The University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team (8-4 overall, 2-2 America East), ranked 18th in the IWLCA poll and 19th in the Inside Lacrosse poll, plays three home games this week beginning April 6 against No. 19/17 Cornell University (5-4 overall, 1-3 Ivy). Game time at Memorial Field is 2 p.m.
    The Wildcats also play host to 11th-ranked Vanderbilt University (7-3 overall, 2-1 American Lacrosse Conference) on April 8 and LeMoyne College (4-7) on April 11; both of those games begin at 1 p.m.
    UNH has a 5-2 lifetime record, including last year’s 10-9 win (at Vanderbilt University), against Cornell. Prior to the 2008 meeting, these programs had not played since 1996, when the Big Red recorded a 15-7 win at home. The last time these teams played here in Durham, the Wildcats prevailed 10-9 in 1995. In UNH’s only other home game in this series, the ‘Cats were 8-5 victors in 1993.
    In last year’s game, UNH broke a 5-5 halftime tie by scoring the initial three goals of the second half. Cornell responded with a 4-1 run to tie the score, 9-9, with 5:53 remaining. New Hampshire’s Sarah Von Bargen broke that deadlock with 30 seconds to play. The Big Red controlled the ensuing draw but was unable to record a shot the rest of the way. The statistics were almost as even as the score; UNH held the edge in shots (24-22), Cornell had a 13-8 advantage in draw controls and the ground balls were even at 11.
    New Hampshire has a 3-8 lifetime record, including last year’s 10-7 road victory, against Vanderbilt. UNH has a 2-3 record at home vs. the Commodores. The last time these teams met in Durham (2007 season), VU went home with an 18-12 victory. In 2005, the Wildcats prevailed 8-6.
    In last year’s game, the ‘Cats broke a 2-2 tie by scoring goals nine seconds apart with just under 12 minutes remaining in the first half. VU never pulled even again despite trimming the deficit to one goal four times. The Commodores had pulled within 8-7 with 20 minutes left in the game, but Susie Piotrkowski scored at 10:30 and 1:10 to secure UNH’s victory.
    Saturday’s meeting will be the first against LeMoyne.

    New Hampshire is in the midst of an 11-day stretch in which the ‘Cats will play five games. It began April 1 with a 9-8 home loss to nationally-ranked Boston University and continued April 4 with an 11-8 road win against UMBC. The Wildcats begin a four-game homestand April 6 against No. 19 Cornell, and then they play host to No. 11 Vanderbilt (April 8) and end the 11-day gauntlet vs. LeMoyne (April 11).
    UNH held nationally-ranked Boston University scoreless in the first half of the April 1 game at Memorial Field (UNH led 4-0 at halftime). Prior to that game, the last time the ‘Cats shut out an opponent for an entire half was April 28, 2004 (Vermont; 1st half).
    UNH’s 5-1 start to the season was the team’s best record through six games since 1991.
    The 21 goals scored March 28 against Stony Brook marked the highest single-game total by a Wildcat team since April 28, 2007 (22-5 win at Binghamton University).
    Prior to this season, UNH had not recorded 50+ shots in a game since April 22, 1998, when the Wildcats finished with 55 shots in a 13-12 win at Boston College. New Hampshire tallied 50+ shots in consecutive games this season as the ‘Cats followed a 50-shot effort March 21 at Albany with 54 shots March 28 vs. Stony Brook.
    UNH’s offense has produced double digits in goals 9 of 12 times this season, while the defense has yielded double figures four times (including 10 goals twice). The ‘Cats are averaging 13 goals per game and have yielded 13 shots or less to an opponent four times.
    The Wildcats have recorded the shot advantage in 11 of 12 games this season.

    In 12 games, Allie Duclos has led the team (outright or tied) in ground balls seven times, draw controls nine times and caused turnovers three times. She has led the team in both GB and DC six times, including consecutive league games against Albany and Stony Brook. She tied for the lead in all three statistics in UNH’s season opener vs. Bryant.
    Kelli LaPerch scored her first collegiate goal March 28 vs. Stony Brook. The senior defender, who did not record a point in her first three seasons, has three points in the ‘09 season.
    Kate Gunts played the full 60 minutes for the first time this season in the March 28 game vs. Stony Brook. In her only previous start – the 19-2 season-opening victory vs. Bryant – Gunts exited the game at halftime. Since that Stony Brook game, Gunts has also gone the distance against both Boston U. and UMBC. That means she has been in goal for the last 216:00 of action.
    Sarah Von Bargen was the top ‘Cat in goals each of the first eight games of the season. In Game 9 – March 21 at Albany – Kate Keagins tallied a game-high six goals. Von Bargen netted four goals in that game vs. the Great Danes. Michaela Hardy was the team’s top goal scorer in Game 10 vs. Stony Brook with five tallies and then Shaunna Kaplan’s three goals were a team high vs. Boston U. In UNH’s most recent game, Von Bargen’s three goals tied for the team lead at UMBC.
    Nine UNH Wildcats have started all 12 games and six ‘Cats are averaging at least one goal per game this season.

    Sophomore defender Allie Duclos was credited with 11 draw controls in the March 28 game vs. Stony Brook – UNH had a 19-11 edge in that statistic in the 21-7 victory. She is the only Wildcat player who has recorded more than seven draw controls in a game in the past decade (through the ‘99 season).
    That total of 11 matched the team’s total in that statistic against both UMass and Harvard, and exceeded the nine UNH recorded both at Dartmouth and vs. Boston University.
    Duclos also tallied the Wildcats’ individual single-game high in ‘08 with seven draw controls vs. Holy Cross. The benchmark was also seven in 2006, 2005 (twice) and 2004; the single-game high was six in 2007, 2003 (twice), 2002, 2001 and 2000; in 1999, the single-game top effort for controlled draws was five (three times).

    Senior attacker Sarah Von Bargen led last year’s team in points per game, the 2007 team in goals and points, and in ‘06 she broke the UNH  rookie records for both goals and points. Therefore, it should be of little surprise that Von Bargen once again is atop the leaderboard in those statistics.
    She has, however, elevated her production to No. 2 in the nation in goals per game and No. 7 in points per game (through March 29).
    Von Bargen, named America East Player of the Week in consecutive weeks (March 9 & 16), has tallied 48 goals and seven assists for 55 points in 12 games. She recorded her 50th point of the season with he last of her three points March 28 vs. Stony Brook.
    She has scored multiple goals in every game to extend her goal-scoring streak to 24 games – with multiple goals in 21 straight.
    She recorded her 150th career point with the third of four goals March 4 vs. Yale and scored her 150th career goal with her first of four tallies at Albany on March 21.
    In addition to those milestones, Von Bargen’s season highlights include a six-goal, two-assist effort at Harvard on March 11; it marked a personal best in points (eight) and tied her career high in goals. She also scored six goals Feb. 25 at Holy Cross.
    Von Bargen has recorded 5+ points six times this season with two five-point efforts, three six-point performances and the aforementioned eight-point game.
    In addition to those impressive offensive numbers, Von Bargen ranks second on the team in draw controls (21) and fifth in ground balls (17).
    Von Bargen enters Monday’s game with 160 goals and 27 assists for 187 career points; those numbers rank fourth on UNH’s career goals list and fifth in points.

    New Hampshire is 4-1 at Memorial Field this season and its 10-game home win streak came to an end with the 9-8 loss to nationally-ranked Boston University on April 1. In this year’s games, UNH has outscored the opposition 73-32 (in scoring average, that’s a difference of 14.60 gpg and 6.40 gpg) with a 188-80 shot advantage.
    Sarah Von Bargen has team highs in both goals (16) and points (19) in ‘09 home games. Shaunna Kaplan (8-8-16), Susie Piotrkowski (7-7-14) and Ashley Durepo (10-2-12) have been three of the other top point producers here at Memorial Field.
    Kate Gunts has 3-1 record with a 6.33 GAA and .486 save percentage in four home games. Nikki Hume is 1-0 with a 6.50 GAA and .519 save percentage in three home games.
    UNH has a decisive edge in ground balls (96-62), draw controls (66-47), caused turnovers (55-26) and turnovers (72-116).

    Allie Duclos, Beth Sabiston and Ashley Durepo have already reached double digits in ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers. Duclos leads the team all three categories with 35 GB (the next closest is Kelli LaPerch, 23), 52 DC (Sarah Von Bargen, 21) and 19 CTO (Shaunna Kaplan, 14).
    Following her four GB, three DC, four CTO effort March 28 vs. Stony Brook, Sabiston also attained triple-double status. She enters Monday’s game vs. Cornell with 18 ground balls, 14 draw controls and 10 caused turnovers.
    Durepo is ranked third on the team in both ground balls (19) and draw controls (17), and she is also tied for fifth in draw controls with 10.
    Susie Piotrkowski (15-10-8) is two caused turnovers away from joining the aforementioned trio as a triple-double ‘Cat.
    Piotrkowski is the only ‘Cat who has reached double digits in both goals (14) and assists (21). Shaunna Kaplan (18g, 9a) and Sarah Von Bargen (48g, 7a) are on the verge of accomplishing that feat.

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