May 4, 2011

Eight Women's Lacrosse Players Feted By America East; Cohen, Rausch named to First Team

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.  – Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.) and Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.), junior captains on the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team, were named to the America East All-Conference First Team on Wednesday. Six other Wildcats received conference honors.

Sophomores Ally Stager (Reading, Mass.) and Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.), both of whom were All-Rookie Team selections last year, were voted to the All-Conference Second Team while Cara Dowdle (Northbrook, Ill.) and Cori Rees (East Hampstead, N.H.) were named to the 2011 All-Rookie Team.

Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.) and Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) were All-Academic Team selections. It is the third consecutive year Duclos has received this accolade and the first selection for Simpson, as freshman are not eligible.

Cohen, an 2010 All-Conference Second Team and 2009 All-Rookie Team honoree, ranks second on the team in goals (24), assists (13) and points (37); she has a team-high .600 shooting percentage. The midfielder opened the season with a 10-game point-scoring streak and has tallied a point in 14 of 15 games this season, and that includes a current four-game streak. Cohen has 11 multiple-point efforts, including three five-point games, and seven multiple-goal performances with four three-goal games. In six America East league games, she totaled 16 points on 10 goals and six assists.

Rausch, who was also an All-Conference Second Team selection in the 2009 field hockey season, ranks third on the squad in both goals (23) and points (35) as well as fourth in assists (12).  The attacker recorded a point each of the first five games of the season to extend her overall point-scoring streak to 23 games. Rausch then recorded a six-game goal-scoring streak in which she tallied 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points. Overall, she has a point in 13 of 15 games with eight multiple-point efforts highlighted by a five-goal, six-point performance that propelled UNH to a 13-12 double-overtime victory against Boston University. Rausch was the Wildcats' top point producer in conference action with 19 points (10g, 9a) in six games.

O'Keefe has started 10 of 16 games this year with 12 overall appearances. She has a 5-7 record with a 9.07 GAA and .394 save percentage. The goalkeeper also ranks fifth on the team in ground balls and sixth in caused turnovers. In five America East games (four starts), O'Keefe compiled a 2-3 record with a 9.15 GAA and .400 save percentage. Her season highlights included a five-save effort against Boston University in which she entered the first half with UNH trailing 8-5 and backboned the Wildcats to a 13-12 win in double overtime. That was part of O'Keefe's overall excellent play at Memorial Field, where she went 3-2 with a 7.75 GAA and .404 save percentage in five games.

Stager, a starter in 14 of 16 games, is a cornerstone of the defensive unit, a significant factor in the possession game and has contributed nine points (6g, 3a). She ranks second on the team in draw controls (22), third in caused turnovers (16) and fourth in ground balls (23). She led the team in ground balls in three games, in draw controls twice and caused turnovers twice. Stager's season highlights also include a two-goal, three-point effort at Colgate.

Dowdle immediately stepped into a starting role on the defensive unit as a rookie. She started nine of the first 10 games of the season before being sidelined by injury. Dowdle has been credited with eight ground balls, six cause turnovers and three draw controls.

Rees also was a starter in UNH's defensive unit from the start of the 2011 season. She has 13 starts, has played in all 16 games and ranks sixth on the team in draw controls. Rees recorded two draw controls against BU, including on in double OT that led to the game-winning goal, and three DC as well as two ground balls and once caused turnover vs. Stony Brook. She has also contributed two points with an assist at Albany and a goal at Binghamton.
Duclos, who was an All-Conference First Team selection each of the previous three seasons, has a team-high 25 draw controls and ranks second in both ground balls (33) and caused turnovers (23). The midfielder has also been a consistent point producer with a goal in 13 of 16 games, including each of the last seven as well as a five-game streak in mid-season. Duclos, a family studies major, is an across-the board contributor. That was illustrated last weekend when she tallied one goal, three draw controls, one ground ball and one caused turnover to garner UNH's America East Player of the Game against ninth-ranked Boston College.

Simpson, a sophomore attack who joined O'Keefe and Stager on last year's All-Rookie Team, has scored a goal in 13 of 16 games this season with a current seven-game streak in which she has scored 14 goals. She leads the 'Cats with 26 goals and is fourth in points with 29 as well as third in shots (53). Simpson has 10 multiple-point games – season high of four – and that includes nine multiple-goal efforts, also with a high of four (at Fairfield).

New Hampshire (8-8 overall, 3-3 America East) is making a league-record 14th consecutive appearance in the America East Championship on May 5 when the Wildcats battle eighth-ranked and top-seeded University at Albany in a semifinal game at UA's Fallon Field. Game time is 1 p.m.
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