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‘Cats win nail-biter

The New Hampshire

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02

Puccia corralled the next draw control to keep momentum in UNH’s favor. Following nearly three minutes of possession, the ‘Cats lost the ball. The teams then traded turnovers and UMBC, with possession, called time out at 4:39.

Krause caught a pass as she was cutting from the right wing to the middle, then reversed direction to beat the defender and rifled a shot inside the right post to once again make it a one-goal game, 11-10.

In an attempt to protect its lead, UNH passed the ball backward to O’Keefe. Cox’s pressure forced a turnover behind the goal, however, and O’Keefe was carded as Cox corralled the ground ball at 1:30.

With the advantage of an open net on the restart, UMBC quickly slipped a pass to Coady in front. Keagins quickly closed the gap, however, knocked the ball out of Coady’s crosse with a stick check and picked up the ground ball to preserve New Hampshire’s 11-10 lead.

UNH advanced the ball downfield and Keagins, just outside the eight-meter arc on the right wing, was fouled with Mason away from the goal. On the restart, Keagins snapped a diagonal pass to Puccia, who scored her fourth goal of the game into an open net to give the Wildcats a 12-10 lead with 51 seconds remaining.

Keagins gained control of the ensuing draw and UNH called a timeout with 34 seconds on the clock. UMBC got the ball back, however, and Cox scored a man-up free-position goal at 13 seconds to trim the deficit to 12-11.

With draw controls even, 12-12, at this juncture, Simpson snared the draw control and the Wildcats maintained possession the rest of the way to secure the victory.

UNH recorded the edge in shots (28-21), ground balls (16-9) and draw controls (13-12). Turnovers were even at 15.

The Wildcats struck first to take a 1-0 lead at 28:59 when Casiano finished Keagins’ pass from behind the net into a goal.

UMBC tied the score, 1-1, on Platz’s free-position goal at 27:32. UNH responded with three consecutive goals and closed the half on a 6-1 spurt to build a five-goal halftime advantage.

Puccia (at 26:26), Keagins (23:20) and Simpson (11:46) netted unassisted goals to give the ‘Cats a 4-1 lead. Krause, with the assistance of Coady, stopped the run at 9:24 to trim the deficit to 4-2.

Hinkle responded with an unassisted tally at 7:31 as she stick-checked the ball out of Mason’s crosse at the left post, corralled the ball and calmly placed a bounce shot into the open net. Simpson caught a Rachael Nock entry pass on the top-left side, split a pair of defenders and scored on a low shot to make the score 6-2 at 3:46. Keagins potted an unassisted man-up goal with 40 seconds remaining in the first half to extend the advantage to five goals.

This marked the final home game in the four-year Wildcat careers of Keagins, Gunts, Cohen and Erin Levesque, all of whom were honored prior to the game.

The Wildcats’ playoff hopes are still alive. UMBC is currently third at 3-3, followed by UNH, University at Albany and University of Vermont at 2-3. The top four teams advance to the America East tournament. The ‘Cats lost to both Albany and UVM, who face off in the regular-season finale.

New Hampshire concludes the 2012 regular season on the road against Stony Brook on April 28 and Boston College on May 1.

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