Game On: Women's Lacrosse Game Scheduled for April 1 at Harvard Will Be Played Tonight (7 pm)

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Despite the overnight snowfall and continued precipitation through the day today, the UNH women's lacrosse game scheduled for April 1 (7 p.m.) against Harvard at Harvard Stadium will be played as scheduled.

The Matchup

    The University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team returns to action this week with an April Fool's Day matchup against Harvard University at Harvard Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m.
    UNH has a 17-18 lifetime record, including last year's 10-9 double overtime loss at home, against Harvard. The Wildcats have won five of the last seven meetings and that includes an 11-9 overtime win the last time these teams met in Cambridge (March 2009). That game was not played at Harvard Stadium, however; the last time these teams battled at that venue was 2007, when the Crimson prevailed 12-6.

The State of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire has alternated wins and losses the past four games. Friday's game will be the 10th of the season and the eighth away from home (including one neutral-site game in Georgia). The matchup at Harvard is also one of two remaining non-conference games in the regular season; the other is April 29 vs. Boston College.
    Last Saturday's 10-8 loss at UMBC was the first of four losses this season to an unranked team.
    UNH has a 4-2 record when playing on April 1. In 2009, the 'Cats lost 9-8 to Boston University; in '06, New Hampshire prevailed 15-10 against Albany.
    The 20 goals scored vs. Presbyterian College on March 18 marked the highest UNH output since April 2009 (21-7 vs. Stony Brook) as well as the most goals scored away from home since April 2007 (22-5 vs. Binghamton) and the most against a non-league opponent since March 2006 (20-8 at Marist College).
    UNH has surrendered double-digit goals just four times in nine games and has not allowed more than 12 goals in any game. At the other end of the field, the offense produced double-digit goals four of the last six games and averaged 12.3 goals per game during those six games.

'Cat Nips
    Hayley Rausch matched her career high of two assists and also scored two goals to finish with a team-high four points March 26 at UMBC.
    Kate Keagins extended her point-scoring streak to 17 games by tallying two goals last Saturday at UMBC. She has recorded multiple points each of the last six games.
    Ilana Cohen is the only other Wildcat with a double-digit point-scoring streak. She has scored a goal in all eight games that she has played this season to extend her point streak to 10 games.

What Just Happened
    In the America East conference opener for both teams, UNH led 3-2 but UMBC netted five consecutive goals to build a 7-3 lead it would not relinquish. The Wildcats pulled within 8-6 at the half and opened the second-half scoring to trim the deficit to one goal and once again trailed by one goal, 9-8, with a tally at 22:51. UMBC reestablished a two-goal advantage, 10-8, at 9:52 and neither team scored the rest of the way. It marked the Retrievers' first win against the 'Cats in 10 lifetime meetings.
    Hayley Rausch factored in each of UNH's first three goals and finished with four points (2g, 2a) to garner the team's America East Player of the Game honor.

What's Next
    Following its trip to Harvard, the Wildcats return to action at Memorial Field against America East rival Boston University on April 6.

On the Road Again
    Friday's game will be the team's seventh road game of the season. UNH has a 3-3 road record in 2011 and has lost two straight (at UMBC, March 26; at Vanderbilt, March 16). Kate Keagins (10g, 7a), Ilana Cohen (12g, 4a), Jenny Simpson (10g, 2a) and Hayley Rausch (8g, 4a) have been the top point producers in the six away games – Cohen and Rausch have played in 5 of 6 games.
    In goal, Kathleen O'Keefe has five starts with a 2-3 record, 9.40 GAA and .373 save percentage. Kate Gunts is 1-0 with an 8.00 GAA and .429 save percentage in one road appearance.

National Numbers
    Here is a comparison of how New Hampshire stacks up against Harvard (through March 27; 92 teams):
    UNH    Harvard
Offense    56 (10.11)    21 (13.17)
Defense    15 (8.67)    45 (10.83)
CTO    3 (11.56)    78 (6.00)
GB    21 (18.44)    86 (12.17)
DC    87 (9.22)    18 (13.50)
    Two Wildcats are among the top 25. Kate Keagins is fourth in caused turnovers as well as 20th in ground balls, while Allie Duclos is 18th in caused turnovers. Also of note, Kathleen O'Keefe is 23rd in goals-against-average.

Conference Call
    New Hampshire entered the week atop the America East rankings in both ground balls (18.4 per game) and caused turnovers (11.56 per game). The Wildcats rank second in defense by yielding 8.67 goals per game.
    Kate Keagins sits atop the league leaderboard in caused turnovers and is second in ground balls; she is also fifth in shots, ninth in points per game and 10th in assists per game.
    Two other Wildcats are among the top four in caused turnovers with Allie Duclos at #2 and Ally Stager at #4. Duclos is also third in ground balls. Kate Gunts is third in GAA and save percentage while Kathleen O'Keefe is sixth in GAA.

And Then There Was One
    Allie Duclos, a three-time America East All-Conference First Team selection, is the only senior and is one of three captains (alongside juniors Ilana Cohen and Hayley Rausch) on the 2011 squad. A year ago, Duclos led the team in ground balls and draw controls; she also ranked second in caused turnovers as well as third in shooting percentage.
    Through nine games this season, Duclos ranks second in both ground balls (24) and caused turnovers (17) as well as third in draw controls (12). In three games spanning March 14-18, she tallied four goals, 12 GB, eight CTO and five DC; Duclos filled the stat line at 11th-ranked Vanderbilt with one goal, five GB, four CTO and two DC.
    Duclos has also been a consistent point contributor with a goal in 6 of 9 games, including five consecutive games from March 5-18; she matched her career high of two goals March 18 vs. Presbyterian College.
    Duclos recorded the team high in ground balls four times (Holy Cross, George Mason, Vandy and UMBC). She has also been the leader in caused turnovers three times (Colgate, Fairfield and Vandy) and was the leader in draw controls vs. UMass.

March Recap
    New Hampshire compiled a 4-3 record in March. The month opened with a loss to nationally-ranked UMass and closed with a loss at UMBC. In between, the Wildcats won four of five games and that included a three-game winning streak.
    Kate Keagins (13g, 7a) and Amber Casiano (12g, 7a) were the top point producers in March. Kathleen O'Keefe went 2-3 with a 10.39 GAA and .310 save percentage in five starts while Kate Gunts was 2-0 with a 6.56 GAA and .483 save percentage in three games (two starts).

Leaders of the 'Cat Pack
    Junior midfielders Ilana Cohen and Hayley Rausch captain the 2011 Wildcats (with senior midfielder Allie Duclos) and are two of the team's top point producers.
    Cohen is a third-year starter who garnered America East All-Conference Second Team honors a year ago. Despite missing one game and seeing limited action in another, she ranks second on this year's team in goals (15) and points (21), and has a team-high .682 shooting percentage; Cohen is also among the team leaders in assists (fourth) and the 15 goals are already a personal single-season high.
    Cohen has scored a goal all eight games in which she has played to extend her point-scoring streak to 10 games; her streak of six consecutive multiple-point games ended March 18 with one point (1g) vs. Presbyterian College. She responded with another two-goal performance March 26 at UMBC.
    Cohen matched her personal best of three goals at 19th-ranked Dartmouth (Feb. 26) and at Colgate (March 5). She tallied career highs in both assists (three) and points (five) at Fairfield (March 12).
    Rausch, despite missing four games a year ago, ranked third on the team in both goals and points as well as fourth in assists. She ranks fourth on the 2011 squad in points (15) as well as fifth in both goals (11) and assists (four). She matched her career highs in both goals (four) and points (five) March 5 at Colgate. She also had a multiple-point game (1g, 1a) at 19th-ranked Dartmouth.
    Rausch tallied a point each of her first five games of the season to extend her point-scoring streak to 23 games. She was held without a goal or assist, however, March 16 at 11th-ranked Vanderbilt. Since that game, Rausch tallied one goal vs. Presbyterian and four points (2g, 2a) at UMBC.

What's Ours Is Ours & What's Yours Is Ours
    The Wildcats have committed fewer turnovers than the opponent seven of nine games of the 2011 season (149-196 overall). UNH recorded the turnover advantage each of the first six games before losing that battle March 16 at 11th-ranked Vanderbilt (24-18). UMBC was also charged with more turnovers at UMBC (15-14).
    New Hampshire's largest turnover margin is +14 (12-26 vs. UMass), followed by +12 (16-28 vs. Presbyterian).
    In 2010, UNH committed more turnovers than the opponent just five times in 17 games.

Two-Way Player
    Junior midfielder Kate Keagins leads the team in goals (16), assists (eight), points (24) and shots (47). But she is more than just a point producer for the Wildcats. Keagins also leads the team in both caused turnovers (22) and ground balls (26), and she ranks fourth in draw controls (nine).
    Keagins has led the team in caused turnovers five of nine games this season. She has also been the team leader in ground balls three times. Her season highlights include seven GB and three CTO at nationally-ranked Dartmouth College as well as six GB and six CTO vs. Presbyterian.
    Keagins has recorded a point all nine games with seven multiple-point efforts (including each of the last six games) to extend her point-scoring streak to 17 games. She has tallied a season-high three goals three times (Holy Cross, Fairfield, Presbyterian); she also recorded a season-best three assists at Fairfield for a season high of six points.

Fielding Grounders
    New Hampshire has recorded more ground balls than the opposition in 6 of 9 games – the only exceptions came against Dartmouth, Vanderbilt and UMBC.
    The Wildcats finished with 27 GBs at 14th-ranked Dartmouth – it marked the highest total by a UNH team since April 11, 2009, and duplicated that total March 18 against Presbyterian College. UNH also finished with 20+ ground balls vs. Fairfield (22) and Vanderbilt (21).

Heating Up
    Winter temperatures are still lingering in New England, but junior attack JoJo Curro is heating up. She matched her career high of three assists and also tallied a goal for a season-best four points March 18 against Presbyterian, and she recorded an assist March 26 at UMBC to extend her assist streak to five games. Curro has 10 points on three goals and seven assists in that span.

Home Field Advantage
    New Hampshire had a 6-2 record at Memorial Field last year, went 6-3 at home in 2009 and 7-1 in '08. That's a three-year winning percentage of .760.
    The Wildcats have one win and one loss at Memorial Field this season. Most recently, the 'Cats prevailed 11-8 against George Mason on March 14.

Made of Granite
    Four of the 22 student-athletes on the 2011 roster hail from New Hampshire. Junior attack JoJo Curro calls Amherst home and is joined by freshmen Kacie Connal (Derry), Molly Gaffey (North Hampton) and Cori Rees (East Hampstead). Connal and Rees were teammates at Pinkerton Academy.

America East Player of the Game
    The America East conference is continuing its Player of the Game award in the 2011 season. A UNH player will be recognized following every league game and all home games. No Wildcat received the honor more than twice in the '10 season.
   March 2 vs. UMass–Ally Stager (1g, 2gb, 1cto)
   March 14 vs. George Mason– Ally Stager (2g, 3gb, 2cto, 2dc)
   March 26 at UMBC– Hayley Rausch (2g, 2a)

Scouting the Crimson
    Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.) enters the month of April with a 3-3 overall record that includes 2-1 at home (2-0 at Harvard Stadium) and 2-1 in the Ivy League. The Crimson has yet to play an America East school this season.
    Harvard is coming off last Saturday's 19-3 victory against Yale and has won two straight (12-8 W vs. Johns Hopkins on March 20).
    The quartet of Danielle Tetreault (17g, 3a), Jenn Vandermeulen (17g, 1a), Melanie Baskind (11g, 2a) and Jess Halpern (12g, 1a) lead the attack. Baskind also leads the team in ground balls (10) while Micaela Cyr has a team-high 21 draw controls; in fact, Cyr is ranked 10th nationally in that statistic.
    Kerry Clark has played all 360 minutes in goal, and her numbers include a 10.83 GAA and .356 save percentage.
    Both Harvard and the opposition score on more than 50% of their shots. The Crimson have a .534 shooting percentage while the opponents are at .513.

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