The University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team, making a conference-record 10th consecutive appearance in the America East Championships, opens the 2007 conference tournament with Friday’s semifinal matchup against Boston University at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium (Stony Brook University; 4 p.m.).

Live stats will be available at www.americaeast.com.

UNH ended the regular season with a 7-9 overall record and finished third in the America East standings with a 4-2 league record. Boston University is 11-5 overall and won a share of the regular-season title with a 5-1 conference mark.

New Hampshire has an 11-13 lifetime record, including this year’s 7-5 home loss, against Boston University. The Terriers have won five straight in the series since UNH recorded an 11-9 victory in the 2004 America East title game.

This will be the sixth consecutive year these teams meet in the America East tournament – the previous five were all in the championship game; UNH and BU have faced each other in seven of the last eight league postseason tourneys and the Terriers have a 6-1 edge in that span.

In the last 10 overall meetings, the Wildcats are 2-8 – both wins were recorded in the 2004 season. The ‘Cats are 0-2 in neutral-site games (2006 America East championship game, 12-10; 1999 semifinals, 9-2).

On April 21, consecutive goals by UNH’s Ashley Durepo lifted the ‘Cats within 6-5 at 9:27 of the second half, but BU goalkeeper Jenna Golden held the home team scoreless the rest of the way with four saves and the Terriers prevailed 7-5.

To open the game, the teams alternated goals until Boston University netted three consecutive goals (in a span of 2:15) late in the first half to take a 5-2 lead into halftime. UNH scored three of the first four goals of the second half to pull within 6-5.

UNH goalie Ashley Milley made a season-high 11 saves. Both Durepo and Alexa Webster finished with two goals and Moira Talbot recorded two assists.

Golden totaled 13 saves as Erica Baumgartner (1g, 2a) and Angie Martin (3g) led the attack.

    New Hampshire is coming off a 22-5 victory at Binghamton University in which the Wildcats recorded season highs in goals, shots (47) and ground balls (32); the Bearcats’ 16 shots marked the lowest total allowed by the ‘Cats in ‘07. UNH closed the first half with a 9-1 run to take a 12-3 lead into halftime; both Alexa Webster and Sarah Von Bargen netted three first-half goals and Shaunna Kaplan had three assists in the opening half.

Von Bargen finished with six points (3g, 3a) while Webster had five (5g) and Moira Talbot (4g), Michaela Hardy (3g, 1a) and Kaplan (1g, 3a) each tallied four.

With a win against BU on Friday, the Wildcats advance to Sunday’s championship game vs. the winner of the Stony Brook University vs. University at Albany semifinal with an NCAA automatic qualifying berth at stake. The title game is 1 p.m. at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. UNH has advanced to five consecutive title games.

    UNH enters the postseason with a 7-9 overall record that included a 4-2 mark in America East. The ‘Cats have yet to play a neutral-site game this season; they are 5-3 on the road.

Seven Wildcats have recorded double digits in goals this season, which surpasses last year’s mark of six. However, five ‘Cats reached 30 goals last season and this year’s top goal scorer is Sarah Von Bargen at 28.

UNH’s 22 goals in the regular-season finale at Binghamton marked a season high for the Wildcats and ended a stretch of five consecutive games in which they did not score in double digits.

A total of six Wildcats have recorded double digits in ground balls, caused turnovers and draw controls.

Only four ‘Cats – Kelli LaPerch, Bailley Mazur, Beth Sabiston and Sarah Von Bargen – started all 16 regular-season games.

New Hampshire recorded the same number of shots in the first and second half (212).

Rookie midfielder Shaunna Kaplan is the only UNH player to reach double figures in both goals (20) and assists (11). She also recorded double digits in ground balls (24), caused turnovers (15) and draw controls (23).

UNH’s offense is averaging 10.00 goals per game, even though the Wildcats have scored 10 or more goals in just six of 16 games. The ‘Cats have scored nine goals five times, including four consecutive games early in the season.

UNH head coach Sandy Bridgeman enters the America East tournament with 98 wins at UNH and 149 for her career.

    New Hampshire recorded a number of offensive highs last Saturday at Binghamton. For that to happen, some players put up season (career) highs.

Sarah Von Bargen matched her career high of six points with a personal-best three assists vs. the Bearcats. Shaunna Kaplan also tallied a career-high three assists in that game and the four-point total equaled her personal best. Alexa Webster matched her career high of five goals and Maureen Wark recorded her first career point as a Wildcat with a goal at BU.

    New Hampshire has a 34-25-1 overall record in the postseason, and that includes a 6-8 mark in the America East Championships. The Wildcats have a 5-4 record in the conference semifinals but have been victorious in each of their past five semifinal appearances (2006: 12-5 at UMBC; 2005: 14-6 vs. Albany; 2004: 19-6 vs. Albany; 2003: 13-4 vs. Vermont; 2002: 21-5 vs. Vermont).

The ‘Cats are 1-4 in America East title games -- all vs. Boston University.

UNH has a 20-12-1 neutral site record with a 2-3 mark in the America East tournament.

Should the ‘Cats advance to the championship game, they have a 4-9 record in postseason road games, and that includes 1-4 in the America East Championship.

If New Hampshire emerges as the America East champion, the Wildcats will make their seventh NCAA tournament appearance (2004, 1991, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984).

    New Hampshire had a 1-2 record this season vs. the teams participating in the 2007 America East Championship. The Wildcats defeated Albany, 6-4, on the road and lost to both Stony Brook (11-8) and Boston University (7-5) at home.

UNH has a 3-2 lifetime record vs. Stony Brook and has never played the Seawolves in the postseason. The ‘Cats have won all nine meetings, including two in America East postseason play, vs. Albany.

    Boston University has won seven consecutive games to take an 11-5 overall record into the postseason. The Terriers claimed a share of the America East regular season title with a 5-1 league record; the are the No. 2 seed by virtue of their 16-13 loss at Stony Brook. BU compiled an 8-2 home record and a 3-3 road ledger.

The Terriers have outscored the opposition 109-51 during their win streak. The only game during this stretch in which BU did not score in double digits was against UNH (7-5 win).

Boston University has a balanced offense led by Sarah Dalton, Angie Martin, Lauren Morton and Traci Landy. Dalton is ranked 20th in the nation in goals (2.94 gpg) and leads the team with 47; she also has a team-best 54 points. Martin is second in points (32-21-53) and followed by Morton (22-5-38) and Landy (33-4-37). McKinley Curro has reached double digits in both goals (15) and assists (13), while Molly Collins has contributed 20 goals and Erica Baumgartner 17 assists.

The defensive unit is anchored by goalkeeper Jenna Golden, who is ranked 22nd in the nation in goals-against-average (10.11). She has played in all 16 games (13 starts) and compiled an 8-4 record with a .443 save percentage.

Morton and Collins have also contributed to the defensive effort; they ranked 22nd (1.69 per game) and 26th (1.63), respectively, in caused turnovers.

BU has been one of the best teams off the draw. The Terriers, ranked 12th nationally at 13.75 draw controls per game, are led by Dalton (14th; 3.06) and Morton (23rd; 2.88).

Behind a 192-129 shot advantage, BU has outscored the opposition 115-70 in the first half.

A winning formula: BU holds the advantage vs. the opposition in ground balls, draw controls, caused turnovers and turnovers (by committing fewer).

    Stony Brook University defeated the University of Vermont, 18-9, in the regular-season finale to clinch a share of first place in America East and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. The Seawolves, who are 3-2 since winning seven consecutive games, are 13-3 overall and 5-1 in America East, as well as 7-1 at home. Each of their two most recent losses were by one goal (at UMBC, 12-11; at Hofstra, 15-14).

SBU’s high-powered offense boasts eight double-digit goal scorers (seven with 20+) and five players in double figures in assists. Kaitlin Leggio leads the team in assists (35) and points (68) and is third in goals (33); she is also the team leader in both draw controls (51) and caused turnovers (24), and is fourth in ground balls (32). Leggio is ranked No. 10 in the nation in assists (2.19 apg) and 18th in points (4.25 ppg).

Carlee Buck also has 35 assists and is second in points with 59. Amy Taylor netted a team-high 37 goals and is third in points (57). Jenna Celano ranks second in goals (34) and fourth in points (37).  Diana Caroleo (36), Amy Hallion (34) and Emily Jaissle (33) also have more than 30 points in this balanced attack.

The defense is anchored by goalkeeper Jen Sandtorv, who started all 16 games and compiled a 13-3 record with a 10.37 GAA and .519 save percentage.

    UNH has a 3-2 lifetime record, including this year’s 11-8 home loss, against Stony Brook University. The Seawolves have won each of the last two meetings after the Wildcats opened the series with three consecutive wins in the 2003-04-05 seasons. UNH has a 1-1 road record vs. SBU.

New Hampshire and Stony Brook have never met in postseason play.

In this year’s game at UNH, the visitors took an early 2-0 lead and held an 8-1 halftime advantage. The ‘Cats stormed back to within 10-8 at 7:42 of the second half, but were held scoreless the rest of the way.

Sarah Von Bargen (3g) and Michaela Hardy (2g, 1a) led the Wildcats’ attack. In goal, Natalie Jones exited the game at halftime with five saves. Ashley Milley stopped seven of 10 shots on target in the second half.

SBU was led offensively by Amy Taylor (2g, 3a) and Jenna Celano (3g). Jen Sandtorv was credited with 11 saves.

UNH recorded the advantage in shots (29-25) and ground balls (23-18), but Stony Brook had the 16-5 edge in draw controls. There was also a disparity in free positions –the Seawolves went 1-for-1 while the ‘Cats were 1-for-8.

    The University at Albany recorded a 16-7 win against UMBC in the regular-season finale to secure the No. 4 seed in the America East Championships. The Great Danes enter the tourney with a 7-8 overall record that includes 3-3 in America East, 3-7 on the road and 0-0 at neutral sites.

Kate Fontana is the team’s statistical leader in goals (35), points (43), draw controls (38) and caused turnovers (39); she ranks second in assists (eight) and ground balls (40).

Kayla Best (27-9-36), Christine Grueniger (24-3-27) and Sarah Spillett (20-6-26) are the other top scoring threats.

Jen Daly started all 15 games and compiled a 7-8 record with a 10.89 GAA and .447 save percentage.

Despite holding a slight shot advantage in the first half (171-163), Albany has been outscored 91-80 in the opening 30 minutes. The Great Danes hold the edge in both shots (160-126) and goals (75-72) in the second half.

    UNH has a 9-0 lifetime record, including this season’s 6-4 road victory, against Albany. The Wildcats have won both postseason meetings vs. the Great Danes. In 2004 at home, the ‘Cats were 19-6 victors in the semifinals. One year later, UNH ousted Albany in the semifinals with a 14-6 win.

This year’s two-goal margin of victory was the smallest in the nine-game series. The previous smallest margin of victory was five goals (15-10) in 2006.

This year at Albany, UNH took a 4-1 lead into halftime and stymied the Great Danes’ attack. The home team did rally to tie the score, 4-4, with three goals in a span of 1:57 early in the second half, but the Wildcats regained the lead with a tally less than three minutes later and struck again less than two minutes after that to take a 6-4 lead. Neither team scored in the final 18 minutes of the game.

Four Wildcats recorded two points. Sarah Von Bargen and Alexa Webster both scored two goals while Michaela Hardy finished with a goal and an assist and Ashley Durepo tallied two assists. Natalie Jones went the distance in goal and made nine saves.

Kate Fontana (2g) and Kayla Best (1g, 1a) finished with two points for the Great Danes and Jen Daly stopped nine shots.
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