Curro's Six Goals Carry Wildcats by Retrievers

DURHAM, N.H. -- JoJo Curro (Amherst, N.H.) scored a career-high six goals the six points also marked a personal best to lift the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team to Saturday afternoon's 16-8 victory against UMBC in America East action at Memorial Field.

UNH, which has won all nine games in this series, won its third consecutive game to improve to 7-3 overall and 1-0 in America East. The Wildcats scored 16 goals against a team that was yielding just 7.48 goals per game, and limited the Retrievers' offense that was averaging 12.79 goals per game to eight. UMBC, which entered the game with a six-game winning streak, is now 8-4, 1-1.

Curro, who scored six goals on seven shots to extend her point-scoring streak to 10 games and goal-scoring streak to five, was named UNH's America East Player of the Game. UMBC's Amanda Pappas tallied one goal and one assist for two points, as well as three draw controls, to receive that honor for the Retrievers.

Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) was one of five other Wildcats who scored two goals, and she also tallied three assists to finish with five points; she also contributed three draw controls and a ground ball. Allie Bratton (Windermere, Fla.), Amber Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.), Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and reigning America East Rookie of the Week Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) also scored twice. Keagins was credited with five ground balls, three caused turnovers and two draw controls. Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.) tallied a career-high three assists.

UNH starting goalkeeper Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) made eight saves for the victory. UMBC, which entered the game converting 39 of 88 (44%) free-position shots into goals, went 3 for 10 against O'Keefe. Kate Gunts (Wilton, Conn.) played the final 1:42 of the game and did not face a shot on goal.

UMBC goalie Kate Quick was credited with seven saves as well as a team-high three caused turnovers and three ground balls. Alicia Krause (2g, 1a), Ashley Stodter (2g) and Erika Braerman (1g, 1a) also had multiple-point efforts for the Retrievers, while Lauren Mundell tallied a team-high four ground balls.

The Wildcats led 9-5 at halftime and scored three goals in a span of 4:39 early in the second half as part of a six-goal spurt to break the game open. In a transition attack, Bratton's shot from the right wing caromed off the far post but Curro caught the rebound and shot the ball into the open net to give the 'Cats a 10-5 advantage at 27:56.

UNH then scored goals eight seconds apart at 23:25 and 23:17 to advance the score to 12-5. Kaplan momentarily lost possession behind the goal and found Casiano cutting down the middle. Casiano one-timed a shot into the net before Quick, who had attempted to gain possession of the loose ball, could get back into position.

It marked Casiano's first career goal. The ensuing draw control was directed towards UMBC's goal and caught by Erin Levesque (Duxbury, Mass.). She raced down the middle and quickly moved the ball low on the left side, where Kaplan scored from close range. The assist marked Levesque's first career point.

Casiano struck again at 16:21 this time on an angled drive through the left wing to give New Hampshire a 13-5 lead. Simpson converted a pass from Cohen into a goal at 7:42 to extend the cushion to 14-5.

Stodter scored a free-position goal on a low shot from the top-left of the fan at 6:55 to stop UNH's run of six consecutive goals and trim the deficit to 14-6. The Retrievers scored goals nine seconds apart at 1:51 and 1:42 to close within 15-8.

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