Game Notes: Women's Lax Returns Home to Play Columbia (March 20)
The State of New Hampshire The UNH women's lacrosse team recorded its first win of the season – and the first for head coach Sarah Albrecht – with a 15-10 victory at Longwood University on Saturday, March 16. The Wildcats scored the first two goals of the game and never allowed the Lancers to pull even the rest of the way. UNH, which recorded season highs in goals and shots, had the advantage in shots (30-22), ground balls (23-17) and draw controls (14-13).
Three of UNH's five losses have been to nationally-ranked teams. Four of the team's five losses have been by a total of five goals.
UNH's 11-10 overtime loss at 20th-ranked Navy on March 13 marked the team's first overtime game since April 6, 2011, when the Wildcats defeated Boston University, 13-12, in double overtime. Prior to last Wednesday, the 'Cats did not have a game end at the end of the first overtime session since March 21, 2009 (16-15 loss at Albany).
New Hampshire has played four consecutive road games since its Feb. 23 home opener vs. UMass.
Eleven Wildcats have started all six games. Three other 'Cats have two starts apiece.
Century Milestone Senior attack Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) recorded her 100th career point with the fifth of her career-high six goals at UConn on March 6. She enters Wednesday's game with 88 goals and 20 assists for 108 points in 54 games.
Doubling Down Senior goalkeeper Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) has recorded double-digit saves each of the past three games and in four of six overall this season. She made 10 saves to backstop UNH to a 15-10 win at Longwood (March 16) and stopped 11 shots the previous game, an 11-10 overtime loss at 20th-ranked Navy (March 13); she finished that game with two caused turnovers and career-high six ground balls. O'Keefe made a season-high 13 saves at UConn (March 6). She made 11 stops in the Feb. 16 opener at Hofstra University. O'Keefe has a .448 save percentage through six games, and that would better her previous single-season best of .408 as a freshman in 2010.
'Cat Nips Sophomore midfielder Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y.) recorded her 50th career point with first of her two goals at 20th-ranked Navy on March 13; she enters the week with 48 career goals. Puccia tallied career highs in ground balls (three) and draw controls (six) at Longwood University on March 16... Freshman attack Nicole Grote (Ellicott City, Md.) recorded her first collegiate point with a goal at Longwood and finished the game with four goals; Grote also recorded personal bests in ground balls (two) and caused turnovers (two)... Sophomore midfielder Rachael Nock (Severna Park, Md.) scored a career-high three goals at Longwood; the three points equaled her personal best... Senior midfielder Chelsea Cyester (Parker, Colo.) tallied a personal-best three ground balls at Longwood... Sophomore attack Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.) finished with a career high of three draw controls at Navy... Junior defender Jamie DePetris (Radnor, Pa.) tallied a personal-best two draw controls at Navy and followed that with a career high of two caused turnovers at Longwood.
Streaking Sophomore attack Kayleigh Hinkle (Glenelg, Md.) has the team's longest active point-scoring streak of 10 games; she has 26 points (9g, 17a) in that span. Hinkle also holds UNH's longest active assist streak at five games; she has 16 points (3g, 13a) in that stretch... Senior attack Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) has scored a goal in seven consecutive games – best among all 'Cats – and the seven-game point-scoring streak is second longest on the squad; Simpson has 26 points (22g, 4a) during her seven-game streak... Hinkle, Simpson and freshman attack Laura McHoul (Westwood, Mass.) are the three Wildcats who have recorded a point every game this season.
Conference Call In the America East conference, UNH is ranked fifth in offense (10.83 goals/game) and sixth in defense (12.13 GAA). The Wildcats are sixth in shots per game (22.83) but second in shooting percentage (.474). On the individual leaderboards, Jenny Simpson is atop the leaderboard in free-position goals (nine; 1.50 per game) and is third in goals (3.17 gpg) as well as seventh in points (3.83 ppg) while Kayleigh Hinkle (2.17 apg) and Laura McHoul (2.00) rank third and fifth, respectively, in assists. In other stats, Wildcats rank 3-4 in ground balls with Kathleen O'Keefe at 2.83 per game and Cori Rees at 2.50. O'Keefe is also fifth in save percentage (.448) and second in saves per game (9.33).
National Numbers In the national statistics (through March 17), UNH is ranked No. 37 in the nation in caused turnovers (8.67 per game), 56th in offense and 70th in defense. Jenny Simpson is 19th in goals per game and Kayleigh Hinkle is 19th in assists per game, while Kathleen O'Keefe is No. 7 in saves per game.
Assist Me Two UNH Wildcats have already recorded double digits in assists with Kayleigh Hinkle at 13 and Laura McHoul at 12. Last year, only one 'Cat reached double figures in assists (Ilana Cohen, 20).
The Series vs Columbia UNH and Columbia met for the first time last April at Robert K. Kraft Field and the Wildcats prevailed 14-8. The Lions quickly built a 2-0 lead with goals 17 seconds apart at 24:46 and 24:29, but the Wildcats scored on their first nine shots of the game to roar back and take a 9-3 lead into halftime. A total of seven 'Cats recorded multiple points and goalkeeper Taylor Hurwitz was credited with eight saves and a career-high six ground balls to record her first career victory.
Scouting the Lions Columbia University enters Wednesday's game with a 1-5 overall record (0-2 Ivy League) following Saturday's 13-7 loss at the University of Vermont. The Lions opened the 2013 season with a 15-4 win at home against Mount St. Mary's on Feb. 23 but have lost five straight since that game. Columbia has scored in double digits just once since the season opener, and that was in an 11-10 double-overtime loss at Brown (March 2). Kacie Johnson is the program's all-time leader in points with 207. She leads the team in goals (22), assists (four) and points (26). Paige Cuscovitch is second in goals (12) and points (14) and is atop the team leaderboard in both ground balls (22) and caused turnovers (15). Skylar Dabbar has started all six games in goal; she has a 13.48 GAA and .330 save percentage.