ALBANY, N.Y. – Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.), and All-Conference First Team selection, scored three goals for the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team, but eighth-ranked University at Albany ousted the Wildcats from the America East Championship with an 18-7 victory in a Thursday afternoon semifinal game at John Fallon Field.
UNH, the fourth seed of the tournament by virtue of a 3-3 America East record, ends the 2011 season at 8-9. Top-seeded Albany remained unbeaten at 16-0.
Rausch, now with 99 career points, was the only 'Cat with multiple points. Amber Casiano (South Windsor, Mass.), JoJo Curro (Amherst, N.H.), Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) tallied one goal apiece.
Kate Gunts (Wilton, Conn.) was credited with three saves and two ground balls while Ally Stager (Reading, Mass.) finished with three draw controls and two caused turnovers. Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.), the senior captain in her final game as a Wildcat, tallied four draw controls.
Rausch and Stager were selected to the America East All-Championship Team.
Albany, which fell behind 1-0 but responded with nine consecutive goals en route to building a 14-3 halftime lead, was led offensively by Taylor Frink (2g, 5a), Ariana Parker (5g, 1a), Jodi Battaglia (5g) and Amanda Pollock (4g). UA starting goalie Anna Berman stopped four shots and Brett Yenger did not face a shot in the final 3:17 of the game.
UNH won the opening draw control and Rausch gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 29:03 when she fired a shot from the left side inside the upper-right elbow of the cage. The Wildcats gained possession of the ensuing draw control, but this time Berman denied Cori Rees (East Hampstead, N.H.) at the right doorstep at 26:45.
The Wildcats would not regain possession of the ball until Albany built an 8-1 lead. Pollock began a spurt of three goals in 78 seconds at 25:58. Parker scored at 25:07, followed by Battaglia at 24:45 to make the score 3-1.
UNH called time out, but the Great Danes continued to expand the lead with a Rachael Burek free-position goal at 24:18 and then tallies by Battaglia (at 23:39 and 21:34), Parker (22:20), Allie Phelan (18:42) and Pollock (17:32) gave UA a 9-1 lead.
Casiano scored a free-position goal from the top of the fan on a low shot at 15:04 to trim the deficit to 9-2 and Rausch struck again at 11:25 for a 9-3 score.
Albany closed the half with five consecutive goals, then opened the second half with two consecutive tallies to build a 16-3 lead.
New Hampshire outscored the Great Danes 4-2 in the last 22 minutes with tallies by Keagins on the left wing (21:41), Curro as she curled behind the net to the left post (19:06), Rausch on a breakaway goal (8:44) off an interception by Stager, and Simpson closed the game scoring at 1:31.