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The University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team concludes the 2011 regular season this weekend with a Senior Day game against ninth-ranked Boston College on April 29 (6 p.m.) and a road trip to Binghamton University for a May 1 (12 p.m.) matchup.
UNH has a 17-6 lifetime record, including last year's 12-6 road loss, against Boston College. Prior to the 2010 matchup, these teams had not met since March 2004 (a 19-11 Wildcat victory). The 'Cats have won four straight meetings at Memorial Field – 2004, 2002 (15-3), 2000 (20-10) and 1998 (13-12) – but half of BC's wins have been at UNH (1996, 1994 and 1988).
New Hampshire has won all nine lifetime meetings against Binghamton and that includes last year's 17-8 home win. The last time these teams played at Bearcats Sports Complex, UNH prevailed 21-9 in March 2009. The Wildcats scored at least 14 goals each of the previous nine games.
America East Fans' Choice Player of the Year
Online voting for the 2011 America East Women's Lacrosse Fans' Choice Player of the Year ends Friday, April 29. Visit www.unhwildcats.com or www.americaeast.com to vote for UNH's Kate Keagins or Hayley Rausch on the ballot of 14 candidates.
Saluting the Senior
UNH's senior class – captain Allie Duclos – will be honored prior to Friday's game against Boston College. That game will be the last played on Memorial Field for the senior class, which has made three America East tournament appearances and one NCAA tournament appearance.
Developing the Playoff Picture
The UNH Wildcats control their own destiny – win and you're in, lose and you're out. The 'Cats will be the #4 seed of the America East Championship tournament by defeating Binghamton, regardless of the outcome of the other league games this weekend. If Boston University also wins, BU will be the #3 seed (or possibly #2); if Vermont defeats BU, then UVM will be the #3 seed.
The winner of the UMBC at Albany game will be the top seed and be host of the America East tourney (May 5 & 7). UMBC would slip to the #3 seed with a loss and BU win.
The State of New Hampshire
New Hampshire concludes a three-game homestand with its final home game of the season Friday vs. Boston College and closes the 2011 regular season Sunday at Binghamton.
UNH has alternated wins and losses the last five games (2-3 record). Three of those five games have been decided by one or two goals (1-2 record).
The Wildcats recorded an assist on 4 of 7 goals in last Saturday's game against Vermont; they have assisted on 66 of 137 goals (48%) overall in the 2011 season.
Strong starts have been commonplace for the 'Cats in the past month. UNH led 6-0 vs. Vermont, 5-0 vs. Stony Brook, and 6-0 at Harvard.
JoJo Curro has the team's longest active point-scoring streak (10 games). Curro, Allie Duclos and Jenny Simpson share the longest active goal-scoring streak (five games).
Duclos and Casey Doyle are the only two 'Cats who have started all 14 games this season; seven Wildcats have played all 14 games.
Here is a comparison of how New Hampshire stacks up against Boston College and Binghamton (through April 24; 92 teams):
UNH BC BING
Offense 62 (9.79) 28 (12.35) 76 (9.00)
Defense 16 (9.14) 20 (9.24) 69 (12.13)
CTO 8 (10.07) 77 (6.35) 52 (7.47)
GB 52 (15.86) 87 (13.12) 65 (15.33)
DC 84 (9.86) 45 (12.18) 88 (9.20)
Two Wildcats are among the top 25 in the nation. Kate Keagins is 10th in caused turnovers and Kathleen O'Keefe is 23rd in goals-against-average.
New Hampshire enters the weekend atop the America East rankings in both caused turnovers (10.07 per game) and assists (4.71 per game); the Wildcats are also second in defense (yielding 9.05 goals per game), and ground balls (15.79 per game).
Kate Keagins sits atop the league leaderboard in both caused turnovers and ground balls; she is also fifth in shots and ninth in assists per game.
Other Wildcats among the America East leaders are Allie Duclos in caused turnovers (third) as well as Kate Gunts (fourth) and Kathleen O'Keefe (fifth) in goals-against-average.
And Then There Was One
Allie Duclos, a three-time America East All-Conference First Team selection, is the only senior and is one of three captains (alongside juniors Ilana Cohen and Hayley Rausch) on the 2011 squad.
Duclos has a team-high 22 draw controls and ranks second in both ground balls (28) and caused turnovers (22). In three games spanning March 14-18, she tallied four goals, 12 GB, eight CTO and five DC; Duclos filled the stat line at 11th-ranked Vanderbilt with one goal, five GB, four CTO and two DC, and she did the same at 10th-ranked Albany with two goals, two GB, one DC and one CTO as well as vs. Stony Brook with one goal, one assist, one GB, five DC and two CTO – the five draw controls is the highest total by a UNH Wildcat this season.
Duclos has also been a consistent point contributor with a goal in 11 of 14 games, including a current five-game streak and five consecutive games from March 5-18; she matched her career high of two goals March 18 vs. Presbyterian College and again April 9 at Albany. The 13 goals and 15 points are both single-season highs.
Duclos recorded the team high in ground balls four times (Holy Cross, George Mason, Vandy and UMBC). She has also been the leader in caused turnovers three times (Colgate, Fairfield and Vandy) and was the leader in draw controls vs. UMass and SBU.
April 1 at Harvard, Duclos had 1's across the board with one goal, one assist, one shot, one ground ball, one draw control and one caused turnover.
Home Field Advantage
New Hampshire saw its three-game home winning streak end April 23 with an 8-7 loss to Vermont; the Wildcats are now 3-2 at home this season. Earlier this season, the 'Cats ended a 13-game losing streak to Boston University with a 13-12 double-overtime victory on April 6.
UNH had a 6-2 record at Memorial Field last year, went 6-3 at home in 2009 and 7-1 in '08. That's a three-year winning percentage of .760.
Leaders of the 'Cat Pack
Juniors Ilana Cohen and Hayley Rausch captain the 2011 Wildcats (with senior midfielder Allie Duclos) and are two of the team's top point producers; they rank 2-3 in that statistic.
Cohen is a third-year starter who garnered America East All-Conference Second Team honors a year ago. Despite missing one game and seeing limited action in another, the midfielder ranks second in goals (20), assists (11) and points (31); she has a team-high .606 shooting percentage. The 20 goals and 31 points are already personal single-season highs.
Cohen opened the 2011 season with a goal in eight consecutive games as part of a season-opening 10-game point-scoring streak that extended her overall point-scoring streak to 12 games. Cohen started 2011 with six consecutive multiple-point efforts and has 10 overall.
Cohen matched her personal best of three goals at 19th-ranked Dartmouth (Feb. 26), at Colgate (March 5) and vs. Stony Brook (April 16). She tallied career highs in both assists (three) and points (five) at Fairfield (March 12) and equalled that five-point total against Stony Brook.
Rausch, who has also missed one game and been limited in other games due to injuries, is tied for second in goals (20), ranks third in points (29) and fourth in assists (nine).
She tallied career highs in both goals (five) and points (six) to lead UNH to a 13-12 double overtime victory against Boston University (April 6); she scored four second-half goals and then ended the game with a goal at 38 seconds of the second extra session. Rausch matched her previous career highs in both goals (four) and points (five) March 5 at Colgate.
Rausch tallied a career-high three assists as part of her five-point performance April 16 vs. Stony Brook. She also tallied a goal and an assist against two nationally-ranked teams – 19th-ranked Dartmouth and 10th-ranked Albany.
Rausch tallied a point each of her first five games of the season to extend her point-scoring streak to 23 games. She was held without a goal or assist, however, March 16 at 11th-ranked Vanderbilt. Rausch then scored a goal in six consecutive games (spanning March 18 to April 16) with totals of 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points.
What's Ours Is Ours & What's Yours Is Ours
The Wildcats have committed fewer turnovers than the opponent in 10 of 14 games during the 2011 season (218-265 overall). UNH recorded the turnover advantage each of the first six games before losing that battle March 16 at 11th-ranked Vanderbilt (24-18). UNH was also charged with more turnovers at UMBC (15-14) and at Albany (14-8).
New Hampshire's largest turnover margin is +14 (12-26 vs. UMass), followed by +12 (16-28 vs. Presbyterian).
In 2010, UNH committed more turnovers than the opponent just five times in 17 games.
Junior midfielder Kate Keagins leads the team in assists (13), points (33) and shots (70), and she is tie for second in goals. But she is more than just a point producer for the Wildcats. Keagins also leads the team in both caused turnovers (27) and ground balls (32), and she ranks fifth in draw controls (14). She is the only 'Cat who has recorded double digits in goals, assists, ground balls, caused turnovers and draw controls.
Keagins has led the team in caused turnovers six of 14 games this season, and that includes four vs. Boston U. (April 6). She has also been the team leader in ground balls three times. Her season highlights include seven GB and three CTO at nationally-ranked Dartmouth College as well as six GB and six CTO vs. Presbyterian.
Keagins opened the year with a point in 11 consecutive games to extend her point-scoring streak to 19 games before being held without a point April 9 at 10th-ranked Albany. Keagins has nine multiple-point efforts (including six consecutive games spanning March 5-26) and tallied a season-high three goals three times (Holy Cross, Fairfield, Presbyterian); she also recorded a season-best three assists at Fairfield for a season high of six points. Keagins finished with two goals and two assists against BU (April 6).
Winter temperatures lingered the latter part of March into early April in New England, but junior attack JoJo Curro heated up during that time and recorded an assist in eight consecutive games spanning March 5 to April 9 to climb to #2 on the team in assists (10). Curro's assist streak ended April 16 vs. Stony Brook, but she did score a goal that game to extend her point-scoring streak and then tallied two goals (1g, 1a) vs. Vermont to extend her point-scoring streak to 10 games; it is the Wildcats' longest active streak.
She matched her career high of three assists and also tallied a goal for a season-best four points March 18 against Presbyterian, and she tallied her second three-point game of the season with two goals and an assist against Boston U. (April 6). Curro has 20 points on nine goals and 11 assists during her current 10-game point streak. She is tied for second on the team in assists (11).
It's a Draw
Draw controls were not one of UNH's strengths early in the season, but the tide has turned in recent weeks. The 'Cats recorded a 16-13 edge in that statistic against Boston University (April 6), were nearly even at Albany (11-13) and had a 15-5 edge against Stony Brook (April 16); the 15 DC marked the second-highest total of the season and the +10 margin was the best of 2011. Most recently, UVM had a 9-8 edge.
Overall, opponents have totaled 154 in comparison to the Wildcats' 138. The opposition recorded a 3:1 ratio (36-12 overall) in the first three games before the Wildcats finished with the advantage in draw controls at Colgate (March 5), albeit by the slimmest of margins (16-15). New Hampshire also finished plus-one in the draw control column vs. both George Mason and Presbyterian. The 'Cats finished even in that stat at UMBC.
Know Your Role
Junior defender Erin Levesque may not compile impressive statistics (nine GB, four CTO and four DC), but started 11 of 12 games in which she has played in 2011, and she is a solid foundation of the defensive unit. Levesque was credited with two ground balls and one caused turnover in the Wildcats' America East opener, March 26 at UMBC. She had one draw control and one CTO April 6 vs. Boston U.
Making the Most of the Opportunity
Junior goalkeeper Kate Gunts has played in four of the last seven games with three starts, including back-to-back games vs. Harvard and Boston University, in that span. In six games overall, Gunts has a 2-0 record with an 8.99 GAA and .404 save percentage. She made a season-high eight saves and surrendered just four goals in the March 18 victory against Presbyterian College. Gunts received the starting nod at Harvard (April 1) but was not credited with a save before exiting the game with the score tied 6-6 through 37 minutes. She left the April 6 game vs. Boston University with UNH trailing 8-5 with 1:58 left in the first half. April 9 at Albany, she had a second-half relief stint of 4:50 in which she stopped three of five shots on goal.
Rookies No More
The sophomore class comprises nearly one-third of the roster and four of those seven players – Amber Casiano, Kathleen O'Keefe, Jenny Simpson and Ally Stager – were named to the 2010 America East All-Rookie Team.
Casiano has started 13 of 14 games this season; she ranks fifth on the team in goals (15), assists (8) and points (23). Casiano established a career-high five points March 5 at Colgate by matching her personal best of three goals and tallying her first multiple-assist effort, then bested that with four goals and two assists for six points against Presbyterian College (March 18). Casiano's seven-game goal-scoring streak ended April 6 at Boston U.; she tallied multiple points six times with totals of 21 points (14g, 7a) during that seven-game goal streak.
O'Keefe has proven to be the go-to goalie in 2011. She has started 10 of the 14 games (12 games played overall) and her numbers include a 5-7 record, 9.07 GAA and .394 save percentage. O'Keefe also ranks fourth on the team in ground balls (21) and fifth in caused turnovers (nine). In five home games, she is 3-2 with a 7.75 GAA and .404 save percentage.
O'Keefe entered the April 6 game vs. BU with UNH trailing 8-5 with 1:58 remaining in the first half; she played the last 40:20 of the game and made five saves, including two in overtime, to backbone UNH to a 13-12 victory in double overtime. O'Keefe made a season-high eight saves in the 16-8 loss at 10th-ranked Albany (April 9) and duplicated that total in the 12-6 win against Stony Brook (April 16).
Simpson has scored a goal in 11 of 14 games with eight multiple-goal efforts, including each of the last four games vs. Vermont (3), Stony Brook (2), Albany (3) and Boston University (2). With 10 goals in the last four games, Simpson has climbed atop the team in goals (23); she is also fourth in points (26) and third in shots (47).
Simpson recorded her first multiple-point game of 2011 with four (2g, 2a) March 5 at Colgate; the two assists matched her career high. She followed that with a four-goal effort at Fairfield (March 12).
Stager, a starter in 12 of 14 games, is a significant factor in the possession game. She ranks third on the team in both draw controls (17) and caused turnovers (15), and she is fifth in ground balls (20). She tallied personal bests in both goals (two) and points (three) March 5 at Colgate and also had a multiple-goal game vs. George Mason (March 14). Stager has led the team in ground balls three times (Holy Cross, George Mason, UMBC), draw controls twice (Dartmouth, Fairfield) and caused turnovers twice (Holy Cross, George Mason).
Doyle has started all 14 games, is third on the team in ground balls (22) and is fourth in caused turnovers (11). In three games spanning March 14-18, Doyle tallied seven GB and five CTO as well as one draw control. She finished with three ground balls and two caused turnovers April 23 against Vermont.
Cyester did not see game action in the opening week of the '11 season, but then played seven consecutive games – including two starts – until the Harvard game on April 1. Cyester recorded her first collegiate point with a goal at Colgate (March 5), scored a goal at 11th-ranked Vanderbilt (March 16) and, in the next game, she recorded her first multiple-point effort (1g, 1a) against Presbyterian. Overall, she has tallied three goals and one assist in 10 games (four starts).
Kleinendorst, who once again joined the team following the conclusion of the UNH women's ice hockey season, made her 2011 season debut April 16 against Stony Brook.
America East Player of the Game
The America East conference is continuing its Player of the Game award in the 2011 season. A UNH player will be recognized following every league game and all home games. No Wildcat received the honor more than twice in the '10 season.
March 2 vs. UMass–Ally Stager (1g, 2gb, 1cto)
March 14 vs. George Mason– Ally Stager (2g, 3gb, 2cto, 2dc)
March 26 at UMBC– Hayley Rausch (2g, 2a)
April 6 vs. Boston U.– Hayley Rausch (5g, 1a)
April 9 at Albany– Jenny Simpson (3g, 3sh, 1gb, 1dc)
April 16 vs. Stony Brook– Ilana Cohen (3g, 2a, 2gb, 2cto)
April 23 vs. Vermont– Casey Doyle (3gb, 2cto)
April 29 vs. Boston College
May 1 at Binghamton
Scouting the Eagles
Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.), ranked #9 in the most recent IWLCA Poll, plays its regular-season finale Friday at UNH. Last weekend, the Eagles defeated Virginia Tech, 17-3, in the opening round of the ACC tournament, then lost 8-5 to top-ranked Maryland in the semifinals; in comparison, the Terps won 20-9 in the regular season. BC has a 2-4 record vs. Top 20 teams.
Kristin Igoe leads a quartet of 40+ scorers with 57 points on 41 goals and 16 assists. Brittany Wilton, who is ranked #2 in the nation in draw controls, is second on the team in both goals (37) and points (52). Moira Barry (36g, 8a) and Brooke Blue (32g, 11a) are the next top point producers, while Jill Amo has a team-high 19 assists (27 points).
Sheila Serafino is ranked #16 in the nation in GAA at 8.93; she has an 11-6 record with a .445 save percentage, and she has played 97% of the minutes in goal (987 of 1020).
Scouting The Bearcats
Binghamton University (Vestal, N.Y.) enters the weekend with a 3-12 overall record that includes 1-4 in America East and 2-4 at home. The Bearcats, who have lost three straight games, play host to Columbia University on Saturday and then battle UNH on Sunday. Last weekend, Binghamton was defeated 14-7 by Albany.
Lis Zuern has a team-high 41 points (28g, 13a). Ali Castiglie is ranked second to Zuern in both assists (7) and points (39) while Beth Moore is atop the goals leaderboard with 36.
Lauren Scott has played all 900 minutes in goal and her statistics include a 12.13 GAA and .433 save percentage.
Game Notes: Women's Lacrosse Senior Day Matchup vs. BC, Travels to Binghamton
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