McHoul, Puccia Record Six Points Apiece, Lead Women's Lax Past Iona, 12-3
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Laura McHoul (Westwood, Mass.) and Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) recorded six points apiece to lead the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Monday afternoon's 12-3 non-conference victory against Iona College at Mazzella Field.
UNH improved to 3-4 overall while Iona fell to 0-4.
McHoul extended her assist streak to six games and point streak to 14 games with two goals and four assists. Puccia tallied four goals and two assists to record her sixth multiple-goal game of the season.
Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.) matched her career high of three goals for the second consecutive game, and she also had two assists for a total of five points. Molly Gaffey (North Hampton, N.H.) also finished with multiple points with two goals. Marissa Gurello (Manorville, N.Y.) netted UNH's other goal.
Taylor Hurwitz (Holland, Pa.) recorded five of her seven saves in the first half. Rachael Nock (Severna Park, Md.) finished with an assist and team-high four ground balls. Hinkle contributed a team-leading four draw controls.
Iona goalkeeper Maria Ortiz was credited with nine saves.
Iona, which was shut out by the Wildcats last year, raced out to a 3-0 lead. Erin Pugh scored 40 seconds into the game and then Mary Kate McCormick and Bernadette Gennaro potted goals 41 seconds apart – at 27:12 and 26:31, respectively.
The Wildcats held the Gaels scoreless the rest of the game, however, to take a 4-3 lead into halftime. Hinkle and McHoul scored 23 seconds apart at 24:13 and 23:50, respectively, to trim the deficit to 3-2. McHoul, who assisted on Hinkle's goal, also set up Puccia's game-tying goal at 22:10.
Hurwitz denied Iona's bid to regain the lead with a save against Meghan Testoni at 19:59. Five minutes later, Gurello was denied by Ortiz to keep the score deadlocked. Gurello would not be denied the next time, however, as she converted McHoul's feed into her second goal of the season and a 4-3 UNH lead at 12:03.
Hurwitz preserved that one-goal advantage with a stop against Pugh on a free-position shot at 8:24. At the other end of the field, Gaffey had a free-position shot blocked at 7:39, but the 'Cats maintained possession and Gaffey's shot was stopped by Ortiz at 7:11.
Testoni was once again turned aside by Hurwitz at 5:48, and then at the other end of the field McHoul hit the post at 5:07. Nicole Grote (Ellicott City, Md.) gathered the ground ball and moments later McHoul's attempt to extend New Hampshire's lead was stopped by Ortiz.
Neither team recorded a shot the rest of the half. UNH held the slimmest of margins in shots, 11-10, through 30 minutes.
Puccia scored goals 5:26 apart to open the second-half scoring and extend UNH's lead to 6-3. The assists went to Hinkle and McHoul, respectively.
Gurello hit the post at 17:56 and Becca Graves (Rowley, Mass.) picked up the ground ball to keep possession for the 'Cats, and that led to McHoul's goal and a 7-3 lead at 15:27. Nock set up that tally, which prompted the Gaels to call their second timeout of the game.
The Wildcats then had a sustained attack in which Nock was denied by Ortiz, Grote fired a shot wide, McHoul sent a shot high and Gaffey converted Grote's pass into an 8-3 lead at 12:19. Gaffey struck again at 11:05 to extend the advantage to six goals.
Hinkle netted back-to-back goals at 10:00 and 7:39 – on a free position and then Puccia assist – to make it 11-3 and the Gaels called their final timeout. Hurwitz recorded saves against McCormick at 6:12 and Veneziale at 4:24. Puccia, with Hinkle's assistance, capped the scoring at 3:31.
UNH recorded a 17-3 shot advantage in the second half to finish with a 28-13 edge overall. The Wildcats also had the edge in ground balls (21-9), draw controls (10-7) and turnovers (11-13).
New Hampshire returns to action March 14 (3 p.m.) at home against Fairfield University. The Wildcats then play host to the University of Colorado on March 16 (12 p.m.). Both games are scheduled for Cowell Stadium.