New Hampshire Rolls Past Binghamton

DURHAM, N.H. -- Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) and Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.) both reached career milestones and Nicole Grote (Ellicott, Md.) tied career highs with four goals and seven points an 18-5 New Hampshire lacrosse victory against conference rival Binghamton at Memorial Field on Saturday.

UNH, which recorded team highs in goals (18), draw controls (17) and tied its high in assists (10), won its second consecutive game to improve to 7-7 overall and 2-1 in America East, as well as 13-0 lifetime against the Bearcats. Binghamton's overall record drops to 6-7, while remaining a winless 0-3 against conference foes.

Puccia's three goals boosted her career total to 100. She also tallied an assist and career highs in ground balls (four), draw controls (eight) and caused turnovers (three). Hinkle scored two goals and dished out five assists, compiling a career-high seven-point performance. She now has 50 goals and 51 assists for 101 points.

A total of nine Wildcats recorded a point. Marissa Gurello (Manorville, N.Y.) marked career highs in goals (three) and points (three). Becca Graves (Rowley, Mass.; two goals) and Laura McHoul (Westwood, Mass.; one goal, one assist) also finished with multiple points. Taylor Hurwitz (Holland, Pa.) was credited with three saves each half for a total of six.

Binghamton starting goalie Erin McNulty surrendered 11 goals and made six saves in two stints totaling 38:36; she was charged with the loss. Kara Pafumi stopped two of nine shots on goal in her 21:24 relief stint. Renee Kiviat led the offense with three goals.

UNH scored the first nine goals of the game and took an early 1-0 lead at 28:11 when Grote buried a shot after cradling a pass from McHoul in front of the net. On a free position from the top of the fan, Puccia bounced a shot into the cage for a 2-0 lead just 23 seconds later. Hinkle tallied her first point of the game when her pass from the left wing set up Grote in front at 25:21 and Brooke McGillis (Berwyn, Pa.) netted a free-position goal at 24:02 to extend the margin to 4-0.

The Wildcats fed off their early momentum. McGillis forced a turnover and gathered the ground ball at 18:54 and on the following UNH possession, Puccia fired a shot past McNulty, scoring her second goal of the game to extend UNH's lead to 5-0 at 18:30.

Continuing to pepper the net with shots, UNH struck again at 17:35 on McHoul's free-position shot from the top right that she fired into the upper-right corner. Hinkle scored at 15:20 after catching a Grote pass, extending the lead to 7-0. Grote set up Gurello's first goal of the game at 14:23 and then scored with Hinkle's assistance at 13:11 to push the margin to nine.

Kiviat scored the Bearcats' first goal on a free-position shot at 11:41, making the score 9-1. New Hampshire's defense had held Binghamton scoreless through the game's first 18:19, which extended its opponents' scoreless streak to 71:32 dating back to the previous game at UMBC. Jocelyn Penteck scored just 30 seconds later, however, to make it a 9-2 game.

UNH recaptured the momentum less than a minute later. Puccia fed Gurello at 10:43, bringing the Wildcats ahead 10-2. New Hampshire led Binghamton, 11-2, at halftime following a free-position goal by Molly Gaffey (North Hampton, N.H.) at 2:42. The home 'Cats also had the edge in shots (19-7), ground balls (9-6) and draw controls (9-5).

Kiviat opened the second half scoring, gathering a pass from teammate Angela Vespa and shot one past Hurwitz to narrow UNH's lead to 11-3 at 28:15.

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