 of the game and exited with UNH trailing 8-2. She made seven saves in a losing effort. Kate Gunts (Wilton, Conn.) defended the cage the final 8:57 and stopped one of three shots on goal.
BU's attack was led by McKinley Curro (3g, 1a) and Traci Landi (3g). Rachel Klein made 15 saves, including 10 in the first half to keep the 'Cats scoreless.
UNH won the opening draw control and maintained possession for the better part of three minutes, but did not record a shot. BU scored on its first trip into the offensive end of the field when Landi's shot from high in the fan went low into the goal at 26:24.
The Wildcats' Allie Bratton (Windermere, Fla.) gained possession on the ensuing draw control and drove down the right side, but she was denied by Klein.
At the other end of the field, Curro cut from the middle of the fan to the right, then doubled back to the center to score an unassisted goal that gave BU a 2-0 lead at 25:11.
The Wildcats called time out and once again gained possession on the draw. With 23 minutes remaining on the clock, Kaplan was awarded a free position at the top of the fan and her low shot was blocked aside by Klein. UNH sustained pressure, however, resulting in Keagins' drive through the left side that resulted in another shot stopped by Klein.
With 20 minutes left in the first half, Klein denied Bratton's low shot on a free position from the top of the fan and then turned aside Duclos to preserve the Terriers' 2-0 advantage.
Curro, on a re-start from deep on the left wing, drove to the net and scored short-side to increase the lead to 3-0 at 17:33.
Both O'Keefe and Klein made a number of saves the remainder of the half to keep the score at 3-0 heading into halftime. O'Keefe met the challenge off Curro's stick at 13:30, then Klein denied another UNH free-position – this time by Deb Dale (East Northport, N.Y.) on the left wing – at 12:00. UNH kept possession and Bratton, with another low shot from the left wing, was also turned aside on a free position at 11:30.
BU was awarded a free position at 10:30, and Xan Weitzel caught a pass deep on the left side and fired a high shot that was corralled by O'Keefe. Two minutes later, Simpson's bid on a rollout from behind the net to the right post was stymied by Klein.
O'Keefe responded at the opposite end by turning aside Landi's bid, and then a Duclos caused turnover and Cohen ground ball generated a free-position shot by Bratton, and this time her bid from the right wing was stopped by Klein. With two minutes left in the first half, O'Keefe denied Annie Stookesberry's low shot.
Klein kept momentum in BU's favor heading into the locker room with two saves against Kaplan in the final 30 seconds, including one on a free position in the waning seconds.
Despite trailing 3-0 at intermission, the Wildcats generated a 13-9 shot advantage.
Danielle Etrasco netted goals at 29:10 and 28:28 to quickly extend the lead to 5-0. BU won the ensuing draw control and Curro's low shot was trapped by O'Keefe.
New Hampshire generated three dangerous scoring opportunities during a three-minute possession. First, Kaplan's pass from behind the net set up Keagins at the right doorstep, but she fired a shot wide of the far post. On another quick-hit catch-and-shoot play, Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.) centered the ball from the right wing, but JoJo Curro (Amherst, N.H.) had her shot blocked wide left. After moving the ball around the perimeter, Cohen then cut through the left side but was turned aside by Klein.
The Wildcats pulled within 5-1 at 22:07 on an unassisted goal by Keagins, who drove down the left side and fired a shot into the near upper corner.
With 16:30 on the clock, Klein one again stymied the 'Cats when Erin Levesque (Duxbury, Mass.), positioned in front of the goal, one-timed Kaplan feed from behind the net.
UNH trimmed the deficit to 5-2 at 13:34 as this time Kaplan's pass from behind the net was one-timed into the goal by Casiano.
BU quickly reestablished a five-goal cushion with goals at 11:10 (Kristen Mogavero) and 10:27 (Rachel Collins) and continued to pull away with back-to-back goals by Landi at 8:57 and 7:06. Curro struck again at 5:33 to give the home team a 10-2 advantage.
Simpson scored on a free position as she drove from the right wing to the middle and placed a shot inside the left post to move the score to 10-3 at 3:42.
Duclos scooped the ball out of the air in the middle of the fan and quickly fired a high shot into the net to close the scoring with 24 seconds remaining.
New Hampshire recorded a 26-21 edge in shots and committed one less turnover (14-15) than BU, who tallied the advantage in ground balls (16-15) and draw controls (10-6).
UNH returns to action April 10 (1 p.m.) at Stony Brook. The Wildcats' next home game is April 17 vs. Binghamton University. Game time at Memorial Field is 1 p..m., and the program will recognize the 25th anniversary of the 1985 NCAA national championship team that day.