Game Notes: Women's Lacrosse Battle of the 'Cats at Cowell Stadium (April 3; 3pm)
DURHAM, N.H. -- The UNH women's lacrosse team plays host to Vermont in a Battle of the 'Cats at Cowell Stadium on April 3. Game time is 3 p.m.
The State of New Hampshire
The UNH women's lacrosse team enters Wednesday's game against Vermont with a 3-6 overall record that includes 2-1 at home and 0-1 in America East (0-0 in conference home games) ... The Wildcats have won three of the last four games following a 16-0 victory against Iona College at Memorial Field last Wednesday (March 27) ... That game marked the eighth shutout in program history and first since April 2002 (23-0 win vs. Binghamton); the other six shutouts occurred between the 1977-81 seasons ... The 'Cats recorded season highs in goals (16), assists (seven) and shots (35) vs. Iona ... UNH has won two consecutive home games.
America East Accolade
Freshman attack Nicole Grote was honored as America East Rookie of the Week on Monday, April 1. She was feted in recognition of her three-goal, four-assist effort vs. Iona that included two draw controls, one ground ball and one caused turnover. She established career highs in assists, points and draws in that game.
A Second Home
New Hampshire will play the first of its two home games at Cowell Stadium this season when the Wildcats play host to the Vermont Catamounts on April 3. The last time UNH played a home game at a venue other than Memorial Field was May 2, 2002, when the Wildcats were 21-5 victors against UVM in an America East semifinal game at Lewis Fields. The most recent regular-season "home" game not played at Memorial Field was April 6, 2001, when UNH defeated UVM at MIT (all of New Hampshire's home games in March 2001 were also at MIT). The last time the UNH women's lacrosse team played at Cowell Stadium was March 24, 1999 (15-5 loss to Yale in the home opener).
Sophomore attack Becca Graves recorded her first career goal and multiple-point game with a three-goal effort against Iona (March 27) ... Redshirt sophomore attack Emma Kriss recorded her first point as a UNH Wildcat with an assist vs. Iona; she tallied four points as a freshman at Old Dominion in 2011 ... Freshman attack Trinity Scanlon made her collegiate debut last Wednesday against the Gaels and recorded a draw control ... Sophomore midfielder Laura Puccia matched her season high in goals and points with a four-goal effort vs. Iona; she also tallied four points, all on goals, against both Dartmouth and Longwood ... Sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Hurwitz made a season-high three saves against Iona; she played the entire second half vs. the Gaels.
Shoot to Score
UNH has scored on nearly half of its shots with a .483 shooting percentage (99 goals/205 shots); in comparison, the opponents have a .427 shooting percentage (96/225). Top scorer Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) leads the Wildcats at .605 (26 goals/43 shots) and that includes .900 (9/10) on free positions.
Senior attack Jenny Simpson enters Wednesday's game with 95 career goals ... Sophomore attack Kayleigh Hinkle currently has 46 career points.
New Hampshire has outscored the opposition 52-42 in the first half but the Wildcats have been outscored 52-46 in the second half ... UNH is 3-2 when leading at halftime and 0-4 when trailing through 30 minutes ... The Wildcats are 2-0 when recording more shots than the opposition, 1-6 when the opponent has more shots ... The 'Cats are 3-0 when recording the edge in draw controls and 0-6 when the opposition has more draws ... UNH is 1-3 in games decided by one goal ... The Wildcats are winless (0-3) when scoring in single digits.
Gimme the Ball
Kathleen O'Keefe is atop the UNH leaderboard in ground balls (21) and is tied for third in caused turnovers (seven). Cori Rees is second in ground balls (20) and tied with Casey Doyle for the lead in caused turnovers (eight). Doyle is also tied for fourth in ground balls (12). The duo of Laura Puccia and Kayleigh Hinkle account for 46% of UNH's 96 draw controls with Puccia at 28 and Hinkle at 16. Puccia is also third in GBs (13).
Another Game, Another Point
Sophomore attack Kayleigh Hinkle has the team's longest active point-scoring streak of 13 games; she has 32 points (11g, 21a) in that span. Hinkle also holds UNH's longest active assist streak at eight games; she has 22 points (5g, 17a) in that stretch ... Senior attack Jenny Simpson has scored a goal in 10 consecutive games – best among all 'Cats – and the 10-game point-scoring streak is second longest on the squad; Simpson has 33 points (29g, 4a) during her 10-game streak ... Sophomore midfielder Laura Puccia has scored a goal each of the last seven games (18g, 1a) ... Hinkle and Simpson are the two Wildcats who have recorded a point every game this season.
In the America East conference, UNH is ranked fifth in offense (11.00 goals/game) and fourth in defense (10.55 GAA). The Wildcats are sixth in shots per game (22.78) but second in shooting percentage (.483). On the individual leaderboards, Jenny Simpson is atop the leaderboard in free-position goals (1.00 per game) and is fourth in goals (2.89 gpg) as well as eighth in points (3.33 ppg) while Kayleigh Hinkle (1.89 apg) and Laura McHoul (1.56) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in assists. In other stats, Wildcats rank 3-4 in ground balls with Kathleen O'Keefe at 2.33 per game and Cori Rees at 2.22. O'Keefe is also sixth in save percentage (.448) and third in saves per game (8.22).
Two UNH Wildcats have already recorded double digits in assists with Kayleigh Hinkle at 17 and Laura McHoul at 14. Last year, only one 'Cat reached double figures in assists (Ilana Cohen, 20).
The Series vs. Vermont
UNH has a 29-5 lifetime record against Vermont, but the Catamounts have won each of the last two meetings – 18-8 last year at Virtue Field and 8-7 at UNH's Memorial Field in 2011. The Wildcats won the previous three meetings and won 13 consecutive games spanning the 1997-2007 seasons. New Hampshire has a 15-2 home record in this series; in addition to the aforementioned 2011 game, UVM prevailed in Durham in 1993 (7-6 in the ECAC title game).
Scouting the Catamounts
The University of Vermont enters Wednesday's game with a 5-7 overall record that includes 2-4 on the road and 0-2 in America East conference play (0-1 in conference road games) ... In last week's action, the Catamounts upended nationally-ranked Dartmouth College, 16-15, in double overtime (March 27) and then lost 7-6 at Binghamton University (March 30) ... Sydney Mas is the program's all-time leader in goals (141) and she ranks third in points (165) ... Mas has a team-high 33 goals and is second in points (40) ... Jessica Roach is the leader in assists (16) and is second in points (41) ... Vanessa VanderZalm leads the Catamounts in draw controls (44), caused turnovers (18) and ground balls (34); she is also third in both goals (17) and points (20) ... Charlotte Lyons is the team's top goalkeeper; she has started all 12 games and played 92% of the minutes; Lyons has a 12.00 GAA and .416 save percentage ... In the America East conference, UVM ranks second in ground balls/game (19.09) and draw controls/game (13.00) but sixth in both defense (11.53 goals/game) and turnovers/game (17.00)
New Hampshire and Vermont have played three common non-conference opponents. Here is the breakdown:
UMass L, 18-9 L, 16-5
Dartmouth L, 11-10 W, 16-15 (2ot)
Columbia W, 12-11 W, 13-7