DURHAM, N.H. – The Columbia women’s lacrosse team scored a season high nine goals in the second half on Wednesday, March 20 against New Hampshire to erase a five-point deficit. With the score tied at 11-11, a goal by New Hampshire’s Kayleigh Hinkle in the closing seconds handed the Lions a tough 12-11 loss.
The Lions trailed 6-2 at halftime, but Columbia won the second half by outscoring the Wildcats 9-6 and by protecting the ball with only two turnovers. Katie Angulo and Paige Cuscovitch both posted hat tricks and first-year Collen Packer tallied six saves in her first start of the season.
New Hampshire jumped out to a quick offensive start on its home field scoring four unanswered goals to lead 4-0 at 21:08 left in the first half. Katie Angulo provided an early spark for Columbia with back-to-back goals to put the Lions on the board. The Wildcats responded with a pair of goals of their own to take a 6-2 lead at the break.
Columbia came out with a different attitude in the second half and constantly remained on attack. Kacie Johnson found the back of the net with just over one minute into the half for the score. New Hampshire remained set in trying to keep its distance on the board by scoring a pair of goals to give the Lions their largest deficit of the game at 8-3 at 25:46.
Off the assist from Kate Murphy, Angulo quickly scored her third goal of the game to place Columbia on the comeback trail. Cuscovitch trimmed the deficit to three with a goal at 19:42, but New Hampshire fire back with a free-position goal at 18:44 to maintain a 9-5 lead.
Midway through the second half, Cuscovitch scored her second goal to once again bring Columbia to within three points at 9-6. After a quick Wildcat’s goal, the Lions strung together a run of three unanswered goals in three minutes to place some pressure on the home team. Ashley Rinere started the run with a shot off the Kelly Buechel feed at 11:54. Cuscovitch scored another hat trick this season at 10:48 and Johnson tallied her second score of the game at 8:49 to bring the Lions to within one goal at 10-9.
With less than five minutes remaining in the game, New Hampshire’s Rachel Mock score gave the Wildcats a two-point cushion. Columbia remained on the attack with two scores from Rinere (4:40) and Buechel (1:29) to tie the game at 11-11, but the Wildcats found the back of the net in the closing seconds for the 12-11 win.
The Lions drop to 1-6 on the season and will return to Ivy League play on Saturday, March 23 at 1 p.m. to host Dartmouth at Robert K. Kraft Field.