April 5, 2010

KEAGINS, SIMPSON RECEIVE TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYER, TOP ROOKIE LAX AWARDS FROM AMERICA EAST

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Sophomore midfielder Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and freshman attacker Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) of the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team were feted by the America East conference Monday afternoon. Keagins was named the Defensive Player of the Week while Simpson received the Rookie of the Week award for the second consecutive week and third time overall this season.

Keagins tallied seven ground balls, seven caused turnovers and six draw controls – as well as three goals and an assist – in two games last week to help lead UNH to victories against Yale University (13-9 on March 31) and UMBC (16-8 on April 3).

She recorded game highs in both ground balls (five) and caused turnovers (three) as well as two draw controls and two goals vs. UMBC. In the opening minutes of the game, she caused a turnover and collected the ground ball at midfield, then raced down the middle to score an unassisted goal and give UNH a 2-0 lead. Keagins opened the week with four CTO, four DC, two GB, a goal and an assist at Yale; the four draw controls were tops in the game and the four caused turnovers tied for the game high.

Simpson, who previously received the America East Rookie of the Week award March 29 and March 8, recorded a total of six points (4g, 2a) in the games against Yale and UMBC. Simpson’s first-half goal vs. UMBC gave the ‘Cats a 3-1 lead and her second-half tally capped a 6-0 run that extended the advantage to 14-5.

At Yale, Simpson tallied three of her four points in the second half as UNH outscored the hosts 8-4 in the final 30 minutes. Her initial point of the second half came on an assist that lifted UNH into a 6-6 tie, and her second goal of the day pulled the ‘Cats even at 8 and ignited a 4-0 run that put UNH ahead to stay. Simpson also tallied an assist when the Wildcats took a 12-9 lead at 3:27.

Keagins leads the team in both caused turnovers (16) and draw controls (20), and she is second in ground balls (19). She is also tied for fourth in assists (five) and is fifth in points (17). In America East, Keagins ranks tied for fourth in draw controls per game (2.00).

Simpson has 14 goals and five assists for 19 points and, despite missing two games, she ranks third on the team in goals, fourth in points and tied for fourth in assists. Furthermore, Simpson has the second-highest shooting percentage at .609 (14 goals on 23 shots).

UNH (7-3 overall, 1-0 America East) returns to action April 7 (4 p.m.) at Boston University. The Wildcats' next home game is April 17 against Binghamton University. Game time at Memorial Field is 1 p.m.

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