Game Notes: Women's Lacrosse 'Cat Fight When Vermont Travels to Durham on April 23

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The Matchup
    The University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team continues a three-game homestand April 23 against America East foe University of Vermont. Game time at Memorial Field is 2 p.m.
    Saturday's game is distinguished as "Breast Cancer Awareness Game" as the UNH Wildcats will dedicate this game to breast cancer survivors, patients and/or loved ones who have lost a battle against breast cancer. These individuals are: Marlene Bledsoe, Jennifer Coberth, Patricia Cyester, Jean Dougherty, Shelly Doyle, Linda Fielder, Kirsten Frankenhoff, Kathy Kennedy, Joyce Kleinendorst, Jean Marie McCarthy, Constance O'Malley, Allison Pfeffer, Mary Ranta, Helen Stager, Mae Stager and Jean Whitten.
    Coupons (10% off) redeemable for any of the 2011 UNH women's lacrosse summer camps will also be available Saturday.
    UNH has a 29-3 lifetime record, including last year's 18-10 road victory, against Vermont. The Wildcats have a 15-1 home record in this series, and the UNH 'Cats are 16-1 in the last 17 meetings overall dating back to the 1997 season. UVM recorded a 9-8 win in Burlington in 2008 to end a 13-game losing streak in the series; New Hampshire outscored Vermont 210-65 in those 13 games and has a 50-20 scoring edge during the current three-game winning streak.

The State of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire continues its three-game homestand Saturday vs. Vermont. UNH has a 3-1 record at Memorial Field this season.
    UNH will secure its league-record 14th consecutive appearance in the America East Championship tournament with the combination of a victory against Vermont and Binghamton loss to Albany.
    The Wildcats recorded an assist on 7 of 12 goals in last Saturday's game against Stony Brook; they have assisted on 62 of 130 goals (48%) overall in the 2011 season.
    UNH committed 10 fouls, the lowest total of the season, last weekend vs. Stony Brook. The Seawolves recorded just 16 shots, the second-lowest total by a UNH opponent in 2011.
    The 'Cats have a 7-2 record against unranked teams.

'Cat Nips
    JoJo Curro has the team's longest active point-scoring streak (nine games) while Hayley Rausch has the longest active goal-scoring streak (six games) as well as the longest active assist streak (three games).
    The duo of Kate Keagins and Allie Duclos account for 36% of the team's total of 132 caused turnovers; Keagins has 26, followed by Duclos at 22.
    Duclos and Casey Doyle are the only two 'Cats who have started all 13 games this season; seven Wildcats have played all 13 games.
    Rausch is atop the America East leaderboard in points per game in conference-only games. She has 17 points (10g, 7a) in four games for an average of 4.25 per game. Rausch is also tied for second in assists (1.75 apg).
    In league-only games, Jamie DePetris leads the team in ground balls (six).

What Just Happened
    Junior captains Ilana Cohen (3g, 2a) and Hayley Rausch (2g, 3a) recorded five points apiece to lead UNH to a 12-6 victory against Stony Brook University in an April 16 America East conference game at Memorial Field.
    The Wildcats built a 5-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game and utilized a 6-1 second-half run to pull away. The shot (34) and draw control (15) totals were UNH's second highest of the season.
    Kathleen O'Keefe recorded a season-high eight saves for the second consecutive game.

What's Next
    UNH concludes its three-game homestand with Senior Day on Friday, April 29 against nationally-ranked Boston College.

National Numbers
    Here is a comparison of how New Hampshire stacks up against Vermont (through April 17; 92 teams):
    UNH    UVM
Offense    62 (10.00)    36 (11.53)
Defense    20 (9.23)    70 (12.33)
CTO    9 (10.15)    36 (8.13)
GB    55 (15.92)    48 (16.20)
DC    82 (10.00)    20 (13.20)
    Three Wildcats are among the top 25 in the nation. Kate Keagins is eighth in caused turnovers, Allie Duclos is 21st in caused turnovers and Kathleen O'Keefe is 23rd in goals-against-average.

Conference Call
    New Hampshire entered the week atop the America East rankings in caused turnovers (10.15 per game), second in defense (yielding 9.13 goals per game), assists (4.77 per game) and ground balls (15.85 per game).
    Kate Keagins sits atop the league leaderboard in both caused turnovers and ground balls; she is also fifth in shots and ninth in assists per game.
    Other Wildcats among the America East leaders are Allie Duclos in caused turnovers (second) and ground balls (fourth) as well as Kate Gunts (fourth) and Kathleen O'Keefe (fifth) in goals-against-average.

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.
    Duclos has a team-high 21 draw controls and ranks second in both ground balls (28) and caused turnovers (22). 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, and she did the same at 10th-ranked Albany with two goals, two GB, one DC and one CTO as well as vs. Stony Brook with one goal, one assist, one GB, five DC and two CTO – the five draw controls is the highest total by a UNH Wildcat this season.
    Duclos has also been a consistent point contributor with a goal in 10 of 13 games, including five consecutive games from March 5-18; she matched her career high of two goals March 18 vs. Presbyterian College and again April 9 at Albany. The 12 goals and 14 points are both single-season highs.
    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 and SBU.
    April 1 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 won its third consecutive home game by doubling up Stony Brook, 12-6, at Memorial Field on Saturday, April 16; the Wildcats are now 3-1 at home this season. In its previous home game, the 'Cats ended a 13-game losing streak to Boston University with a 13-12 double-overtime victory on April 6.
    UNH 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.

Leaders of the 'Cat Pack
    Juniors Ilana Cohen and Hayley Rausch captain the 2011 Wildcats (with senior midfielder Allie Duclos) and are two of the team's top point producers. In fact, they are tied for second in points (29) as both players tallied five points April 16 against Stony Brook.
    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, the midfielder ranks second in assists (10) and fourth in goals (19); she has a team-high .633 shooting percentage. The 19 goals and 29 points are already personal single-season highs.
    Cohen opened the 2011 season with a goal in eight consecutive games as part of a season-opening 10-game point-scoring streak that extended her overall point-scoring streak to 12 games. Cohen started 2011 with six consecutive multiple-point efforts and has nine overall.
    Cohen matched her personal best of three goals at 19th-ranked Dartmouth (Feb. 26), at Colgate (March 5) and vs. Stony Brook (April 16). She tallied career highs in both assists (three) and points (five) at Fairfield (March 12) and equalled that five-point total against Stony Brook.
    Rausch, who has also missed one game and been limited in other games due to injuries, is tied for the lead in goals (20) and is fourth in assists (nine).
    She tallied career highs in both goals (five) and points (six) to lead UNH to a 13-12 double overtime victory against Boston University (April 6); she scored four second-half goals and then ended the game with a goal at 38 seconds of the second extra session. Rausch matched her previous career highs in both goals (four) and points (five) March 5 at Colgate.
    Rausch tallied a career-high three assists as part of her five-point performance April 16 vs. Stony Brook. She also tallied a goal and an assist against two nationally-ranked teams – 19th-ranked Dartmouth and 10th-ranked Albany.
    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 has scored a goal in six consecutive games with totals of 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points.

What's Ours Is Ours & What's Yours Is Ours
    The Wildcats have committed fewer turnovers than the opponent in 9 of 13 games of the 2011 season (202-245 overall). UNH recorded the turnover advantage each of the first six games before losing that battle March 16 at 11th-ranked Vanderbilt (24-18). UNH was also charged with more turnovers at UMBC (15-14) and at Albany (14-8).
    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 (20), assists (12), points (32) and shots (67). But she is more than just a point producer for the Wildcats. Keagins also leads the team in both caused turnovers (26) and ground balls (31), and she ranks fourth in draw controls (13). She is the only 'Cats who has recorded double digits in goals, assists, ground balls, caused turnovers and draw controls.
    Keagins has led the team in caused turnovers six of 13 games this season, and that includes four vs. Boston U. (April 6). 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 opened the year with a point in 11 consecutive games to extend her point-scoring streak to 19 games before being held without a point April 9 at 10th-ranked Albany. Keagins has nine multiple-point efforts (including six consecutive games spanning March 5-26) and 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. Keagins finished with two goals and two assists against BU (April 6).

Fielding Grounders
    New Hampshire has recorded more ground balls than the opposition half of the time, but the opposition has had the advantage in that statistic five of the last seven games, including a 13-13 tie in that statistic last Saturday against Stony Brook.
    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 lingered the latter part of March into early April in New England, but junior attack JoJo Curro heated up during that time and recorded an assist in eight consecutive games spanning March 5 to April 9 to climb to #2 on the team in assists (10). Curro's assist streak ended April 16 vs. Stony Brook, but she did score a goal that game to extend her point-scoring streak to nine games; it is the longest active streak on the team.
    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 tallied her second three-point game of the season with two goals and an assist against Boston U. (April 6). Curro has 18 points on eight goals and 10 assists during her current nine-game point streak.

Take a Free Shot
    UNH scored on three of four free-position shots in the Feb. 23 season opener at Holy Cross and that included a perfect 3-for-3 in the first half. The season total stands at 12-for-36 (33.3%) following an 0-for-4 effort against Stony Brook. Last year, the Wildcats scored on 26 of 58 free-position shots (27.6% scoring percentage).
    Opponents have scored on 28 of 66 (42.4%) free-position shots this season, and that includes 0-for-3 by both Stony Brook and Dartmouth as well as 1 of 6 by Colgate; at the other end of the spectrum, UMBC converted 4 of 6 free position shots into a goal. In 2010, the opposition finished 39-for-89 (43.8%).
    UNH has scored more free-position goals that the opposition two times in 13 games (Presbyterian, 3-2; and Colgate, 2-1). The Wildcats have attempted more free-position shots just one twice – vs. Presbyterian and Stony Brook. In fact, the 'Cats have not attempted a free-position shot in two games (Dartmouth and Harvard).

Know Your Role
    Junior defender Erin Levesque may not compile impressive statistics (nine GB, four CTO and four DC), but has started 11 of 12 games she has played in 2011 and is a solid foundation of the defensive unit. Levesque was credited with two ground balls and one caused turnover in the Wildcats' America East opener, March 26 at UMBC. She had one draw control and one CTO April 6 vs. Boston U.

Making the Most of the Opportunity
    Junior goalkeeper Kate Gunts has played in four of the last six games with three starts, including back-to-back games vs. Harvard and Boston University, in that span. In six games overall, Gunts has a 2-0 record with an 8.99 GAA and .404 save percentage. She made a season-high eight saves and surrendered just four goals in the March 18 victory against Presbyterian College. 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. She left the April 6 game vs. Boston University with UNH trailing 8-5 with 1:58 left in the first half. April 9 at Albany, she had a second-half relief stint of 4:50 in which she stopped three of five shots on goal.

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 has started 12 of 13 games this season; she ranks fifth on the team in goals (15), assists (7) and points (22). 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's seven-game goal-scoring streak ended April 6 at Boston U.; she tallied multiple points six times with totals of 21 points (14g, 7a) during that seven-game goal streak.
    O'Keefe has proven to be the go-to goalie in 2001. She has started nine of the 13 games (11 games played overall) and her numbers include a 5-6 record, 9.18 GAA and .403 save percentage. O'Keefe also ranks fifth on the team in both caused turnovers (eight) and ground balls (18). In four home games, she is 3-1 with a 7.68 GAA and .435 save percentage.
    O'Keefe entered the April 6 game vs. BU with UNH trailing 8-5 with 1:58 remaining in the first half; she played the last 40:20 of the game and made five saves, including two in overtime, to backbone UNH to a 13-12 victory in double overtime. O'Keefe made a season-high eight saves in the 16-8 loss at 10th-ranked Albany (April 9) and duplicated that total in a 12-6 win against Stony Brook (April 16).
    Simpson has scored a goal in 10 of 13 games with seven multiple-goal efforts, including each of the last three games vs. Stony Brook, Albany and Boston University. With seven goals in the last three games, Simpson has climbed into a tie for first on the team in goals (20); she is also fourth in points (23) and third in shots (41).
    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).
    Stager, a starter in 11 of 13 games, is a significant factor in the possession game. She ranks third on the team in both draw controls and caused turnovers, and she is tied for third in ground balls. 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 has started all 13 games, is tied for third on the team in ground balls and is fifth in caused turnovers. In three games spanning March 14-18, Doyle tallied seven GB and five CTO as well as one draw control.
    Cyester 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. Overall, she has tallied three goals and one assist in nine games (three starts).
    Kleinendorst, who once again joined the team following the conclusion of the UNH women's ice hockey season, made her 2011 season debut April 16 against Stony Brook.

It's a Draw
    Draw controls have not been one of UNH's strengths this season, but the tide has turned in recent weeks. The 'Cats recorded a 16-13 edge in that statistic against Boston University (April 6), were nearly even at Albany (11-13) and had a 15-5 edge against Stony Brook (April 16); the 15 DC marked the second-highest total of the season and the +10 margin was the best of 2011.
    Overall, opponents have totaled 145 in comparison to the Wildcats' 130. The opposition recorded a 3:1 ratio (36-12 overall) in the first three games before the Wildcats finished with the advantage in draw controls at Colgate (March 5), albeit by the slimmest of margins (16-15). New Hampshire also finished plus-one in the draw control column vs. both George Mason and Presbyterian. The 'Cats finished even in that stat at UMBC.

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.

The New 'Cats in Town
    The UNH women's lacrosse program welcomed eight players to the fold for the 2011 season. Cara Dowdle and Cori Rees immediately stepped into a starting role on defense. Rees has 10 starts, has played in every game and is tied for fourth on the team in draw controls; she  recorded two DCs against Boston U. – that included the one in double OT that led to the game-winning goal – and was credited with three DC as well as two ground balls and one caused turnover vs. Stony Brook (April 16). Rees tallied her first career point April 9 with an assist at Albany. Dowdle played each of the first 10 games of the season (nine starts) but has been sidelined each of the past three games.
    Meghan Bridges played in each of the initial nine games (three starts) before missing the April 1 game at Harvard, then returned to action April 6 vs. Boston U. She has been an instrumental part of the attack and has tallied five points (three goals, two assists). Bridges has recorded a point each of the last two games and has four points in the last five games.
    Brittany Conner's playing time continues to increase, as she has played in 10 games overall with five starts; she tallied two caused turnovers at Harvard (April 1) and had three draw controls vs. BU (April 6).
    Molly Gaffey (1g, 1a) has seen action in nine games at midfield. She recorded her first career points with a goal and assist March 18 vs. Presbyterian. Kacie Connal, another midfielder, appeared in all three games the week of March 14-20 while defender Jamie DePetris has seen increased playing time the latter half of the season; she has played in six of the last seven games. DePetris was credited with two GB and one DC against 10th-ranked Albany; she tallied three ground balls April 16 vs. Stony Brook.
    Most recently, Sarah Campbell joined the team as a walk-on following the conclusion of UNH's women's ice hockey season, made her debut March 12 at Fairfield and was in the starting lineup the following game March 14 vs. George Mason. Campbell recorded her first career points with a three-goal, one-assist effort March 18 against Presbyterian.
    There is also a new assistant coach on the sidelines. Meg Reddy was an All-Atlantic 10 Second Team selection as a senior at UMass in '09 and coached the Exeter Area High School team in 2010 before joining the UNH staff in August 2010. She is a native of Salem, N.H.

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.– Hayley Rausch (5g, 1a)
   April 9 at Albany– Jenny Simpson (3g, 3sh, 1gb, 1dc)
   April 16 vs. Stony Brook– Ilana Cohen (3g, 2a, 2gb, 2cto)
   April 23 vs. Vermont
   April 29 vs. Boston College
   May 1 at Binghamton

Scouting the Catamounts
    The University of Vermont (Burlington, Vt.) enters Saturday's game with a 7-8 overall record that includes 1-3 in America East and 3-4 on the road. UVM, which closed March with four consecutive wins, is 0-4 in April. In their most recent game, the Catamounts lost 20-8 to 14th-ranked Boston College.
    Sydney Mas leads the team in both goals (46) and points (54), and with those numbers she is ranked #10 in the nation in goals per game and #15 in draw controls per game; Mas leads the America East conference in gpg and is second in both ppg and draw controls.
    Other 20-point scorers include Samantha Stern (24g, 4a), Megan MacDonald (14g, 11a), Adison Rounds (12g, 12a) and Allison Pfohl (15g, 6a).
    Laura Barber has started all 15 games and played 84% of the minutes. She is 7-7 with a 12.60 GAA and .393 save percentage. And on defense, Caitie Izzo leads the team in caused turnovers (25) and is second in ground balls (29) to MacDonald (33).
    UVM has scored in double figures 11 of 15 games with a high of 19 against St. Mary's (Calif.) on March 6; the Catamounts were held to a season-low three goals at Albany (April 6). Vermont has surrendered 20 goals twice – Colgate (Feb. 27) and Boston College.

Common Ground
    New Hampshire and Vermont have played three common non-conference opponents. UNH went 1-2 against those teams with a win against Colgate (17-12) as well as losses to UMass (11-4) and Dartmouth (9-5). UVM opened the 2011 season with losses to UMass (17-9), Colgate (20-14) and Dartmouth (10-6).

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