April 23, 2012

Puccia Earns Second America East Rookie of the Week Award in Women's Lax

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.), a freshman midfielder on the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team, was named America East Rookie of the Week by the league office on Monday afternoon. Puccia has received the honor twice this season, as she was previously feted March 26.

Puccia recorded eight points (six goals, two assists) as well as one ground ball and two draw controls to lead UNH to victory against Columbia University (14-8) and UMBC (12-11) last week.

Puccia scored a team-high four goals last Saturday vs. UMBC to help keep UNH's playoff hopes alive. Her first goal of the game gave the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish (2-1 at 26:26 of the first half). Her second tally was the last of a six-goal spurt that put the 'Cats ahead 10-2. Puccia then scored on a free position to make the score 11-9 at 8:14 and scored what proved to be the game-winning goal when she gave UNH a 12-10 lead with 51 seconds remaining.

Earlier in the week, Puccia tallied four points (two goals, two assists) at Columbia. She scored on six of nine shots (.667 shooting percentage), including 3-for-3 on free-position shots, in the two games.

Puccia, who has started 13 of 14 games this season, is ranked second on the team in goals (28), free-position goals (five), points (35) and draw controls (21); she is tied for the team lead in shots with 58. Puccia has an active eight-game goal-scoring streak in which she has recorded 28 points (22g, 6a). Her season highlights include a five-goal, one-assist effort against 12th-ranked Vanderbilt in which she also tallied five draw controls. Puccia opened her career with a goal in five consecutive games, and the March 18 game vs. Fairfield is the only one she has not recorded a point.

New Hampshire returns to action April 28 (1 p.m.) at Stony Brook University. The Wildcats will secure the No. 3 seed of the America East Championship tournament with a win, but will miss the tourney with a loss. UNH closes the regular season May 1 (4 p.m.) at Boston College.

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