April 1, 2014

GAME NOTES: Women's Lax Battles Former Conference Rival Boston U. (April 2)

Game 12: Wednesday, April 2 at Boston University
Nickerson Field  ||  Boston, Mass.  ||  4 pm


The Game
The UNH women's lacrosse team travels to play former America East conference foe Boston University at Nickerson Field on Wednesday, April 2. Game time is 4 p.m. Here are the links for live stats and free video.

The Series vs. Boston U.
New Hampshire has a 13-22 lifetime record against Boston University, but Wednesday's matchup will be the first as members of different conferences. UNH prevailed 13-12 at home last April and the Wildcats have won two of the last three meetings; the Wildcats were also 13-12 victors at home – in double overtime – in April 2011. BU won 13-8 the last time these teams met at Nickerson Field (April 2012). UNH has lost eight straight road games against the Terriers dating back to a 7-6 win in April 2004; overall, the 'Cats are 7-11 on the road in this series but that mark is 2-11 since winning the initial five road games spanning 1984-98.
    In last year's matchup, the Wildcats built a 3-0 lead before the Terriers responded with three consecutive goals to tie the game. The teams exchanged goals before the 'Cats scored three consecutive goals to take a 7-4 lead; BU netted one more goal before halftime to trim the deficit to two goals. UNH opened the second half with consecutive goals to build its largest lead (9-5) that was matched at 10-6 and 11-7. The Terriers closed within 12-11 with 52 seconds remaining. Boston U. had won five consecutive draws, but this crucial draw won controlled by UNH's Laura McHoul and the Wildcats scored with 20 seconds on the clock. BU struck with eight seconds left to close within 13-12, but on the ensuing draw control Kayleigh Hinkle caught the ball on the second bounce to secure the win.

The State of New Hampshire
UNH enters the weekend with a 5-6 overall record that includes 2-2 on the road and 5-5 in non-conference games... The Wildcats' two-game win streak ended with a 15-12 home loss to Vermont last Saturday, March 29... UNH recorded its second-highest shot total (33) and tied its second highest goal total against UVM; the 33 shots was bested only by 34 against Colorado.

'Cat Nips
Junior midfielder Rachael Nock scored a career-high four goals last Saturday (March 29) against Vermont; the four points also marked a personal best... Sophomore attack Laura McHoul equaled her season high of four assists vs. UVM; she previously tallied four helpers against UConn (March 5) and Iona (March 10)... Junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle finished with a career-high six draw controls against the Catamounts... Junior attack Becca Graves scored a season-high two goals against Vermont... Sophomore attack Nicole Grote recorded nine of the team's 33 shots vs. UVM.

Conference Call
Laura McHoul leads the America East conference in assists per game (2.18) and is fifth in points per game (3.64). Taylor Hurwitz is atop the conference leaderboard in saves per game (8.45). Laura Puccia is the top-ranked 'Cat in goals per game at No. 7 (2.70); Puccia is also No. 4 in draw controls (3.40 per game) and No. 9 in shots (4.80 per game). Kayleigh Hinkle is among the conference leaders in draw controls at No. 5 (3.36).

National Numbers
A pair of Wildcats entered the week among the national leaders. Taylor Hurwitz is No. 6 in saves (93) and No. 22 in saves per game (8.45), and Laura McHoul climbed six spots to 13th in assists per game (2.18).

Point Producers
Junior attack Laura Puccia, who did not play Saturday vs. Vermont, has the team's longest active point streak of seven games; she has scored at least two goals every game during the streak with a total of 24 points (21g, 3a); she leads the Wildcats in goals (27) and is second in points (31)... UNH's second longest active point streak belongs to junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle –five games (7g, 5a); she opened the 2014 season with a point in five consecutive games... The longest point streak of the season belongs to Laura McHoul, who tallied a point each of the first eight games of the season before being held without a point March 16 vs. Colorado; that game also ended a seven-game assist streak... Junior midfielder Rachael Nock has been a consistent point producer with a point in 10 of 11 games... Sophomore attack Nicole Grote has tallied a point in 8 of 11 games (12g, 7a)... Senior midfielder Molly Gaffey has 12 points (9g, 3a) in 11 games; in her previous three seasons, she totaled nine points (7g, 2a).

Century Mark
Laura Puccia recorded her 100th career point with the last of her five points March 14 against Fairfield University at Cowell Stadium. She inched toward the milestone with four goals vs. the Stags and reached the benchmark on an assist with 4:20 remaining in the second half. Puccia enters Wednesday's game against Vermont with 91 career goals and 14 assists for 105 points in 43 games; she also has 110 career draw controls.
    Puccia leads the team in goals (27), free-position goals (five) and shots (48); she ranks second in points (31) and draw controls (34), and her other numbers include a .562 shooting percentage and .875 shots-on-goal percentage. She has scored a season-high four goals three times, including consecutive games against Iona (March 10) and Fairfield (March 14). Puccia is on pace to break her single-season high for goals; she netted 34 goals as a freshman and 30 last year.

Top 10
Sophomore Laura McHoul has already entered the program's top 10 career assist list. She supplanted Ilana Cohen (52) at No. 8 with the last of her three assists March 23 at Drexel, which increased her career total to 53. McHoul tallied four assists March 29 vs. Vermont to advance that number to 57. Ahead of McHoul is a three-way tie for fifth place – Maud Kernan, Laurie Leary and Megan Mangano – at 59, and Liz Brickley is No. 4 (67).
    Last year as a freshman, McHoul finished with UNH's second-best single-season assist total of 33. She has 24 this season and will move into a four-way tie for ninth place – 25 assists – with Laura Clark (1993), Shaunna Kaplan (2009) and Kayleigh Hinkle (2013) on her next helper. McHoul is on pace to also to match/surpass the current three-way tie for No. 6 (27 assists) this week; that honor is shared by Kaplan (2010), Mandy Kernan (1993) and Karen Geromini (1987).

Assist Me
UNH has recorded 58 assists on 88 field goals (goals not scored on a free position), which calculates to 65.9%. In comparison, the opposition has 37 assists on 82 field goals (45.1%). The Wildcats recorded a season-high 10 assists on 11 field goals at Iona College (March 10).

Seeing Double
New Hampshire is 4-1 when scoring in double digits and the Wildcats are 1-4 when the opposition scores at least 10 goals. The only loss when UNH netted double figures was a 15-12 decision to Vermont (March 29 at Cowell Stadium).

Quick Draw
UNH's streak of winning the battle for draw controls four connective games – 10-7 at Iona (March 10), 13-7 vs. Fairfield (March 14), 17-10 vs. Colorado (March 16) and 12-10 at Drexel (March 23) – was snapped by Vermont, which recorded a 16-13 edge last Saturday. The Wildcats were on the short end of that comparison each of the first six games of the season. Laura Puccia and Kayleigh Hinkle, who is in the circle for the draw, are the top 'Cats in draw controls with 34 and 37, respectively; to put those numbers in perspective, third on the team leaderboard is Laura McHoul with 13. Puccia recorded a career-high seven draw controls against Fairfield and followed that with six vs. the Buffaloes and five at Drexel; she has at least one DC every game she's played. Hinkle has recorded 4+ draws seven times, including a career-high six against Vermont, this season; she tallied five draws vs. Colorado as well as four DCs each of the previous two games vs. Fairfield and Iona and in the following game at Drexel.

Possession Game
The battle for ground balls, turnovers and draw controls is almost even with New Hampshire holding a slim of margin in ground balls (166-147) while committing slightly more turnovers (179-162); the opposition has a 126-113 edge in draw controls. Senior defender and captain Cori Rees is the Wildcat leader in both ground balls (19) and caused turnovers (nine). Fellow senior captain Jamie DePetris is tied for the lead in ground balls and is second in caused turnovers (eight).

First Blood
UNH has taken a 1-0 lead four times in 11 games. The Wildcats have a 2-2 record when scoring first, with the losses coming at the hands of Fairfield and Vermont. The 'Cats have a 3-4 record when the opposition scores first.

At the Half
The team leading at halftime has gone on to victory 10 of 11 games this season; the only exception occurred March 14, when the Wildcats led 5-4 at the half but the Fairfield Stags rallied for a 10-8 victory. UNH's largest lead at the half is five goals (8-3) at Drexel. New Hampshire's largest deficit has been five goals at then #13 Boston College (9-4) and at then #10 UMass (7-2).

Scouting the Terriers
Boston University enters Wednesday's game with a 5-5 overall record that includes 2-0 at home and 4-0 in the Patriot League, as well as 1-4 against nationally-ranked teams. The Terriers extended their win streak to four games with Saturday's 9-8 win at Lafayette College; BU trailed 8-6 with 26:05 remaining in the second half and ouscored the hosts 3-0 the rest of the way.
    Becca Church leads four double-digit point scorers with 16 points on a team-high 14 goals and two assists. Jill Horka (12g, 3a) and Lindsay Weiner (4g, 11a) follow with 15 points and Mallory Collins (12g, 2a) is next with 14. In goal, Caroline Meegan has played every game and been in the starting lineup nine times – she has played 546 of a possible 600 minutes; Meegan is 4-4 with a 10.55 GAA and .425 save percentage, and she has a team-high 24 ground balls. Christina Sheridan is 1-1 with a 9.99 GAA and .500 save percentage in three games (54 minutes).
    The opposition has the advantage in goals (105-83), shots (250-189), ground balls (168-142), draw controls (118-89) and turnovers (141-168).

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