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Wildcats open with a win at Cowell Stadium

The cold never bothered them anyway.

On a freezing cold Saturday afternoon in Durham, the UNH women’s lacrosse team opened up the regular season with a 14-8 win over Hofstra at Cowell Stadium. Nine different Wildcats scored in the winning effort, including a hat trick from sophomore attacker Krissy Schafer. The team improved its overall record to 24-16 in season-opening games.

“Up and down the field we played really well, and as a team,” head coach Sarah Albrecht said, Albrecht is now in her fourth year with UNH. “I was really proud of them for putting together the things we’ve done in practice into the games.”

The Wildcats took control of the game in the early minutes, tallying goals early and often. Schafer started the ‘Cats off by firing two quick goals past Hofstra’s Alexis Greene to give UNH a 2-0 lead 4:15 into the first half.

Laura McHoul, who led the Wildcats in scoring last season, started her 2016 campaign by notching the third goal of the day. Nicole Grote quickly followed suit, and only a few minutes into the first half of play, UNH seemed to be running away with the game.

Hofstra’s Lindsey Scott and Lindsey Alfano were able to get three shots past Wildcat goaltender Kate Clancy, but an impressive man-to-man defense kept the Pride at bay. The Wildcats ended the half with a four-goal advantage of 7-3.

The second half was an offensive explosion for the Wildcats. Although Hofstra was able to tally five second-half goals, the UNH attack put its foot on the gas pedal and poured seven more on Greene to secure the win. McHoul, the team’s senior captain, was impressed with the performance of her team.

“Everyone looked good. We fought the whole entire 60 minutes,” McHoul said. The former leading goal-scorer finished the afternoon with two goals and an assist. “We stuck to the gameplan and I think everyone was just excited to get out there and play someone new.”

Defense was a big part of the Wildcats’ success that afternoon. Clancy only had to make 8 saves total. UNH forced 19 turnovers on Hofstra with a double-team scheme.

“I think in this weather especially its sometimes hard to handle the ball,” Albrecht said. “We put some pressure on them and I think the girls did a great job of playing as a team on defense and bumping to the ball.”

The win marked the second consecutive game in which the Wildcats beat the Pride on their home turf. McHoul expressed optimism moving forward in the season after the victory.

“Being on a high right now, coming in with your first win definitely marked a statement,” McHoul said, who despite the team’s 6-10 overall record last year, is looking forward to the season ahead. “I think by winning, this has really got us going for the rest of the season.”

The team will look to remain unbeaten as it travels to Amherst to take on the UMass Minutemen next Saturday at 3 p.m.

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