CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Laura Puccia, a junior midfielder on the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team, was named recipient of 2014 America East Women's Lacrosse Fans' Choice Player of the Year award on Tuesday. Puccia received 778 of the 1,873 total votes (41.5%) to edge out five other candidates.
Voting was held exclusively through the conference's Facebook page from Wednesday, April 23 through Tuesday, April 29 at 4 p.m. (Eastern). Puccia was third place in the voting – she trailed Binghamton University's Bri Arthur and University at Albany's Rachel Bowles – as of Monday morning and sat in second place, 34 votes behind Arthur, with eight hours remaining in the voting. The UNH fans rallied to show support for the Wildcats' top goal scorer on the final day. Arthur was the runner-up with 567 votes, followed by Bowles at 467.
Puccia, who has started all 15 games she has played, leads UNH in goals (39), draw controls (58) and shots (72); she also ranks second in points (45) and tied for third in caused turnovers (nine). With those numbers, Puccia ranks fourth in America East in draw controls per game (3.87), sixth in goals per game (2.60), eighth in shots per game (4.80) and 10th in points per game (3.00).
Puccia was honored as the America East Defensive Player of the Week on April 14 following the game against Binghamton University in which she recorded career highs in draw controls (eight), ground balls (four) and caused turnovers (three); Puccia also tallied three goals and an assist that game.
Puccia has an active point streak of 12 games during which she has scored a goal every game, including multiple goals the initial 11 games of the streak. She has scored multiple goals in 14 of 15 games overall this season. Puccia matched her career highs in both assists (two) and points (six) March 10 at Iona College. Including that game, she has netted a season-high four goals four times.
Since the inception of the Fans' Choice Player of the Year award in 2009, Puccia is the second Wildcat to win the honor. In 2012, Wildcat Country voted then-senior Kate Keagins the Fans' Choice Player of the Year.