GAME NOTES: Women's Lax Travels to Play No. 13 Boston College (Feb. 20)
Game 2: Wednesday, February 20 at #13 Boston College
Newton Campus Lacrosse & Soccer Field || Newton, Mass. || 4 pm
The UNH women's lacrosse team travels to the Newton Campus Lacrosse and Soccer Field (Newton, Mass.) to play 13th-ranked Boston College on Thursday, Feb. 20. Game time is 4 p.m. and follow live stats here.
The Series vs. Boston College
New Hampshire has a 17-9 lifetime record against Boston College, but the Eagles have won all four meetings since the series was renewed in the 2010 season. The Wildcats have a 9-4 road record but has lost each of the last two (11-6 in 2012 and 12-6 in 2010) since recording a 14-13 win in April 2001. Last year at UNH's Memorial Field, the Eagles prevailed 10-9 in overtime when Sarah Mannelly scored 15 seconds into the second half of the first overtime session and that stood as the game winner; UNH led 4-2 at halftime and 9-5 with nine minutes remaining in regulation, but Mannelly's goal with 1:32 on the clock tied the score and sent the game into OT; BC recorded the edge in shots (36-19), ground balls (12-9) and draw controls (13-10) while committing fewer turnovers (8-14).
This is UNH's first 1-0 start since 2011 and first win in a home opener since 2010.
Junior midfielder Laura Puccia, UNH's top returning goal scorer, extended her goal-scoring streak to six games with a game-high, three-goal effort vs. Hofstra University in the Feb. 15 season opener; she also tallied an assist for a total of four points; Puccia's six-game totals are 12-2-14... Sophomore attack Laura McHoul recorded her 50th career point with the first of her two goals against the Pride; she has 18 goals and 33 assists for 51 points in 17 career games... McHoul has the team's longest active point streak at eight games (10g, 19a)... Junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle extended her point streak to seven games with two points (1g, 1a) vs. Hofstra; she has 15 points (6g, 9a) in that stretch... In her first career start since April 28, 2012, junior goalkeeper Taylor Hurwitz made eight saves to earn the win in the season opener... Senior midfielder and captain Molly Gaffey tallied multiple points with a goal and an assist... Fellow senior captains and defenders Jamie DePetris and Cori Rees tied for the game high in ground balls with four... DePetris also tallied a team-best two caused turnovers... Midfielder Marissa Gurello was one of three Wildcat freshmen in the starting lineup and recorded her first career point with a goal.
New Hampshire recorded four assists on eight field goals (goals not scored on a free position). The Wildcats also had a high percentage of assisted field goals last year with 81 on 136 (59.6%). In comparison Hofstra tallied one assist on four field goals in the 2014 season opener, and last year the opposition recorded an assist on 67 of 145 (46.2%) field goals.
Leaders of the 'Cat Pack
Seniors Jamie DePetris, Molly Gaffey and Cori Rees are captains of the 2014 UNH Wildcats. DePetris, a two-time America East All-Academic Team selection, was the only Wildcat last season to record double digits in ground balls (18), draw controls (19) and caused turnovers (10); the defender ranked third on the team in both DC and CTO. Rees, another defender, tied for the team lead in caused turnovers (12) and ranked second in ground balls (21). She recorded at least one ground ball in 14 of 17 games with eight multiple GB efforts. Gaffey played every game – she was in the starting lineup three times – and tallied seven points (6g, 1a) out of the midfield.
Back on the Attack
Three of the top attackers – junior Kayleigh Hinkle and sophomores Laura McHoul and Nicole Grote – return to the roster. McHoul led the 2013 Wildcats in both assists (33) and points (49) en route to being named America East co-Rookie of the Year. The 33 assists marked the second highest single-season total in program history, and her seven assists against Binghamton was the highest by a 'Cat the past decade. She opened her career with a point in eight consecutive games and tallied a point in 15 of 16 games overall. In other stats, McHoul ranked fourth in draw controls and fifth in shots.
Hinkle also had one of the best single-season assist marks in UNH history a year ago with 25, which is tied for ninth. She also scored 12 goals to finish third overall in points (37). Hinkle recorded a point in 15 of 17 games and that included a six-assist effort at UConn. In other stats, Hinkle ranked second in draw controls and fourth in shots.
Grote tallied 15 goals and seven assists for a total of 22 points en route to being selected to the conference's All-Rookie Team. Grote had five multiple-point efforts and that included seven points (3g, 4a) against Iona.
Junior midfielder Laura Puccia is the top returning goal scorer (30) and tallied three assists for a total of 33 points, which ranked fourth overall and third among returning players. Puccia – more than a point producer – was atop the UNH leaderboard in draw control and ranked fourth in ground balls. She recorded a point in 15 of 17 games with multiple goals nine times and was voted to the America East All-Conference Second Team.
Taylor Hurwitz, a junior, is the only goalkeeper on UNH's 2014 roster. She played in five games and had a 1-1 record with a 6.92 GAA and .455 save percentage in a total of 104:07 of action last year. In two years as a 'Cat, Hurwitz has a 11.69 GAA and .429 save percentage in 15 games (six starts).
What Just Happened
UNH opened the 2014 season with a 9-5 victory at home against Hofstra University on Saturday, Feb. 15; it marked the first ever women's lacrosse game at Bremner Field and the earliest season opener for the Wildcats. After surrendering a goal 28 seconds into the game, the 'Cats shut out the Pride the rest of the first half to take a 4-1 lead into halftime. Hofstra struck first in the second half as the teams exchanged goals to advance the score to 6-4 in favor of the 'Cats. UNH then scored three consecutive goals in less than three minutes to build a 9-4 advantage with 5:34 to play.
Following the mid-week game at BC, the Wildcats return to action Saturday, Feb. 22 against intrastate rival Dartmouth College; game time at Cowell Stadium is 1 p.m.
There are ties to the Northwestern University Wildcats for UNH second-year head coach Sarah Albrecht and the head coaches of UNH's first two opponents –Hofstra University and Boston College. Albrecht was a four-year letterwinner at Northwestern (2002-06) and went on to play for the U.S. Women's Senior National Team for seven years; she was twice named to the All-World Team at the World Cup. Hofstra's Shannon Smith played for the Northwestern women's lax program from 2009-12 while BC head coach Acadia Walker served as a Northwestern assistant for the 2006-08 seasons.
Scouting the Eagles
Boston College, which climbed four spots to No. 13 in this week's IWLCA poll, opened the 2014 season with a 15-10 road win against ACC newcomer (and then No. 11) Notre Dame on Saturday, Feb. 15; BC outscored the hosts 4-0 the last 20 minutes to pull away for the win. Mikaela Rix recorded career highs in both goals (six) and points (seven) to propel the Eagles' attack and garner the WomensLax.com Player of the Week award. Sarah Mannelly (4g) was one of four other Eagles with multiple points and Emily Mata was credited with two saves. BC returns 21 letterwinners, including 11 starters, from last year's 12-8 team that advanced to the NCAA tournament; Covie Stanwick – now a junior – was the leader in goals (65), assists (22) and points (87); she broke the program's single-season goals record and was an All-America Second Team selection.