New Hampshire Fends off Visiting Colorado

DURHAM, N.H. Nicole Grote (Ellicott City, Md.) matched her career bests in assists (four) and points (seven) to lead University of New Hampshire to Sunday afternoon's 14-11 non-conference victory against the University of Colorado at Cowell Stadium.

UNH, which has alternated wins and losses the past six games, improved to 3-3 at home and 4-5 overall. CU is now 4-4.

Grote recorded a goal and three assists to propel the Wildcats to a 9-2 first-half lead, then tallied two goals and an assist in the second half to help the 'Cats fend off the Buffaloes, who scored six consecutive goals to trim the deficit to 10-9 at 20:59 of the second half.

Molly Gaffey (North Hampton, N.H.) scored a career-high three goals the three points also equaled a personal best and Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) also netted three goals. Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.) and Emma Kriss (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) scored two goals apiece; it marked the first multiple-point game for Kriss.

UNH goalkeeper Taylor Hurwitz (Holland, Pa.) finished with 10 saves. Puccia and Hinkle tallied six and five draw controls, respectively, to help New Hampshire record a 17-10 edge in that statistic. The Wildcats also had a 34-24 shot advantage, but CU had the edge in both ground balls (13-12) and turnovers (9-13).

The Buffaloes' offense was led by Cali Castagnola and Johnna Fusco, both of whom tallied three goals and an assist. Amanda Salvadore scored twice and Paige Soenksen stopped 12 shots defending the CU goal.

New Hampshire struck first to take a 1-0 lead at 28:37 of the first half when Grote curled behind the net around the right post and scored on a high shot.

Colorado scored the next two goals to take its only lead of the game, 2-1. Fusco scored on a free position at 25:51 and Sarah Lautman struck 38 seconds later to put the visitors on top.

UNH responded with eight consecutive goals to build a 9-2 lead. Kriss finished a feed from Brooke McGillis (Berwyn, Pa.) to level the score, 2-2, at 21:50 and then Rachael Nock (Severna Park, Md.) scored on a free position from the top of the fan at 19:27 to give the 'Cats a lead they would not relinquish.

CU called time out but Puccia won the ensuing draw control. UNH turned the ball over, however, and at the other end of the field Melissa Salvadore fired a shot wide at 17:56 and then Fusco was denied by Hurwitz at 16:56. Gaffey gathered the ground ball and scored a free-position goal on a shot from the top-right of the fan into the upper-right side of the net at 15:59.

Hinkle scored off her own rebound to give the 'Cats a 5-2 lead at 12:40. Hinkle gained possession of the next draw control and Gaffey was stopped by Soenksen. Grote corralled the ground ball, however, to extend UNH's possession and Kriss, on a free position from the top-left side, scored on a low shot to create a four-goal lead at 12:01.

The combination of Grote-to-Puccia produced goals 30 seconds apart at 10:39 and 10:09 to extend the advantage to 8-2. On the first strike, Grote curled around the left post and Puccia one-timed a shot at the right post, then Grote hit Puccia cutting from the left side to the middle of the fan and a low shot beat Soenksen.

Grote recorded another assist this time on Gaffey's goal to give New Hampshire a 9-2 lead at 7:33.

The Wildcats were issued a yellow card at 6:47 and Colorado capitalized on the player-up advantage to end the home team's run of eight consecutive goals and trim the deficit to 9-3 at 6:25 when Tori Link converted Castagnola's pass into a goal.

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