GAME NOTES: Women's Lax On the Road Against No. 17 Stony Brook (04/19)

Game 15: Saturday, April 19 at No. 17 Stony Brook
LaValle Stadium  ||  Stony Brook, N.Y.  ||  1 pm

The Game
The UNH women's lacrosse team (7-7 overall, 2-1 America East) plays its last road game of the regular season when the Wildcats travel to play 17th-ranked Stony Brook University on Saturday, April 19. Game time at LaValle Stadium is 1 p.m.

Two Wildcats Honored by America East
Sophomore attack Nicole Grote was named Offensive Player of the Week and junior midfielder Laura Puccia was selected Defensive Player of the Week by America East on Monday, April 14. Both players were instrumental in UNH building a 9-0 lead in the opening 17 minutes of the game en route to an 18-5 victory against Binghamton University last Saturday (April 12).
    Grote recorded four goals, three assists, two ground balls and one caused turnover to match her career highs in both goals and points (seven). During the Wildcats' decisive 9-0 run, she tallied five points (3g, 2a), one GB and two DCs. Grote scored the first and third goals – at 28:11 and 25:21, respectively – then set up the seventh and eighth goals (57 seconds apart) before scoring again to give New Hampshire a nine-goal lead at 13:11. In the second half, Grote's fourth goal gave UNH a double-digit lead of 13-3 at 26:17 and she set up the Wildcats' 16th goal of the day with nine minutes remaining in the game.
    Puccia recorded game- and career-highs in both ground balls (four) and caused turnovers (four) as well as draw controls (eight). She also scored three goals, including the 100th of her career, and tallied an assist to contribute four points. Puccia helped UNH establish control from the opening draw control. During UNH's game-opening run, she recorded two ground balls, one caused turnover and three draw controls, including the first two of the game. She also scored goals at 27:38 and 18:30 to give the Wildcats leads of 2-0 and 5-0. Puccia's third goal of the game, which gave the home team a 17-5 lead at 6:47 of the second half, was the 100th of her career.

The Series vs. Stony Brook
New Hampshire has a 7-4 lifetime record against Stony Brook; the series began in the 2003 season when the Seawolves joined the America East conference. UNH won the initial three meetings from 2003-05 and then SBU won back-to-back meetings in '06 and '07. The Wildcats were victors the next four matchups spanning the 2008-11 seasons and the Seawolves have won each of the last two meetings – 16-6 last year at Memorial Field and 12-10 in the most recent game at LaValle Stadium (in 2012). UNH's most recent win was 12-6 at home in 2011.
    In last year's matchup, Stony Brook scored five goals in a four-minute span to break a scoreless tie, then scored five goals the next seven minutes to build a 10-0 lead 17:05 into the game. The Seawolves led 12-2 at halftime and UNH never cut the deficit to single digits thereafter. SBU finished with the edge in shots (27-16), ground balls (15-10) and draw controls (14-8).
    The 'Cats have a 3-2 road record in this series. New Hampshire last prevailed at LaValle Stadium in 2010 (12-8); UNH also won there in 2008 (17-10).

The State of New Hampshire
UNH enters the weekend with a 7-7 overall record that includes 2-1 in America East and 3-3 on the road (1-0 in road conference games). The Wildcats have won two consecutive games as they followed an 8-2 win at UMBC (April 5) with an 18-5 home win against Binghamton University (April 12). New Hampshire recorded season highs in both goals (18) and draw controls (17) vs. Binghamton; the 'Cats also matched their season high in assists with 10. Nine Wildcats scored a goal vs. the Bearcats and six 'Cats finished with multiple points. UNH has an 0-2 record against nationally-ranked teams and been outscored 29-14; both games (Boston College, UMass) were on the road.

A Celebration of Centuries
Junior midfielder Laura Puccia has recorded both her 100th career point and 100th career goal this season. She attained the point milestone March 14 against Fairfield University with the last of her five points – and her only assist of the game – at 4:20 of the second half. Puccia scored her 100th career goal with the last of her three tallies April 12 vs. Binghamton; the milestone marker was scored at 6:47 of the second half. Puccia currently has  116 points (110g, 16a)
    Junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle recorded her 100th career point with the sixth of her career-high seven points April 12 against Binghamton. She tallied point 100 with her second goal of two goals in the game, which was scored at 23:56 of the second half. Hinkle has 101 points (50g, 51a).
    Sophomore attack Laura McHoul is on the verge of joining Hinkle and Puccia in the 100-point club. She enters the weekend with 97 career points (36g, 61a).

Kayleigh Hinkle recorded both her 50th career goal and 50th career assist in the same game she tallied her 100th career point – last Saturday vs. Binghamton. She scored her 50th career goal with the second of her two tallies against the Bearcats (also her century milestone) at 23:56 of the second half. She tallied assist No. 50 the previous goal at 26:17.

'Cat Nips
A number of UNH Wildcats recorded or matched career highs in last Saturday's game vs. Binghamton at Memorial Field. Kayleigh Hinkle recorded a career-high seven points (2g, 5a)... Nicole Grote matched her personal bests in both goals (four) and points (seven). Marissa Gurello scored a career-high three goals; the three points also marked a personal best. Laura Puccia finished with career highs in draw controls (eight), ground balls (four) and caused turnovers (three).

Defensive Clamps
New Hampshire limited the UMBC Retrievers to two goals April 5 at UMBC Stadium. Backboned by goalie Taylor Hurwitz, the Wildcats shut out UMBC the final 53:13 of the game. UNH had not held a conference opponent to less than five goals since April 2009 (17-4 win vs. Vermont). The last time the 'Cats held a conference opponent to as few as two goals was April 2006 (18-2 win vs. Binghamton).

National Numbers
A pair of Wildcats entered the week among the national leaders. Taylor Hurwitz is No. 8 in saves (124) and No. 15 in saves per game (8.86), and Laura McHoul is No. 13 in assists (28) as well as 16th in assists per game (2.00).

Conference Call
Laura McHoul leads the America East conference (through April 15) in assists per game (2.00) and is seventh in points per game (3.43). Taylor Hurwitz is atop the conference leaderboard in saves per game (8.86). Laura Puccia is the top-ranked 'Cat in goals per game at No. 5 (2.77); Puccia is also No. 3 in draw controls (3.92 per game), No. 8 in points (3.43 ppg) and No. 4 in shots (5.15 per game). Kayleigh Hinkle is among the conference leaders in both assists (No. 6, 1.21 apg) and draw controls at No. 5 (3.14 per game).
    In conference-only games, Hinkle has tallied 16 points (7g, 9a) in three games – that's 5.33 points per game. She is followed by Nicole Grote (6-3-9), McHoul (3-5-8), Puccia (5-1-6) and Molly Gaffey (3-3-5). In three America East games, Hurwitz is 2-1 with a 7.33 GAA and .542 save percentage.

Quadruple Double
Junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle is the only Wildcat who has recorded double digits in goals (25), assists (17), ground balls (14) and draw controls (44). She is on the verge of reaching double digits in another statistic – Hinkle currently has eight caused turnovers.

Climbing the Ranks
Two current 'Cats are in the program's top 10 career assist list with sophomore Laura McHoul at No. 5 (61) and junior Kayleigh Hinkle is No. 10 (51).
McHoul 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. She jumped to No. 5 (60) with the last of her three assists April 2 at Boston U. –  Maud Kernan, Laurie Leary and Megan Mangano had been tied at No. 5 with 59. Immediately ahead of McHoul is Liz Brickley at No. 4 (67).
    Last year as a freshman, McHoul finished with UNH's second-best single-season assist total of 33. She has 28 assists this season, which ranks No. 6; next on the list is Katie Leland at both No. 5 (29 in 2006) and No. 4 (30 in 2004), as well as Laurie Leary at No. 3 (32 in 1984). The single-season benchmark of 35 was established by Geromini in 1986.
    Hinkle took sole possession of No. 10 on UNH's all-time assist list with the fourth of her five assists April 12 against Binghamton University. Hinkle currently has 51 career assists and she will climb into a tie at No. 9 with Cohen on her next assist. Last year, Hinkle finished with 25 assists to tie for the ninth-best single-season effort in program history (now ranks 10th).

Get the Ball
Senior defender and captain Jamie DePetris leads the team in both ground balls (26) and is caused turnovers (13). Cori Rees, another senior defender and captain, ranks third in GB (21) and is tied for second with nine CTO. Juniors Laura Puccia and  Kayleigh Hinkle rank 1-2 in draw controls with 51 and 44, respectively, to account for 95 of UNH's 148 draws (64.2%).

Giving Assistance
UNH has recorded 81 assists on 119 field goals (goals not scored on a free position), which calculates to 68.1%. In comparison, the opposition has 48 assists on 98 field goals (49.0%). The Wildcats recorded a season-high 10 assists on 11 field goals at Iona College (March 10) and matched that total last Saturday vs. Binghamton.

Seeing Double
New Hampshire is 5-1 when scoring in double digits and the Wildcats are 1-6 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).

Single-Season Highs
Senior defender Jamie DePetris has bested her single-season highs in both ground balls (26) and caused turnovers (13); her previous single-season bests were established last year in both GB (18) and CTO (10)... Cara Dowdle, another senior defender, has 14 ground balls and nine caused turnovers in 2014; in her first three years as a Wildcat, she compiled 12 GBs and nine CTOs... Senior midfielder Molly Gaffey has also had a breakout year with 11 goals, six assists, 15 ground balls and eight caused turnovers; she entered the '14 season with career numbers of seven goals, two assists, 19 GBs and eight CTOs... Senior midfielder Laura Puccia has eclipsed her single-season highs in both goals (36) and points (42); her previous bests of 34 goals and 41 assists were in 2012... Junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle has single-season bests of 25 goals, 44 draw controls and eight CTOs... Junior midfielder Rachael Nock has scored double digits in goals for the first time in her career; she had nine tallies as a freshman and sophomore... Sophomore attack Laura McHoul has scored 20 goals this season to surpass her rookie total of 16.

Scouting the Seawolves
Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, N.Y.) enters the weekend ranked No. 17 in the nation with a nine-game win streak and 12-2 overall record that includes 3-0 in America East and 6-1 at home (1-0 in conference home games). The Seawolves have held the opposition to single digits in scoring in 13 of 14 games this season, including five goals or less nine times; the only exception was a 14-1 home loss to Florida.
    In last weekend's battle for first place in the America East standings at 19th-ranked University at Albany, Stony Brook returned home with an 8-4 victory. The Seawolves scored the first two goals of the game and held the lead the rest of the way.
    SBU entered the week as the national leader in defense by allowing 4.86 goals per game; the team is also No. 4 in ground balls (20.93 per game) and 10th in caused turnovers (10.00 per game). The defensive effort is anchored by goalkeeper Frankie Caridi, who is ranked No. 1 in the nation in both GAA (4.67) and save percentage (.567). Caridi has started all 14 games and played all but 56:55 of a possible 840:00.
    The offense is led by junior Michelle Rubino (31g, 20a) as well as freshmen Dorrien Van Dyke (29g, 11a) and Courtney Murphy (41, 4a). Four other Seawolves, including Amber Kupres with 23 goals and Alyssa Cardillo with 20 assists, have eclipsed 20 points. Rubino is also among the team leaders in ground balls (2nd-31), draw controls (2nd-25) and caused turnovers (1st-22).
    Alyssa Fleming leads the team with 40 ground balls and she is No. 12 in the nation at 2.86 per game; she is also tied for second on the team leaderboard in caused turnovers (18).
    SBU has outscored the opposition 184-68, including 107-29 in the first half, with a 372-213 shot advantage.

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