Cyester's Career-High Six Points Propels Women's Lax to 19-7 Win at Fresno State

CHELSEA CYESTER

FRESNO, Calif.  – Chelsea Cyester (Parker, Colo.) scored a personal-best five goals as part of a career-high six-point performance that propelled the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Wednesday afternoon's 19-7 non-conference victory against Fresno State University at Bulldog Stadium.

UNH, which had nine players tally multiple points vs. the Bulldogs to record its highest goal output since April 2009, improved to 1-4 while Fresno St. fell to 0-2.

Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.) and Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) both recorded their 50th career goal. Cohen finished with two goals and an assist to increase her goal total to 51 while Simpson, who also registered two draw controls, two caused turnovers and one ground ball, netted a season-high four goals and now has 53 career tallies.

Amber Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.) finished with four points (three goals, one assist). Meghan Bridges (Sandy Hook, Conn.) recorded two points with two goals, whereas Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.) Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) all tallied a goal and an assist, and Rachael Nock (Severna Park, Md.) was credited with two assists.

In her first action of the season, senior goalkeeper Kate Gunts (Wilton, Conn.) made seven saves. FSU counterpart Katie Wilbur was charged with the loss as she surrendered 15 goals and stopped four shots in 37 minutes, 6 seconds; Lisa Barnaba played the final 22:54 and made seven saves.

Puccia, who has scored a goal in all five games this season, converted a pass from Cohen into the game's first goal at 29:10 of the first half and Bridges' unassisted goal gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead before Holly Cisneros potted a free-position goal to get the home team in the scoring column.

UNH responded with goals by Simpson – her 50th career goal – and Hinkle to build a 4-1 advantage. Taylor Fiehler trimmed the deficit to two goals at 18:20, but Cyester scored consecutive goals at 15:18, 12:36 and 10:54 to give the 'Cats a 7-2 lead.

Briana Hetherington scored less than one minute later, but New Hampshire reeled off five straight goals in a span of 4:25 to extend the advantage to 12-3. Simpson ignited the rally with back-to-back goals. Keagins scored an unassisted goal, then set up Cyester's fourth tally of the game and Casiano struck on a free-position shot to give the 'Cats a nine-goal lead.

Paula Badali netted the last two goals of the half to lift the Bulldogs within 12-5.

UNH regained momentum in the second half with another 5-0 spurt that pushed the margin to double digits at 17-5. Cohen's 50th career goal opened the second-half scoring off a feed from Puccia, then Cyester, Casiano and Cohen scored unassisted goals. Nock recorded her second assist of the game on Bridge's tally at 12:20.

Fiehler ended UNH's run at 8:26 but that was answered by Simpson at 3:53. Badali's free-position goal at 1:05 advanced the score to 18-7 and Casiano closed the scoring with three seconds remaining. Becca Graves (Rowley, Mass.) recorded her first career point with an assist on the play.

The Wildcats recorded a season-high 37 shots (and a 37-18 shot advantage) while committing a season-low six turnovers (in comparison to FSU's 16). They also finished with the edge in ground balls (10-9) and draw controls (16-13).

New Hampshire returns to action March 18 at home against Fairfield University. Game time at Memorial Field is 12 p.m.

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