April 29, 2013

Women's Lax Duo Receives America East Weekly Accolades

KAYLEIGH HINKLE
KATHLEEN O'KEEFE

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.) and Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) of the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team were honored as the co-Offensive Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, by the America East conference on Monday.

Both student-athletes were instrumental in UNH's 6-5 victory at UMBC on April 27 that lifted the Wildcats into the America East tourney. A loss to the Retrievers would have ended the season. 

Hinkle, a sophomore attack who recorded a game-high four points with two goals and two assists, broke a 5-5 tie with 34 seconds remaining in regulation to give the 'Cats their first lead of the game and a postseason berth by virtue of the victory. Her first goal of the game tied the score, 1-1, midway through the first half and she set up the team's second and third goals in a span of 2:12 in the second half to trim a three-goal deficit to one.

UNH fell behind 5-3 with 15:32 left in the second half, but O'Keefe shut out UMBC the rest of the way to backbone the Wildcats' comeback win. The senior goalkeeper finished the game with six saves for a .545 save percentage. O'Keefe also held the Retrievers scoreless for a stretch of 15 minutes in the first half between their first and second goals, as well as 13 minutes in the second half between the fourth and fifth goals. The five goals against marked her lowest total allowed in complete-game effort since Feb. 23, 2011 (8-5 win at Holy Cross). 

Hinkle has recorded 11 goals and 25 assists for 36 points. With those numbers, she ranks second on the team in assists and third in points as well as fourth in America East in assists per game (1.56). In other stats, Hinkle is second in draw controls (37) and fourth in shots (41).

O'Keefe, who has also started all 16 games, is 5-9 with a .438 save percentage and 11.55 GAA; she has recorded double-digit saves in seven games. She leads the team in both ground balls (34) and caused turnovers (12). In the America East conference, O'Keefe ranks fourth in ground balls (2.12 per game) and second in saves per game (8.12). 

These are the first Offensive Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week awards for UNH in 2013. The Wildcats received three Rookie of the Week accolades.

New Hampshire (6-10 overall, 3-3 America East) is the third seed of the America East Championship tournament and plays second-seeded University at Albany in a May 3 semifinal at Stony Brook University's LaValle Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m.

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