Seven Women's Lax Players Receive 10 America East Accolades; McHoul Tabbed Rookie of the Year

STONY BROOK, N.Y.Laura McHoul (Westwood, Mass.), a freshman attacker on the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team, was named the America East co-Rookie of the Year at the league's annual reception Thursday evening to highlight a total of 10 awards bestowed seven Wildcats.

McHoul, the first UNH player tabbed the conference's Rookie of the Year since Cristina Covucci in 2004, was also selected to the America East All-Rookie Team. Seniors Casey Doyle (Ivyland, Pa.) and Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) and sophomore Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) were named to the All-Conference Second Team. Nicole Grote (Ellicott City, Md.) joined McHoul on the All-Rookie Team. 

UNH had the highest number of representatives on the All-Academic Team with four. Simpson received the honor for the third consecutive year and junior Jamie DePetris (Radnor, Pa.) was voted to the team for the second time in as many years. Puccia and classmate Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.) were the other two Wildcats feted.


McHoul, a two-time America East Rookie of the Week honoree, leads New Hampshire in assists (30) – the last freshman to accomplish that feat was Shaunna Kaplan in 2007 (with 12) – and ranks second in points (44) as well as tied for fourth in goals (14) and fourth in draw controls (14). In the conference rankings, she is third in assists per game. 

McHoul tallied five assists in her collegiate debut Feb. 16 at Hofstra University to start an eight-game point-scoring streak (8g, 14a). She enters the postseason with a six-game point-scoring streak (6g, 16a) in which she has tallied at least one assist every game. Overall, she recorded a point in 14 of 15 regular-season games with 13 multiple point efforts, including eight multiple-assist performances.

In five America East conference games, McHoul recorded 20 points (6g, 14a), nine ground balls and five caused turnovers. 

Simpson is atop the UNH leaderboard in goals (42), points (47) and shots (78) – both the goal and point totals are personal single-season bests. In other stats, the attacker ranks second in shooting percentage (.538), fourth in assists (five), fifth in draw controls and tied for fifth in caused turnovers (eight). She ranks fifth in the conference in goals per game and 10th in points per game.

Simpson opened the season with a goal in 12 consecutive games and scored a goal in 15 of 16 regular-season games with 12 multiple-goal games as part of 13 multiple-point efforts. She scored a career-high six goals – the six points matched a personal best – at UConn (March 6) and followed that with five goals at nationally-ranked Navy (March 13). Simpson has netted three goals eight times, including four consecutive games spanning March 27 to April 10 (Iona, Vermont, Binghamton, Boston College). 

Doyle, a great marking defender who often defends the opponent's top attacker, ranks third on the team in ground balls (20) and is tied for fifth in caused turnovers (eight). Her season highlights include matching a personal best of four ground balls in the season opener at Hofsra; she recorded a season high of two caused turnovers three times – at Hofstra, at UConn and at Albany (March 24). Doyle has tallied at least one ground ball in 12 of 16 games with six multiple ground ball efforts.

Puccia ranks second on the team in goals (29) and fourth in points (32). She also leads the 'Cats in draw controls (44) and is fourth in ground balls (19) as well as second in shots (63) and third in shoot percentage (.460). The attacker recorded a point in 13 of 16 regular-season games with 11 multiple-point efforts and enters the America East Championship with a four-game point-scoring streak. She scored a goal in 12 of 16 games with nine multiple-goal performances. 

Puccia has tallied at least one draw control every game with 13 multiple-draw games, including a career-high six at Longwood; she also tallied the aforementioned four goals, three ground balls and two caused turnovers that game.

Grote, a freshman attacker, has tallied 21 points on 14 goals and seven assists. She recorded a point in four consecutive games spanning March 16-27 (at Longwood; Columbia, at Albany; Iona) and that included career highs in assists (four) and points (seven) against Iona. Grote's other highlights included a personal-best four goals vs. Longwood and four-point effort (3g, 1a) against Boston University (April 17). 

DePetris ranks second among all Wildcats in caused turnvoers with 10. The defender is also third in draw controls (17) and fifth in ground balls (18) – DePetris is the only Wildcat to record double digits in ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers.

DePetris was credited with at least one ground ball in 12 of 16 regular-season games with six multiple-ground ball efforts. She tallied a draw control in 10 of 16 and a caused turnover in half the games. 

Hinkle is one of New Hampshire's top point producers. She ranks second in assists (25) and third in points (36); in other stats, she is second in draw controls (37). Hinkle recorded a point in 14 of 16 regular-season games as she opened the season with a nine-game point-scoring streak and enters the America East Championship with a point in five consecutive games. In the conference, Hinkle ranks fourth in assists per game.

The sophomore attacker has 10 multiple-point efforts, including seven multiple-assist games, highlighted by a career-high six assists at UConn (March 6); the six points were also a personal best. 

Hinkle recorded at least one draw control in all 16 regular-season games with multiple draws 11 times, including the last eight games. That included a stretch of three consecutive games spanning April 6-13 (Binghamton, Boston College, Stony Brook) in which she tied her personal best of four draw controls that was established March 13 at Navy.

New Hampshire returns to action May 3 (7 p.m.) in an America East Championship semifinal game against University at Albany at Stony Brook University's LaValle Stadium.

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