NOTES | VIDEO | STATS
The University of New Hampshire (10-6 overall, 3-2 America East), ranked 19th in the IWLCA Poll and 18th in the Inside Lacrosse Poll, concludes the 2009 regular season April 25 at Binghamton University (3-12, 0-5). Game time at the Bearcat Sports Complex is 1 p.m. Visit www.unhwildcats.com for links to live video and stats.
UNH has won all seven previous meetings with Binghamton, including last year’s 14-5 win at home. The last time the Wildcats traveled to play the Bearcats (2007), UNH returned to Durham following a 22-5 victory. In this brief series, which began in 2002, the ‘Cats have a 138-26 scoring advantage.
DEVELOPING THE PLAYOFF PICTURE
UNH will be one of four teams competing at the 2009 America East Championship tournament, which will be held April 30 & May 2 at Boston University’s Nickerson Field. BU is the host as the top seed and the University at Albany has also secured a berth.
The fourth team in the field will be determined this weekend. If UMBC wins on the road against Boston U., the Retrievers will be the #2 seed, Albany #3 and UNH will be the fourth seed (and face BU in the semifinals).
If UMBC loses to BU, Albany will be the #2 seed and play third-seeded UNH. UMBC would still gain the #4 seed if Vermont loses to Stony Brook.
Vermont can finish no higher than the #4 seed. The Catamounts need a win and a UMBC loss to make the tourney field.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire secured a berth in the 2009 America East Championship tournament with a 17-4 victory against Vermont on April 18 to extend its league record for consecutive tourney appearances to 12.
UNH won its 10th game of the season with last weekend’s victory against Vermont. It is the second consecutive year and fifth time in the last six years that the Wildcats have reached double digits in wins.
UNH recently concluded an 11-day stretch in which it played five games. That gauntlet run spanned April 1-11 and included three games vs. nationally-ranked teams; the ‘Cats lost those games to Boston University, Cornell and Vanderbilt, and they defeated both UMBC and Le Moyne.
New Hampshire alternated wins and losses in an eight-game stretch from March 11 to April 6.
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.
Ashley Durepo scored a career-high five goals April 18 vs. Vermont. Shaunna Kaplan matched her personal best of five points with three goals and two assists vs. the Catamounts.
In 14 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.
Kate Gunts started the season opener in goal but that was her only start through nine games – she made six other appearances in that span. Gunts returned to the starting lineup March 28 against Stony Brook and has now started seven consecutive games. She has gone the distance each of those seven games and has played 466 consecutive minutes.
Seven UNH Wildcats have started all 16 games and four ‘Cats are averaging at least one goal per game this season.
FACE THE NATION
In the most recent national statistics (through April 19), New Hampshire is ranked No. 4 in defense (88 teams ranked) and 26th in offense as well as 20th in caused turnovers, 26th in draw controls and 27th in ground balls.
A few ‘Cats are among the individual leaders. Sophomore defender Allie Duclos is No. 4 in draw controls per game and Kate Gunts holds the No. 4 rank in goals-against-average (GAA). Also of note, Sarah Von Bargen is ninth in goals per game and 27th in points per game.
#2 PROVING TO BE #1
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. 9 in the nation in goals per game; earlier this month, she led the nation in that statistic and was second in points per game.
Von Bargen, named America East Player of the Week in consecutive weeks (March 9 & 16), has tallied 55 goals and nine assists for 64 points in 16 games. She recorded her 50th point of the season with the last of her three points March 28 vs. Stony Brook and her 50th goal of the year with the second of two vs. 10th-ranked Vanderbilt (April 8).
Von Bargen enters Saturday’s game with 167 goals and 29 assists for 196 career points; those numbers rank fourth on UNH’s career goals list and fifth in points.
ON THE ROAD
UNH has a 4-3 road record this season with two losses to nationally-ranked teams and two overtime games (1-1 record).
Sarah Von Bargen has compiled 32 goals and four assists for 36 points in seven games. Susie Piotrkowski (7-14-21), Shaunna Kaplan (10-1-11) and Michaela Hardy (9-2-11) have also reached double digits in points.
In five road games, Kate Gunts is 2-1 with a 8.61 GAA. Nikki Hume has a 2-2 record with a 11.49 GAA in six road games.
BALANCE IS THE KEY
Beyond Sarah Von Bargen, who has scored 55 of the team’s 203 goals, the UNH attack is balanced with three Wildcats in the 20’s and three more in double digits. Ashley Durepo and Michaela Hardy are next behind Von Bargen with 26 goals apiece and Shaunna Kaplan has 24 tallies. Susie Piotrkowski (15), Kate Keagins (13) and Hayley Rausch (11) are the other double-figure goal scorers. Ilana Cohen has scored a goal in three consecutive games and four of five to increase her season total to nine.
A total of seven Wildcats – Ilana Cohen, Allie Duclos, Ashley Durepo, Michaela Hardy, Shaunna Kaplan, Beth Sabiston and Sarah Von Bargen – have reached double digits in ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers. In comparison, five ‘Cats accomplished this feat last season.
Susie Piotrkowski (20-10-9) is one caused turnover away from joining the aforementioned list as a triple-double ‘Cat.
Piotrkowski and Kaplan are the two ‘Cats who have reached double digits in both goals and assists. Piotrkowski (15g, 23a) was the first to achieve that feat in ‘09. Kaplan checks in with 24 goals and 17 assists. Sarah Von Bargen (55g, 9a) is on the verge of accomplishing that double-double.