Game 4: Saturday, March 1 vs Lehigh University
Bremner Field || Durham, N.H. || 1 pm
The UNH women's lacrosse team plays host to Lehigh University in a March 1 non-conference matchup at Bremner Field. Visit www.unhwildcats.com for the link to live stats and go to americaeast.tv for the videostream.
The Series vs. Lehigh University
New Hampshire has a 0-1 lifetime record against Lehigh as the Mountain Hawks prevailed 11-8 at home on April 7, 2012. UNH scored the first two goals of the game before the hosts rallied to tie the score at 2. The Wildcats also held one-goal leads of 3-2 and 4-3, but Lehigh tied the score before halftime and netted the initial two goals of the second half to take a 6-4 lead. UNH leveled the score, but the Mountain Hawks went on a 5-0 run to build an 11-6 advantage with 4:30 remaining. The 'Cats pulled within 11-8 with 1:36 on the clock but did not get any closer. The teams finished even in both shots (23-23) and turnovers (14-14). New Hampshire recorded the edge in ground balls (20-15) while Lehigh had a 14-7 advantage in draw controls.
Junior goalkeeper Taylor Hurwitz surpassed her career high of 10 saves with 11 in the first half against intrastate rival Dartmouth College on Feb. 22 and she finished with a benchmark of 14 saves; the 14 saves marked the highest total by a UNH goalie since March 28, 2012, when Kathleen O'Keefe recorded 14 saves vs. Vanderbilt... Junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle recorded three points (2g, 1a) against the Big Green; it marked the second consecutive game she finished with those totals; she is the only 'Cat to record multiple points all three games this season... Sophomore attack Laura McHoul and junior midfielder Rachael Nock are the other two Wildcats who have recorded a point every game... Sophomore midfielder Hannah Wohltmann scored a career-high two goals vs. Dartmouth... Senior defender Cara Dowdle recorded a career-high three ground balls against DC; she also tallied a caused turnover... Sophomore attack Nicole Grote broke into the scoring column this season with two goals and an assist against the Big Green.
Home Sweet Home
Entering the 2014 season, four of UNH's nine home games were scheduled to be played at Cowell Stadium and the remaining five were to be played at Memorial Field. Whether you want to blame Mother Nature or Old Man Winter, circumstances moved the first two home games (both scheduled at Cowell) to Bremner Field – that venue had not been the site of a UNH women's lax game prior to this season. Saturday's battle vs. Lehigh and Wednesday's upcoming game against UConn – both originally scheduled at Memorial Field – have also been relocated to Bremner Field, where the Wildcats have a 1-1 record.
In the past five years, New Hampshire has a 5-2 record against Patriot League teams. The Wildcats were edged 11-10 in overtime at 20th-ranked Navy in 2013 and lost 11-8 at Lehigh in 2012. The most recent Patriot League team to visit Durham was Colgate University in 2011 and UNH prevailed 17-12; earlier that season, the 'Cats played host to and defeated College of the Holy Cross, 8-5.
New Hampshire recorded four assists on eight field goals (goals not scored on a free position) in the season opener vs. Hofstra and has a three game total of 12 assists on 20 field goals (60%). The Wildcats also had a high percentage of assisted field goals last year with 81 on 136 (59.6%). In comparison, Hofstra tallied one assist on four field goals in the 2014 season opener, and last year the opposition recorded an assist on 67 of 145 (46.2%) field goals.
Senior defender Jamie DePetris leads the UNH Wildcats in both ground balls (eight) and caused turnovers (five); classmate and fellow defender Cori Rees ranks second in those stats with six GBs and two CTOs. Juniors Kayleigh Hinkle and Laura Puccia rank 1-2 in draw controls with eight and seven, respectively.
Hannah Wohltmann has scored on both of her shots and Laura McHoul has scored a goal on four of five shots to lead the team in shooting percentage; Laura Puccia and Kayleigh Hinkle are next with a .500 shooting percentage. Puccia is on-target a high majority of the time with 11 of her 12 shots (91.7%) on goal. The same is true of Hinkle, who has fired 9 of 10 shots on goal.
What Just Happened
UNH played host to intrastate rival Dartmouth College at Bremner Field on Saturday, Feb. 22. The Big Green opened the game on a 3-0 run and the second half on a 4-0 spurt en route to a 15-7 victory. The Wildcats recorded a season-low 13 shots while allowing a season-high 35. The ground balls were even (14-14), but Dartmouth dominated the draw controls (18-6).
New Hampshire concludes a stretch of three consecutive home games Wednesday, March 5 vs. UConn. Game time at Bremner Field is 4 p.m.
Leaders of the 'Cat Pack
Seniors Jamie DePetris, Molly Gaffey and Cori Rees are captains of the 2014 UNH Wildcats. DePetris, a two-time America East All-Academic Team selection, was the only Wildcat last season to record double digits in ground balls (18), draw controls (19) and caused turnovers (10); the defender ranked third on the team in both DC and CTO. Rees, another defender, tied for the team lead in caused turnovers (12) and ranked second in ground balls (21). She recorded at least one ground ball in 14 of 17 games with eight multiple GB efforts. Gaffey played every game – she was in the starting lineup three times – and tallied seven points (6g, 1a) out of the midfield.
Back on the Attack
Three of the top attackers – junior Kayleigh Hinkle and sophomores Laura McHoul and Nicole Grote – return to the roster. McHoul led the 2013 Wildcats in both assists (33) and points (49) en route to being named America East co-Rookie of the Year. The 33 assists marked the second highest single-season total in program history, and her seven assists against Binghamton was the highest by a 'Cat the past decade. She opened her career with a point in eight consecutive games and tallied a point in 15 of 16 games overall. In other stats, McHoul ranked fourth in draw controls and fifth in shots.
Hinkle also had one of the best single-season assist marks in UNH history a year ago with 25, which is tied for ninth. She also scored 12 goals to finish third overall in points (37). Hinkle recorded a point in 15 of 17 games and that included a six-assist effort at UConn. In other stats, Hinkle ranked second in draw controls and fourth in shots.
Grote tallied 15 goals and seven assists for a total of 22 points en route to being selected to the conference's All-Rookie Team. Grote had five multiple-point efforts and that included seven points (3g, 4a) against Iona.
Junior midfielder Laura Puccia is the top returning goal scorer (30) and tallied three assists for a total of 33 points, which ranked fourth overall and third among returning players. Puccia – more than a point producer – was atop the UNH leaderboard in draw control and ranked fourth in ground balls. She recorded a point in 15 of 17 games with multiple goals nine times and was voted to the America East All-Conference Second Team.
Taylor Hurwitz, a junior, is the only goalkeeper on UNH's 2014 roster. She played in five games and had a 1-1 record with a 6.92 GAA and .455 save percentage in a total of 104:07 of action last year. In her first two years as a 'Cat, Hurwitz had a 11.69 GAA and .429 save percentage in 15 games (six starts). In her first career start since April 28, 2012, junior goalkeeper Taylor Hurwitz made eight saves to earn the win in the 2014 season opener against Hofstra University.
Scouting the Mountain Hawks
Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pa.) comes into the weekend with an overall record of 1-1; both games were at home. Most recently (Tuesday, Feb. 25), the Mountain Hawks took on Binghamton University and lost by a score of 10-9; Lehigh led a majority of the game but Binghamton scored three of the game's last four goals to rally for the win. LU opened the 2014 season with a 10-4 victory against Mount St. Mary's on Feb. 22.
Junior Carli Sukonik leads the team with seven points, stemming from six goals and one assist. Freshman Allison LaBeau is tied for second with sophomore Kendall Garden totaling six points; both have three goals and three assists and Garden also leads the team in both ground balls (five) and caused turnovers (seven). Sophomore Megan Paytas is next with five points (2g, 3a).
Senior goalkeeper Alexandra Fitzpatrick has started both games and played a total of 107:56 this season. She has made four saves for a save percentage of .250 and a GAA of 6.67. In one game, freshman Taylor Tvedt has played 12:04 with one save and a .333 save percentage as well as a 9.94 GAA.
GAME NOTES: Women's Lax Welcomes Lehigh to Bremner Field (March 1)
Game 4: Saturday, March 1 vs Lehigh University