#14 WOMEN'S LACROSSE PREPARES FOR AMERICA EAST TOURNAMENT
GAME NOTES

THE MATCHUP
    The 14th-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team takes a 12-4 overall record into the 2008 America East Championship tournament at Boston University on April 25 & 27. UNH earned the third seed with a 4-2 league record and will play second-seeded University of Vermont, which finished at 5-1 in the conference and 8-8 overall, in Friday’s second semifinal game that is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. The game will be videostreamed live online at www.americaeast.com.

New Hampshire has a 26-3 lifetime record, including 3-1 in the postseason, against Vermont. These teams have met twice in the America East tournament – both in the semfinals. Most recently, the Wildcats were 13-4 victors at Boston University in 2003; one year earlier, UNH recorded a 21-5 win at home. The teams also met twice in the ECAC tourney with UNH ousting UVM in the 1994 semifinals (9-4) and the Catamounts winning the ‘93 title with a 7-6 victory against the Wildcats.

In this year’s regular-season meeting on April 9, the Catamounts recorded a 9-8 home win to end a 13-game losing streak in the series vs. the Wildcats – UVM’s previous win was in 1996. Trailing 5-4 at halftime, UNH scored three goals in as many minutes to build a 7-5 advantage with 18:42 to play and held an 8-6 lead at 16:47. The Wildcats would record just one shot the rest of the way, however, as the Catamounts rallied behind Kaitlyn Fuller, who tied the game with 2:11 remaining and scored the game-winning goal with 20.9 seconds on the clock.

THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

    New Hampshire, which will be making a conference-record 11th consecutive league tourney appearance this weekend, ended the regular season with a two-game winning streak with home wins against Albany (17-7) and Oregon (13-12 in double overtime).

The 12 wins ties the third-highest single season total in the program’s 32-year history. The Wildcats also won 12 games in the 1979, 1984 and 2002 seasons. UNH had more wins in 1987 (13) and 2004 (15).

New Hampshire’s 9-2 record through 11 games was the team’s best mark since the 1991 Wildcats went 10-1. The nine-game winning streak (from March 5 to April 5) matched that of the 2006 team.

UNH scored in double digits in 12 of 16 games and yielded double digits to an opponent just three times.

The ‘Cats held the opposition to less than 10 goals eight consecutive games spanning March 5-29, and it marked the team’s longest streak of holding opponents to single digits since the 2002 Wildcats did so in 10 straight games.

Three of UNH’s four losses have been by one goal; all three one-goal losses were on the road. The ‘Cats are 3-3 in games decided by one goal.

New Hampshire played one neutral-site game in the regular season and defeated Cornell University, 10-9, March 19 at Vanderbilt.
 
THE PLAYOFF PICTURE IS DEVELOPED
 The field for the 2008 America East Championships (April 25 & 27 at Boston University’s Nickerson Field) is set and third-seeded UNH will play the second seed, Vermont, at 4 p.m. on Friday. Top-seeded BU will play fourth-seeded Albany in the early semifinal (1 p.m.). The semifinal winners will play in Sunday’s title game (1 p.m.) at BU.

HOW WE GOT HERE
    New Hampshire opened the America East portion of its schedule with wins against UMBC (11-4), Binghamton (14-5) and Stony Brook (17-10) to build a 3-0 conference record. Then in a battle of ‘Cats, the UVM Catamounts prevailed 9-8 against the UNH Wildcats and both teams had one league loss at that point; Boston University was still undefeated.
    With a chance to climb into a first-place tie with BU and UVM, the Wildcats lost a defensive battle on the road to the Terriers (7-6 on April 12) that came down to the last possession of the game.
    UNH then secured the third seed in the tourney with its 17-7 win against Albany last Wednesday.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE
    The winner of the America East tournament will host of an NCAA play-in game on May 3. The NCAA tournament selection show is May 5.

'CAT NIPS
    Sarah Von Bargen scored her 100th career goal with the last of her five tallies last Wednesday against Albany; she enters the postseason with 121 career points (102g, 19a) in 47 career games and a nine-game goal-scoring streak.

Michaela Hardy matched her career highs in both assists (two) and points (seven) in the April 20 regular-season finale against Oregon; her fifth goal of the game gave UNH the 13-12 win with seven seconds remaining in double OT. Hardy recorded her 50th point of this season with the third of her seven points vs. Oregon. She has scored a goal in 13 straight games.

Shaunna Kaplan has recorded a point in 15 consecutive games. She established career highs in both goals (four) and points (five) April 16 vs. Albany. Kaplan scored her 50th career goal with the last of her three tallies April 20 vs. Oregon.

Eight Wildcats have started all 16 games.

UNH IN POSTSEASON PLAY
    New Hampshire has a 34-26-1 overall record in the postseason, and that includes a 6-9 mark in the America East Championships. The Wildcats have a 5-5 record in the conference semifinals that includes 2-3 in neutral-site games. UNH advanced to the title game five consecutive years until last season’s loss to Boston U. at Stony Brook.

The ‘Cats are 1-4 in America East title games – all on the road against Boston U.

UNH has a 20-13-1 neutral-site record with a 2-4 mark in the America East tournament. The ‘Cats have a 4-9 mark in postseason road games.

The Wildcats are seeking their seventh NCAA tournament appearance (2004, 1991, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984).

PLAYING THE FIELD

    New Hampshire has a 1-2 record this season vs. the teams participating in the 2008 America East Championship. The Wildcats defeated Albany, 17-7, at home and lost on the road by one goal to both Vermont (9-8) and Boston U. (7-6).

UNH has an 11-15 lifetime record, including 1-7 in the postseason (all league matchups), against BU. The Terriers have a 4-1 edge in America East title games and 3-0 in postseason home games.

New Hampshire has won all 10 lifetime meetings against Albany with a 2-0 record in the postseason (both America East semifinal games).

NATIONALLY SPEAKING
    UNH climbed two spots to #14 in this week’s IWLCA Poll; it matches the team’s highest ranking of the season, which was previously held March 31. Prior to March 24, when New Hampshire entered the poll at #18, the Wildcats had not been nationally ranked since the first week of March in the 2005 season, when the ‘Cats were #14 in the IWLCA Poll. UNH is also #14 in this week’s Inside Lacrosse Media Poll.

'CATS TAKE ON THE NATION
    New Hampshire has a 2-2 record, including 2-1 on the road, against nationally-ranked teams (all rankings as of date of game played) this season. They defeated Yale University (8-7) and Vanderbilt University (10-7) – both of whom were ranked #10 – on the road; they lost at home to 20th-ranked Dartmouth College, 14-10, and on the road to 10th-ranked Boston University, 7-6.

The March 5 win at Yale marked New Hampshire’s first win against a nationally-ranked team since March 16, 2006, when the Wildcats were 14-13 victors in overtime at #18 Towson University. That victory was the start of a nine-game winning streak – the same length win streak started by this year’s win at Yale.

Michaela Hardy has recorded nine points with six goals and three assists in four games against nationally-ranked teams this season. Ashley Durepo (6g, 2a), Shaunna Kaplan (5g, 2a), Moira Talbot (4g, 1a) and Maureen Wark (4g, 1a) were UNH’s other top scorers in those four games. Wildcats’ goalkeeper Ashley Milley went 2-2 with an 8.90 GAA and .462 save percentage against nationally-ranked foes.

MORE NATIONAL TALK
    New Hampshire entered this week’s action ranked No. 5 in the nation in defense by yielding a paltry 7.50 goals per game (84 teams ranked). The Wildcats are also 10th in scoring margin (+4.38), 11th in winning percentage (.750) and 36th in offense (11.83).

Senior goalkeeper Ashley Milley entered the week at No. 5 in goals-against-average (7.52) and No. 18 in save percentage (.487); junior midfielder Michaela Hardy is 26th in goals per game (2.94) and 35th in caused turnovers per game (1.56).
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