The Wildcats defeated the University of Maryland Baltimore County 15-10 Saturday on the back of junior midfielder Rylee Leonard. Leonard recorded a career-high seven points in the victory.
Leonard scored four goals and assisted three others, matching career highs in both categories. Senior attackers Catherine Sexton and Mickenzie Larivee also made their offensive presence known combining for eight points, four goals and four assists.
Sophomore midfielder Julia Neyland was also able to find the back of the net three times, a season high for the second year player.
With the home victory, the ‘Cats advance to 9-5 overall and 4-1 in America East conference play.
The Retrievers jumped on a 2-0 lead over New Hampshire less than a minute into the game. The goals were scored by Payton Van Kirk and Catherine Sims just 14 seconds apart.
Van Kirk earned a free-position shot at 26:47 and found the back of the net to push the lead to three. But the Wildcats were far from discouraged and rattled off five consecutive goals to seize their first lead of the game, 5-3 at 15:10.
Neyland got the attack going for New Hampshire scoring just outside the crease on a pass from Sexton. Sexton followed that possession with another nice feed to Larivee who snuck the ball in down low.
With 22:23 in the half graduate midfielder Devan Miller scored her 50th career goal to even the score 3-3.
The ensuing possession, Leonard cut down the middle and ripped a low shot to put the ‘Cats ahead and extend her point streak to 13 games.
Neyland ended the run for the Wildcats with her second goal of the game on a free-position shot.
Sims ended the 15-minute scoring drought for UMBC with a free position goal at 11:40, her second score of the game. The score cut the ‘Cats lead to 5-4.
Leonard reestablished the two-goal lead on a rifled shot from eight meters out, assisted by Sexton, 6-4 Wildcat lead.
Three minutes later Larivee extended the lead to three capitalizing on an odd-man rush. Junior midfielder Caroline Hernon and Leonard each found the back of the net within two minutes of Larivee, capturing a 9-4 lead with 5:40 remaining in the half.
Zoe Pekins scored one more goal of the half for UMBC at 4:16, but the ‘Cats close the half with a 9-5 lead.
UMBC came out firing in the second half ripping off six consecutive goals in nine minutes to regain a 10-9 lead over the Wildcats. Unfortunately for the Retrievers, these would be the last goals they score.
Larivee picked off a pass at midfield and completed a give and go with Leonard to score here third goal of the game and tie things up at 10-10 with 16:49 in the half.
Sexton earned a free position shot and chose to pass it to Neyland down low, who snuck one in under the crossbar to give the ‘Cats the lead.
With 12:51 remaining Leonard increased the lead to two, 12-10 Wildcats.
In the final two minutes of play Larivee scored from the middle of the fan, where she received a pass from Leonard and extended the lead to three goals.
With under one-minute left in the game Hernon and Miller each netted a goal to take a 15-10 lead and secure the win for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats continue regular season play on April 20 at the University of Vermont. The ‘Cats don’t return home until their Senior Day regular season finale against Stony Brook on April 28 at Wildcat Stadium.