GAME NOTES: Women's Lax Concludes Homestand vs. UConn (March 5, 4 pm)
Game 5: Wednesday, March 5 vs Connecticut
Bremner Field || Durham, N.H. || 4 pm
The UNH women's lacrosse team plays host to the University of Connecticut for a March 5 (4 p.m.) non-conference matchup at Bremner Field. Visit www.unhwildcats.com for the link to live stats and go to americaeast.tv for the videostream.
The Series vs. UConn
New Hampshire has a 5-5 lifetime record against UConn, but the Huskies have won two straight in the series with an 11-9 win at home last year and 12-9 victory at UNH's Memorial Field in 2012. The teams met annually from 2003-09 – the Wildcats won the last two meetings in that stretch (18-4 at home in '08 and 15-7 on the road in '09) – but did not play in 2010 or 2011. UNH has a 3-1 home record vs. UConn; in addition to the aforementioned to games, the 'Cats were one-goal victors in both '04 and '06.
In last year's matchup, UConn led 6-4 at halftime and extended the advantage to 10-5 six minutes into the second half. New Hampshire scored four consecutive goals to close within 10-9 at 10:21. UNH had four possessions to attempt to tie the score, but did not before the Huskies ended a scoreless streak of 21 minutes, 31 seconds to take an 11-9 lead at 2:36. The Wildcats recorded three shots the rest of the way, but the game ended at 11-9. Kayleigh Hinkle recorded a career-high six assists, and the six points matched her personal best. For UConn, Carly Palmucci also recorded six points (2g, 4a) and Lauren Kahn tallied four points (2g, 2a).
The State of New Hampshire
UNH enters Wednesday's game vs. UConn with a 1-3 overall record that includes 1-2 at home (all three home games at Bremner Field, which had never been the site of a UNH women's lax game prior to this season)... The Wildcats have lost three consecutive games since defeating Hofstra University, 9-5, in the Feb. 15 season opener... UNH has recorded less than 20 shots each of the last three games with 17 at Boston College, 13 vs. Dartmouth and 15 against Lehigh... The 'Cats surrendered a season-low 12 shots to Lehigh.
Three Wildcats – junior midfielder Rachael Nock, junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle and sophomore attack Laura McHoul – have recorded a point every game this season; Nock has tallied exactly one point all four games while McHoul has a pair of multiple-point efforts and Hinkle finished with multiple points three times... Hinkle is the only 'Cat with a goal every game... McHoul's four points (2g, 2a) at Boston College (Feb. 20) is tied with junior attack Laura Puccia for UNH's single-game high this season; Puccia tallied four points (3g, 1a) in the Feb. 15 season opener vs. Hofstra... McHoul's two assists at BC is the only multiple-assist game by a Wildcat this year... Junior attack Becca Graves made her 2014 season debut off the bench against UConn.
Home Sweet Home
Entering the 2014 season, four of UNH's nine home games were scheduled to be played at Cowell Stadium and the remaining five were to be played at Memorial Field. Whether you want to blame Mother Nature or Old Man Winter, circumstances have moved the initial four home games of the season – including Wednesday's matchup vs. UConn – to Bremner Field. The Wildcats are 1-2 at home this season.
Opponents have taken 28 free-position shots and scored 11 times (39.3%) in comparison to UNH's five free-position goals on 17 shots (29.4%). Laura Puccia leads the 'Cats in both free-position goals (three) and shots (five). No other Wildcat has more than one free-position goal or two free-position shots.
The battle for ground balls and turnovers is almost even with New Hampshire holding the slimmest of margins (63-62) in ground balls while committing two more turnovers (77-75), but the opposition has a significant advantage of 51-34 in draw controls.
Senior defender Jamie DePetris leads the UNH Wildcats in both ground balls (10) and caused turnovers (five); classmate and fellow defender Cori Rees also has five caused turnovers and ranks second in ground balls (nine). Juniors Kayleigh Hinkle and Laura Puccia rank 1-2 in draw controls with 10 and nine, respectively.
Laura McHoul has scored a goal on four of five shots to lead the team in shooting percentage at 80.0%. Hannah Wohltmann has scored on two of three shots (66.7%) while Laura Puccia and Kayleigh Hinkle are at 50%. Puccia and Hinkle have been on target with their shots, as Puccia has fired 15 of 16 (93.8%) shots on goal and Hinkle is at 11 of 12 (91.7%).
A Rare Shooting Performance
Speaking of shooting accuracy, UNH and Lehigh combined for 27 shots last Saturday (March 1) at Bremner Field and 26 of them were on goal (14 total goals plus 12 total saves). It's almost unheard of for one team to have only one shot off target in an entire game, let alone both teams combining for one such shot.
UNH has recorded fewer shots than turnovers each of the last three games with a 17:19 ratio at Boston College (Feb. 20) followed by 13:19 vs. Dartmouth College (Feb. 22) and 15:21 against Lehigh University (March 1). In comparison, the Wildcats tallied 24 shots and 18 turnovers in a 9-5 win against Hofstra University (Feb. 15).
What Just Happened
UNH played host to Lehigh University on Saturday, March 1 at Bremner Field. The Wildcats went on a 3-1 run to hold a 3-2 lead midway through the first half, but the visitors closed the half with four consecutive goals to take a 6-3 lead into halftime. The Mountain Hawks also scored the initial two goals of the second half to extend their run to six goals and the advantage to 8-3. UNH closed within 8-5 with seven minutes remaining but got no closer in the 9-5 loss. Laura Puccia was the only 'Cat to record multiple points with two goals; she tied for the team lead in both ground balls (three) and draw controls (two), and also tallied a caused turnover. New Hampshire recorded the edge in shots (15-12) and ground balls (21-16), but Lehigh had a 9-7 advantage in draw controls and was successful in 14 of 15 clear attempts in comparison to UNH's 9 of 20.
New Hampshire hits the road for games at UMass (Saturday, March 8) and Iona College (Monday, March 10). Both games are at 3 p.m.
Scouting the Huskies
The University of Connecticut (Storrs, Conn.) enters Wednesday's game with a 1-3 overall record that includes 0-1 on the road. The Huskies have lost two straight, including 15-3 to Boston College last Saturday (March 1), since defeating Quinnipiac University, 17-7, on Feb. 22. UConn opened the season with a 7-5 loss to nationally-ranked UMass. Lauren Kahn (9g 5a) and Katherine Finkelston (7g, 3a) are the top point producers; Carly Palmucci (2g, 3a) is the next leading scorer. Kahn leads the team in both caused turnovers and draw controls, and is second in ground balls. In goal, Shannon Nee is 1-3 with a 10.58 GAA and .477 save percentage.
UNH and UConn have faced two common opponents – Dartmouth College and Boston College – and both the Wildcats and Huskies went 0-2 against those teams. New Hampshire lost on the road to BC (17-8 on Feb. 20) and at home to Dartmouth (15-7 on Feb. 22), whereas UConn fell at Dartmouth (14-11 on Feb. 26) and home to BC (15-3 on March 1).