It was a frustrating week for the Wildcat lacrosse team.
UNH was able to put together three strong performances in late-game situations, but only one resulted in victory as the Wildcats went 1-2 over the spring break road trip. The team grabbed a win over Monmouth University, but dropped two close decisions to Harvard University and Manhattan College.
The ‘Cats got started with a battle against the Harvard Crimson on March 12. The Wildcats were down a significant margin, with the score 12-5 Harvard with under eight minutes left to play. A tally from Krissy Schafer at 5:56 sparked a Wildcat comeback, as UNH scored six unanswered goals to cut the lead to 11-10 with nine seconds left. Time ran out, however, and the ‘Cats fell a goal short to Harvard on the road by an 11-10 final.
UNH played a similar game against Monmouth on March 16. The ‘Cats were again down at halftime, this time by a 4-3 score. The Wildcats played strong in the second frame, only this time they finished the job. Nine ground balls and 13 shots lifted UNH over Monmouth by a 9-7 final.
“Monmouth fought hard all game but we were able to pick up our energy in the second half and that made a difference,” head coach Sarah Albrecht said. “We need to make sure that we are bringing our energy and intensity from the beginning of the game.”
Fundamentals were a component that caught Albrecht’s eye in Wednesday’s win, but she also believes the team has to stay consistent in that category to relieve the issue.
“The fundamentals are getting better but we still have to continuously work on them to make them a part of our game,” Albrecht said. “Creating good habits is key to our improvement throughout the season.”
The trip concluded on Saturday, when the Wildcats traveled to Manhattan College to take on the Jaspers. It was a high scoring affair, with Manhattan doing most of the damage in the first half. The Jaspers posted nine goals and controlled eight draws in the first half. UNH, for the third consecutive game, gave a strong effort down the stretch, outscoring the Jaspers 6-4 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to grab the win. The team eventually fell, 13-7, and dropped to 3-6 overall.
“We certainly didn’t do enough offensively and defensively throughout the game to be competitive with Manhattan,” Albrecht said. “We were careless with the ball which lead to a lot of turnovers and we didn’t have the sense of urgency that we needed.”
The break didn’t go quite as planned for Albrecht’s squad, but bright spots during games showed tidbits of what the team is capable of, according to Albrecht.
“I think there are spots where we show how dynamic our team can be,” Albrecht said. “ I know they can do it, but they have to believe it themselves to perform to the best of their ability.”
The Wildcats return home on Saturday, when they will square off against the UMass Lowell Riverhawks at 12 p.m.