Simpson, Grote Record Four Points Apiece To Propel Women's Lax Past Boston U., 13-12

DURHAM, N.H. -- Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) and Nicole Grote (Ellicott City, Md.) recorded four points apiece to propel the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Wednesday afternoon's 13-12 America East conference victory against Boston University at Cowell Stadium.

UNH, playing its last home game of the season, improved to 5-9 overall and climbed into a tie in the America East conference standings with BU at 2-3. The Terriers are now 5-7 overall.

Simpson and Grote both recorded three goals and one assist. Simpson gave UNH a 12-9 lead at 3:04 of the second half and set up the goal that gave the Wildcats a 13-11 advantage with 20 seconds remaining.

Laura McHoul
(Westwood, Mass.) tallied a goal and two assists while Amber Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.) scored two goals for the third consecutive game and Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) also finished with two goals.

Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) matched her season high of 13 saves.

BU was led offensively by Danielle Etrasco (three goals, two assists) and Kristen Mogavero (4g, 1a) while Christina Sheridan was credited with five saves, four of which came in the first half.

UNH led 10-7 when it called a timeout at 7:47 of the second half. Molly Gaffey (North Hampton, N.H.) spun out of a double team at the top of the attack zone and charged down the middle of the fan. Sheridan vacated the crease and Gaffey scored into the open net to give the Wildcats their largest lead of the game, 11-7, at 7:36.

BU's Siobahn McCarthy won possession of the ensuing draw control and that set up a Jenny Thompson free-position goal from the top-left of the fan that lifted the Terriers within 11-8 at 6:55. 

Boston University once again won the draw when Sofia Robins corralled the ball. O'Keefe denied Mogavero at 5:52, but Robins' ground ball retained possession for the visitors and Elizabeth Morse, deep on the left side, found Mogavero in front for a goal that trimmed the deficit to 11-9 at 5:25.

In another battle for possession of the draw, McCarthy came away with the ball and BU called time out at 5:12. O'Keefe stoned Robins and Cori Rees (East Hampstead, N.H.) collected the ground ball in the right corner to give possession to New Hampshire. 

The Wildcats cleared the ball to the attack zone and Simpson potted her third goal of the game from the middle of the fan to extend the advantage to 12-9 at 3:05.

The Terriers once again controlled the draw and the teams exchanged turnovers before O'Keefe made a save against Jenny Thompson. Etrasco, with an underhanded sweeping motion, shoveled the rebound into the open cage, however, to lift BU within 12-10 at 1:18. 

Boston University's streak of draw controls continued when Sydney Godett gained possession. BU quickly went into attack mode and Robins converted Etrasco's pass into a goal with 52 seconds remaining to make the score 12-11.

UNH ended the Terriers' streak of consecutive draws at five when McHoul came away with the ball. Simpson fed Casiano for her second goal of the game and a 13-11 lead with 20 seconds to play. 

BU's Nell Burdis gave the Terriers a chance when she gained possession of the ensuing draw control. The ball was quickly passed downfield to the top of the crease, where Robins shot the ball into the net to once again lift the visitors within one goal, 13-12, with eight seconds on the clock.

Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.) caught the ball on the second bounce and was immediately fouled at midfield, but then the last seconds ticked off to end the game.

The Terriers recorded the edge in shots (27-25) and ground balls (17-15), but UNH finished with the advantage in draw controls (14-13) after securing the last two of the game.

New Hampshire, which never trailed, scored the first three goals of the game to build a 3-0 lead. McHoul, from behind the left post, found Grote on the doorstep for the first strike of the game at 25:30. Hinkle and Puccia then scored unassisted goals at 24:05 and 23:45 to give the 'Cats three goals in a span of 1:45 seconds.

BU responded with three consecutive goals in less than two minutes to level the score, 3-3. Godett struck first at 20:23 and then Mogavero and Morse netted free-position goals at 19:56 and 18:25.

The 'Cats regained the lead, 4-3, at 12:53 when McHoul once again set up Grote from behind the net. BU called time out at 8:37 and pulled even when Mogavero, from the top of the fan, found Etrasco cutting down the middle and she scored on a high shot.

UNH answered with another three-goal spurt to build a 7-4 advantage. McHoul circled around the crease to the front of the net and fired a shot back into the upper-left corner of the cage at 6:03. Grote, set up on the right side of the fan, slipped a pass to Casiano for a goal at 5:07, and then Grote maneuvered from the right wing to the middle of the fan for her third goal of the half at 3:52.

Lindsay Weiner, as the facilitator behind the net, found Mogavero down low for a goal at 3:28 that lifted BU within 7-5 and closed the first half scoring.

Puccia opened the second-half scoring at 28:30 when she dodged a defender on the left wing and rifled a shot into the cage. Simpson's first goal of the game was an unassisted tally at 24:05 that gave the 'Cats a 9-5 lead as she rolled from behind the net to the top of the crease. 

The Terriers inched closer on another Estrasco goal at 19:42. Simpson struck again at 15:36 to reestablish a four-goal lead of 10-6, then Etrasco combined with Mogavero to make it 10-7 at 13:54.

Strong defensive efforts at both ends of the field kept both attacks at bay – BU recorded a 2-0 shot advantage the next 6:30 – until UNH called its timeout at 7:36. 

New Hampshire returns to action April 20 (1 p.m.) at Fairfield University. The Wildcats conclude the regular season April 27 (12 p.m.) at UMBC.

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