March 5, 2011

Casiano, Rausch Help Women's Lacrosse Squeeze Past Colgate, 17-12

HAYLEY RAUSCH
AMBER CASIANO

HAMILTON, N.Y.Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) and Amber Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.) recorded five points apiece to lead the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Saturday afternoon's 17-12 non-conference victory against Colgate University at Tyler's Field.

UNH, which had scored 17 goals in its previous three games combined, improved to 2-1 on the road to level its overall record at 2-2. Colgate, which had defeated two other America East schools at Tyler's Field, is now 2-3.

Both Rausch and Casiano matched career highs in both goals and points as Rausch tallied four goals and an assist and Casiano finished with three goals and two assists, which also marked a personal best.

Four other Wildcats recorded multiple points. Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.) and Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) both tallied four points as Cohen matched her career high of three goals and Simpson equaled her personal best of two assists. Ally Stager (Reading, Mass.; 2g, 1a) and Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.; 1 g, 2a) had three points apiece; it was Stager's first career multiple-goal game. Keagins also added three ground balls, two draw controls and two caused turnovers.

UNH goalkeeper Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) was credited with four saves. CU counterpart Christina Roa stopped seven shots and surrendered 17 goals in 53:21. Hanna Longwell played the final 6:39 and did not face a shot on goal.

Rausch gave the 'Cats a 1-0 lead with an unassisted goal at 28:32 of the first half. The Raiders went ahead 2-1 on back-to-back Alison Flood goals at 25:28 and 22:58, then extended the advantage to two goals on a Monica White tally at 21:18.

Simpson finished off a feed from Keagins at 19:33 and then Simpson set up Rausch's second goal of the day at 18:39 to lift UNH into a 3-3 tie.  Chelsea Cyester (Parker, Colo.) scored her first collegiate goal 37 seconds later to put the 'Cats back in front, 4-3.

Colgate responded with five consecutive goals spanning 3:19 to build an 8-4 advantage. Colleen Bubnack (2g, 2a) ignited the spurt at 15:22 and Katie Sullivan (2g, 1a) scored 41 seconds later to make the score 5-3. Greer Goebels, Amanda O'Sullivan (2g) and Monica White (3g) then struck in a span of 81 seconds to push the margin to 8-4 at 12:03.

The Wildcats held the home team scoreless the rest of the half, however, to take a 9-8 lead into halftime.  Casiano, with the assistance of Simpson, scored at 11:40, then set up Keagins' goal at 4:39 to lift UNH within 8-6. Cohen then set up Simpson's tally 39 seconds later and Rausch's third goal of the half leveled the score with 1:57 remaining in the first half. Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.) finished a feed from Keagins with four seconds on the clock to give the 'Cats their third lead, 9-8.

CU struck first in the second half on White's goal at 28:10 to tie the game at 9. Cohen scored a free-position goal less than one minute later – at 27:13 – to put New Hampshire back in front but O'Sullivan forged the fifth tie of the game, 10-10, at 24:14.

UNH went on a 3-0 spurt spanning 4:09 to build a 13-10 lead it would not relinquish. Casiano scored on a free position at 22:35, then Rausch converted a pass from JoJo Curro (Amherst, N.H.) into a goal at 19:26 and set up Stager's goal one minute later.

Sullivan lifted the Raiders within 13-11 at 16:43 but the 'Cats responded with three more consecutive goals to extend the advantage to 16-11. Cohen struck at 14:28, then Stager and Casiano assisted on each other's goals at 14:28 and 13:42.

Bubnack trimmed the deficit to 16-12 at 8:44, then Cohen's unassisted tally closed the scoring at 6:39.

UNH finished with a 31-28 shot advantage following a 15-8 edge in the second half. The Wildcats also recorded the advantage in ground balls (9-8) and draw controls (16-15), and committed fewer turnovers (14-23).

Rausch extended her point-scoring streak to 22 games with her five-point effort. The first of Cohen's four points (assist at 4:00 of the first half) marked the 50th point of her career.

New Hampshire returns to action March 12 (1 p.m.) at Fairfield University. The Wildcats' next home game is March 14 (12 p.m.) against George Mason University.

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