LOWELL, MASS. — University of New Hampshire (UNH) lacrosse (2-4, 1-3) traveled to UMass Lowell (3-4, 2-2) this past Saturday and returned home with a loss. What looked like a fresh start for the Wildcats last week in their overtime win, was soon shut down when they lost 16-14 at the hands of the River Hawks.
“We were missing a few key people and it was time to have some of the younger kids step up,” said UNH head coach Sarah Albrecht. “We definitely played pretty decent in some spots but we definitely could have competed a little bit better throughout the game. It was definitely a learning game for us.”
The close game started off in favor of UML. Sophomore attacker Anna Bauter scored the first goal of the game with help from first-year attacker Megan Brockbank about two minutes into the game.
Soon after, fifth-year midfielder Rylee Leonard and junior midfielder Delaney Pratt kicked their day off with a pair of unassisted goals for the Wildcats. Leonard scored in the third minute and Pratt joined in the fourth.
The River Hawks answered with two goals of their own. Both goals came from sophomore midfielder Molly Shaw who found the back of the net twice within 22 seconds of each other.
Leonard tied the score back up at three for her second goal of the day with 23:25 to play in the half.
UML followed up with a 3-1 run started by sophomore Izzy Liquori in the ninth minute.
UNH sophomore Liv Dunn put one in right after to tie the score at four goals apiece.
Shaw found Brockbank with 14:12 to go in the half for her first goal of the game.
Less than two minutes later sophomore midfielder Abby Mclaughlin received a pass from first-year midfielder Kaitlin Tobin to give UML a two-score lead.
After the score had been extended to 6-4 in favor of River Hawks, senior midfielder Elizabeth Blanding finally got the ‘Cats back on the board to cut the deficit to one point.
Liquori and McLaughlin bounced back with a pair of goals in the 21st minute. The put UML ahead by three with 9:00 remaining in the first half.
UNH needed a way to close the gap before halftime and the combination of Pratt and Dunn delivered with three unassisted goals. Pratt scored back-to-back in the 22nd and 26th minute. Dunn scored her free-position goal in the 27th which tied the score up 8-8 going into halftime.
Liquori started off the second half with her third goal of the day giving the River Hawks a one goal advantage nearly two minutes into the half.
UNH junior Emily Curtis scored her first goal of the season to tie the score at 9-9 less than two minutes later.
Brockbank helped UML out with three straight assists. The first two were delivered to Shaw who scored back-to-back goals. The third assist occurred in the 42nd minute when Bauter scored her second goal of the day to extend the River Hawks’ lead back to three goals.
The River Hawks kept their slew of goals coming with yet another score from Liquori with 16:35 to play. Shaw scored another one minute later from Brockbank sixth assist on the day.
The Wildcats found themselves down five with 15 minutes to play and needed some late-game heroics to climb back into the game. Dunn came around the left side of the goal and scored an unassisted goal with 13:58 remaining. First-year Wildcat Kailee Woods followed up in the 51st minute to bring the deficit to three.
Liquori scored her fifth and final goal of the day a minute later pushing the River Hawks to a 16-12 lead.
UNH only managed to score two more times for the remainder of the game. Leonard scored at 54th minute and Blanding in the 55th. The score of 16-14 held true the rest of the way.
“The main thing that we are working on right now is just competing,” said Coach Albrecht. “Just challenging each other and going at each other on attack along with the aggressiveness. That was part of our problem on Saturday.”
The Wildcats come home to Durham next Saturday at 11 a.m. to host the Binghamton Bearcats (1-3, 1-3).
Photo courtesy of Bob Ellis.