#13 WOMEN'S LACROSSE NCAA TOURNAMENT GAME NOTES
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THE MATCHUP
The 13th-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team takes a 13-5 overall record into the 27th Annual NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship tournament. The Wildcats, who received one of the eight at-large bids for the tourney, travel to play seventh-seeded (and seventh-ranked) Boston University (17-2) for a May 11 first round game at BU’s Nickerson Field. The game, which will be videostreamed online at www.americaeast.com, begins as 12 p.m. In conjunction with Pack Network LLC, America East will provide the broadcast free of charge.

UNH has an 11-16 lifetime record, including 1-9 in the postseason (all 10 games in the America East tournament), against BU. The Terriers have won eight consecutive games in this series dating back to the Wildcats’ 11-9 victory in the 2004 America East championship game.

New Hampshire has a 7-7 road record vs. BU. UNH has lost four straight to the Terriers at Nickerson Field dating back to April 17, 2004, when the ‘Cats were 7-6 victors.

Sunday’s matchup will be the third this season between these teams. The Terriers prevailed by one goal each of the previous games – both at Nickerson Field – with a 7-6 win in the regular season on April 12 and a 9-8 overtime decision in the America East championship game on April 27.

THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire is making its seventh overall NCAA tourney appearance –first since 2004, when the Wildcats gained an automatic berth as America East tournament champion. UNH’s other NCAA appearances were in 1991, 1987, 1986, 1985 and 1984; the ‘Cats won the NCAA title in 1985, and it is the school’s only NCAA national championship.

UNH dispatched the University of Vermont, 15-6, in the America East semifinals and finished as runner-up with a 9-8 overtime loss at sixth-ranked Boston University in the April 27 title game.

The 13 wins ties the second-highest single season total in the program’s 32-year history. The Wildcats also won 13 games in 1987, while the 2004 team holds the benchmark of 15.

The Wildcats’ resume includes road wins against Vanderbilt and Yale as well as a neutral-site victory against Cornell.

Four of UNH’s five losses have been by one goal; all four one-goal losses were on the road. The ‘Cats are 3-4 in games decided by one goal.

UNH scored in double digits in 13 of 18 games and yielded double digits to an opponent just three times. Boston University scored 10+ goals in 17 of 19 games – the only two times they failed to reach double digits was the two games vs. UNH.

The ‘Cats held the opposition to less than 10 goals eight consecutive games spanning March 5-29, and it marked the team’s longest streak of holding opponents to single digits since the 2002 Wildcats did so in 10 straight games.

New Hampshire’s 9-2 record through 11 games was the team’s best mark since the 1991 Wildcats went 10-1. The nine-game winning streak (from March 5 to April 5) matched that of the 2006 ‘Cats.

Sandy Bridgeman, now in her 12th year at UNH’s helm, recorded her 100th victory as UNH head coach on March 5 with the 8-7 win at Yale University. Bridgeman, a three-time America East Coach of the Year, is the program’s all-time leader in wins with 111. She recorded her 150th overall career victory Feb. 27 against Holy Cross.

HOW WE GOT HERE
New Hampshire finished third in the America East standings (behind Boston U. and Vermont) and as runner-up in the league tournament with a 15-6 victory against UVM in the semifinal and a 9-8 overtime loss to BU.

In the semifinal, UNH scored six consecutive second-half goals, including four straight by Sarah Von Bargen, to build a 12-5 lead with 6:05 remaining. Ashley Milley finished with a career-high 15 saves, many of which were recorded before the ‘Cats built their substantial lead, and five ground balls. Von Bargen netted five goals while Shaunna Kaplan had four points (2g, 2a) and Michaela Hardy scored three goals.

In the title game, Von Bargen scored the last two goals of regulation (at 11:01 and 3:29) to pull New Hampshire even, 7-7. The ‘Cats had two chances to break the tie in the closing minutes, but the game went into the six-minute overtime session. BU struck twice in the last minute of the opening half to take a 9-7 lead, then UNH pulled within one goal on Ashley Crook’s tally with 1:21 to play. The ‘Cats were turned aside with 33 seconds remaining and the Terriers maintained possession in their defensive zone the rest of way for the win. Von Bargen (3g), Kaplan (1g, 2a) and Moira Talbot (2g) led the attack while Milley made eight saves.

Von Bargen, Kaplan and Milley were selected to the All-Championship Team. Milley recorded a 7.14 GAA and .605 save percentage in the two games. Kaplan tallied seven points (3g, 4a) as well as six draw controls, two ground balls and one caused turnover. Von Bargen finished the tourney with a team-high eight points – all on goals.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE
The winner of Sunday’s first-round game advances to play in a May 17 quarterfinal game against the winner of second-seeded Penn (14-1) vs. Colgate (11-9). As part of the lower bracket, this quarterfinal winner will play in the second semifinal game (8:30 p.m.) May 23 at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium. The national championship game is May 25 (7 p.m.) at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

UNH has never faced Penn. The Wildcats are 6-2 vs. Colgate, but the teams have not met since March 29, 1996, when the Raiders won 11-10 at home.

'CAT NIPS
Sarah Von Bargen scored her 100th career goal with the last of her five tallies April 16 against Albany; she enters the NCAA tournament with 129 career points (110g, 19a) in 49 career games, and has an 11-game goal-scoring streak.

Michaela Hardy matched her career highs in both assists (two) and points (seven) in the April 20 regular-season finale against Oregon; her fifth goal of the game gave UNH the 13-12 win with seven seconds remaining in double OT. Hardy scored her 50th goal of the season with the last of her three tallies in the America East semifinal vs. Vermont. She has scored a goal in 15 straight games and her 51 tallies is tied for eighth on UNH’s list of single-season superlatives. The 15-game goal-scoring streak is the longest by a Wildcat since current assistant coach Jess Burnap scored in 23 consecutive games spanning the 2003-05 seasons (including all 20 games in ‘04).

Shaunna Kaplan has recorded a point in 17 consecutive games, and that is the longest mark by a UNH Wildcat since Katie Leland tallied a point in 30 straight (all 18 games in ‘06 plus the last 12 games of ‘05). Kaplan established career highs in both goals (four) and points (five) April 16 vs. Albany. Kaplan scored her 50th career goal with the last of her three tallies April 20 vs. Oregon.

Moira Talbot enters Sunday’s game with 99 career goals (and 30 assists for 129 points).

Eight Wildcats have started all 18 games.

UNH IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
New Hampshire has a 35-27-1 overall record in the postseason, and that includes a 4-5 mark in the NCAAs. The Wildcats’ top finish in six previous NCAA tournament appearances was when they won the national title in 1985. The ‘Cats were semifinalists in both 1991 and 1987.

UNH is 2-3, including 1-3 on the road, in the first round of the national tourney; in 1987, the Wildcats were 11-9 victors at Northwestern. UNH’s other first-round win occurred in 1991 at home vs. Harvard (11-10).

In their most recent NCAA appearance, the ‘Cats were defeated 14-12 at Dartmouth College in a 2004 first-round road game.

With a 1-1 ledger in road semifinal games, UNH is 2-4 overall in NCAA tourney road games.

The Wildcats have a 3-4 NCAA tourney record against teams in this year’s field. This includes a 1-1 mark against both Northwestern (11-9 W in ‘87; 6-2 loss in ‘84) and Maryland (4-3 L in 1991; 6-5 W in ‘85) as well as a 1-2 ledger against Temple (9-8 L in ‘87; 8-5 L in ‘86; 7-3 W in ‘85).

PLAYING THE FIELD
    New Hampshire has a 1-2 record this season vs. the teams participating in the 2008 NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship. In addition to the pair of one-goal losses at Boston University, the Wildcats recorded a 10-7 road win against Vanderbilt University on March 15.

NATIONALLY SPEAKING
UNH moved up to #13 in this week’s IWLCA Poll; is the team’s highest ranking of the season. Prior to March 24, when New Hampshire entered the poll at #18, the Wildcats had not been nationally ranked since the first week of March in the 2005 season, when the ‘Cats were #14 in the IWLCA Poll.

UNH held steady – at #13 – in this week’s Inside Lacrosse Media Poll.

'CATS TAKING ON THE NATION
New Hampshire has a 2-3 record, including 2-2 on the road, against nationally-ranked teams (all rankings as of date of game played) this season. They defeated Yale University (8-7) and Vanderbilt University (10-7) – both of whom were ranked #10 – on the road; they lost at home to 20th-ranked Dartmouth College, 14-10, and on the road to Boston University (7-6 and 9-8 in overtime).

The March 5 win at Yale marked New Hampshire’s first win against a nationally-ranked team since March 16, 2006, when the Wildcats were 14-13 victors in overtime at #18 Towson University. That victory was the start of a nine-game winning streak – the same length win streak started by this year’s win at Yale.

Michaela Hardy (7g, 3a) and Shaunna Kaplan (6g, 4a) both have compiled 10 points in five games against nationally-ranked teams this season. Ashley Durepo (6g, 2a) and Moira Talbot (6g, 1a) were the Wildcats’ other top scorers in those five games, whereas Sarah Von Bargen tallied her numbers – six points, all on goals –in just three games. UNH goalkeeper Ashley Milley went 2-3 with an 8.74 GAA and .463 save percentage against nationally-ranked foes.

In games against teams in this week’s national poll, the Wildcats have a 3-2 record. The Wildcats defeated Vanderbilt (#9 this week), Cornell (#14) and Yale (#17) and lost twice to Boston U. (#7).

MORE NATIONAL TALK

New Hampshire enters this week’s action ranked No. 5 in the nation in defense by yielding a paltry 7.46 goals per game (84 teams ranked). The Wildcats are also 10th in scoring margin (+4.33), 11th in winning percentage (.722) and 36th in offense (11.73).

Senior goalkeeper Ashley Milley is currently No. 5 in goals-against-average (7.48) and No. 12 in save percentage (.504); junior midfielder Michaela Hardy is 27th in goals per game (2.83) and 43rd in caused turnovers per game (1.44).

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