Game Notes: Women's Lacrosse Returns Home to Battle America East Rival Boston U.

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AExtra Previews UNH vs. Boston U.

The Matchup

    The University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team returns to action Wednesday, April 6 against America East rival Boston University. Game time at Memorial Field is 4 p.m.
    UNH has an 11-21 lifetime record against the Terriers of BU, who have won 13 consecutive games spanning the last six seasons (2005-10); six of the 13 games have been decided by one or two goals.
    The Wildcats' most recent victory was 11-9 in the 2004 America East championship game here at Memorial Field. Since then, BU is 3-0 against the 'Cats at Memorial Field but has only outscored New Hampshire by a 26-22 margin (9-8 in '09; 7-5 in '07; 10-9 in '05).
    These teams have met in America East postseason play every year since 2002, and the teams also battled in a 2008 NCAA first round game.
    In the most recent meeting between these squads, BU built an 8-1 halftime lead and held off UNH's second-half rally to prevail 10-6 in a 2010 America East semifinal game (at Albany).
    In the 2010 regular-season meeting in Boston, the Terriers led 3-0 at the half and scored the first two goals of the second half en route to a 10-4 victory.


The State of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire is returning to action at the friendly confines of Memorial Field for the first time since defeating George Mason University, 11-8, on March 14. Wednesday's game vs. BU will be just the Wildcats' third home game of the season.
    UNH enters Wednesday's game with back-to-back losses following an 8-6 loss at Harvard on April 1. The Wildcats are 1-3 in the last four games despite outscoring the opposition 40-33 in that span; that is, in part, due to a 20-4 victory vs. Presbyterian College.
    UNH has surrendered double-digit goals just four times in 10 games and has not allowed more than 12 goals in any game.
    New Hampshire committed just 12 turnovers in last week's 8-6 loss at Harvard. It tied the second-lowest mark of the season for the 'Cats, who turned the ball over 10 times vs. George Mason and 12 against UMass. Harvard's 13 turnovers marked the lowest total against UNH this season.
    UNH has recorded less than 15 shots on goal (not total shots attempted) in half of the 10 games. The opponent has not reached 15 shots on goal in 7 of 10 games, and that includes the last three.

'Cat Nips
    In just her second career start, Brittany Conner recorded two caused turnovers at Harvard (April 1).
    Kate Keagins extended her point-scoring streak to 18 games by tallying an assist at Harvard.
    Ilana Cohen is the only other Wildcat with a double-digit point-scoring streak. She has a point all nine games in which she has played this season for an overall point streak of 11 games.
    JoJo Curro has recorded an assist each of the last six games.
    Casey Doyle, Allie Duclos, Jenny Simpson and Ally Stager are the only four 'Cats who have started all 10 games this season.

What Just Happened
    UNH utilized a balanced attack to build a 6-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes, but Harvard rallied to defeat the Wildcats, 8-6, last Friday at Harvard Stadium. Trailing 6-2, the Crimson scored three times in the last 90 seconds (at 1:23, :17 and :04) to pull within 6-5 at halftime.
    Amber Casiano scored two goals; Jenny Simpson, Allie Duclos and JoJo Curro each finished with a goal and an assist. Kate Gunts got the start in goal and exited with the score tied 6-6 through 37 minutes. Kathleen O'Keefe stopped four of the six shots she faced – one goal against was actually into an open net at the final buzzer – in the final 23 minutes but was charged with the loss.

What's Next
    UNH has just two road games remaining in the regular season, and one is this Saturday, April 9 at Albany. Game time vs. the unbeaten Great Danes is 1 p.m.

National Numbers
    Here is a comparison of how New Hampshire stacks up against Boston University (through April 2; 92 teams):
    UNH    BU
Offense    61 (9.70)    43 (11.30)
Defense    15 (8.60)    33 (9.90)
CTO    4 (11.0)    83 (5.8)
GB    29 (17.6)    77 (13.7)
DC    90 (8.8)    41 (12.2)
    Three Wildcats are among the top 25. Kate Keagins is fifth in caused turnovers as well as 22nd in ground balls, while Allie Duclos is 19th in caused turnovers and Kathleen O'Keefe is 22nd in goals-against-average.

Conference Call
    New Hampshire entered the week atop the America East rankings in both ground balls (17.5 per game) and caused turnovers (11.0 per game). The Wildcats rank second in defense by yielding 8.60 goals per game.
    Kate Keagins sits atop the league leaderboard in both caused turnovers and ground balls; she is also fourth in shots and ninth 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 second in ground balls. Kate Gunts is third in GAA and save percentage while Kathleen O'Keefe is fifth 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 10 games this season, Duclos ranks second in both ground balls (25) and caused turnovers (18) as well as tied for second in draw controls (13). 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 7 of 10 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.
    Most recently at Harvard, Duclos had 1's across the board with one goal, one assist, one shot, one ground ball, one draw control and one caused turnover.

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.

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 (22), and has a team-high .682 shooting percentage; Cohen is also among the team leaders in assists (third) and the 15 goals are already a personal single-season high.
    Cohen opened the 2011 season with a goal in eight consecutive games, then tallied an assist April 1 at Harvard to extend her point-scoring streak to 11 games (dating back to last year); 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 (16) as well as fifth in both goals (12) 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, four points (2g, 2a) at UMBC and a goal at Harvard.

What's Ours Is Ours & What's Yours Is Ours
    The Wildcats have committed fewer turnovers than the opponent  in eight of 10 games of the 2011 season (161-209 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 (nine), points (25) and shots (52). 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 (28), and she ranks fourth in draw controls (10).
    Keagins has led the team in caused turnovers five of 10 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 10 games with seven multiple-point efforts (including six consecutive games spanning March 5-26) to extend her point-scoring streak to 18 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 10 games – the  exceptions came against Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, UMBC and Harvard.
    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 two points (1g, 1a) at Harvard on April 1 to extend her assist streak to six games. Curro has 12 points on four goals and eight assists in that span.

Know Your Role
    Junior defender Erin Levesque may not compile impressive statistics (nine GB, three CTO and three DC), but she has started nine of 10 games in 2011 and is a solid foundation of a defensive unit that is ranked #15 in the nation. Levesque was credited with two ground balls and one caused turnover in the Wildcats' America East opener, March 26 at UMBC.

Making the Most of the Opportunity
    Junior goalkeeper Kate Gunts has just three starts this season (four games played overall), but she has excelled when given the opportunity. Gunts has a 2-0 record with a 7.24 GAA and .400 save percentage. She made a season-high eight saves and surrendered just four goals in the March 18 victory against Presbyterian College. Most recently, Gunts received the starting nod at Harvard (April 1) but was not credited with a save before exiting the game with the score tied 6-6 through 37 minutes.

Rookies No More
    The sophomore class comprises nearly one-third of the roster and four of those seven players – Amber Casiano, Kathleen O'Keefe, Jenny Simpson and Ally Stager – were named to the 2010 America East All-Rookie Team.
    Casiano ranked second among last year's UNH rookies in both goals (10) and points (12) and the midfielder, who was in the starting lineup 12 times as a rookie, has started 9 of 10 games this season; she ranks third on the team in goals (14), assists (seven) and points (21).
    Casiano established a career-high five points March 5 at Colgate by matching her personal best of three goals and tallying her first multiple-assist effort, then bested that with four goals and two assists for six points against Presbyterian College (March 18). Casiano has scored a goal each of the last seven games and tallied multiple points six times with totals of 21 points (14g, 7a).
    O'Keefe emerged as the starting goalie in the latter half of the 2010 season. She played in 12 games (10 starts) and went 5-6 with an 11.08 GAA and .408 save percentage. O'Keefe proved to be the top goalie midway through the 2011 season, and she has started seven of the 10 games (eight games played overall). Her numbers include a 3-5 record, 9.16 GAA and .375 save percentage.
    Simpson was the top point producer of last year's freshman class as she finished with 25 points on 18 goals and seven assists. She tallied a point in 11 of 15 games and that included a nine-game point-scoring streak. Simpson has carried that consistency into 2011 – she has scored a goal in 7 of 10 games.
    Simpson recorded her first multiple-point game of 2011 with four (2g, 2a) March 5 at Colgate; the two assists matched her career high. She followed that with a four-goal effort at Fairfield (March 12). Simpson scored two goals in consecutive games against Vanderbilt and Presbyterian to increase her total of multiple-goal games in '11 to four.
    Stager was the only freshman to play in all 17 games a year ago and she ranked third on the team in draw controls. She recorded a ground ball in 11 of 17 games with six multiple-GB efforts and also tallied a draw control in 11 of 17 games. Stager has continued to factor into the possession game by ranking second on the team in draw controls as well as third in both ground balls and caused turnovers. She tallied personal bests in both goals (two) and points (three) March 5 at Colgate and also had a multiple-goal game vs. George Mason (March 14). Stager has led the team in ground balls three times (Holy Cross, George Mason, UMBC), draw controls twice (Dartmouth, Fairfield) and caused turnovers twice (Holy Cross, George Mason).
    Doyle played in 16 of 17 games a year ago and was in the starting lineup 15 times. She made an immediate impact on defense and will continue to grow as a vital part of the defensive unit this season. She has started all 10 games and ranks fourth in both ground balls and caused turnovers. In three games spanning March 14-18, Doyle tallied seven GB and five CTO as well as one draw control.
    Cyester saw limited action (six games; one start) in 2010. She did not see game action in the opening week of the '11 season, but then played seven consecutive games – including two starts – until the Harvard game on April 1. Cyester recorded her first collegiate point with a goal at Colgate (March 5), scored a goal at 11th-ranked Vanderbilt (March 16) and, in the next game, she recorded her first multiple-point effort (1g, 1a) against Presbyterian.
    Kleinendorst joined the team as a walk-on following the conclusion of the 2010 UNH women's ice hockey season. She played in four games and once again joined the lax squad following the 2011 hockey season; she was in uniform for the first time March 12 at Fairfield but has not seen game action.

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)
   April 6 vs. Boston U.
   April 9 at Albany
   April 16 vs. Stony Brook
   April 23 vs. Vermont
   April 29 vs. Boston College
   May 1 at Binghamton

Scouting the Terriers
    Boston University enters Wednesday's game with a 6-4 overall record that includes 2-0 in America East and 2-3 on the road. The Terriers extended their winning streak to three games following last weekend's 13-9 victory against UMBC.
    BU is led by the high-scoring duo of Danielle Etrasco, who is ranked #19 in the nation in goals per game (31g, 7a), and Erica Baumgartner, who is #12 nationally in assists per game (10g, 19a). Molly Swain (17g, 5a) and Hannah Frey (18g, 3a) are two other players to watch on attack.
    Christina Sheridan has started seven of 10 games and has played in all but one game; she has a 5-2 record with a 9.45 GAA and .443 save percentage. Kim Elsworth has a 1-2 record with a 10.70 GAA and .395 save percentage in five games (three starts).

Common Ground
    New Hampshire and Boston University have faced four common opponents in the 2011 season. UNH is 1-3 against those common foes with a win against George Mason (11-8) and losses to Dartmouth (9-5), UMass (11-4) and UMBC (10-8). BU has a 3-1 record against those teams with wins against Dartmouth (9-7), George Mason (10-9, 3ot) and UMBC (13-9) and a loss to UMass (13-12).

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