GAME NOTES: Women's Lax Travels to Play Drexel (March 23)
Game 10: Sunday, March 23 at Drexel
Vidas Field || Philadelphia, Pa. || 12 pm
The UNH women's lacrosse team travels to Philadelphia to play Drexel University at Vidas Field on Sunday, March 23. Game time is noon. Live stats and video are available at the same link by clicking here.
The Series vs. Drexel
New Hampshire has a 6-2 lifetime record against Drexel University, and that includes six conference meetings when both programs were members of America East from 1996-2001. The programs have not met since 2001, when the Wildcats were 13-4 victors at "home" in a game played at MIT in Boston. UNH has won four straight in the series and that includes 12-5 in the most recent trip to Drexel – March 26, 2000. The 'Cats have a 4-1 road record against the Dragons and that includes wins in the first two meetings (17-6 in 1990 and 6-5 in 1993). Drexel won the initial two conference matchups –13-6 at home in '96 and 8-6 at UNH in '97. Six of the eight games were decided by six goals or more.
The State of New Hampshire
UNH enters the weekend with a 4-5 overall record that includes 1-2 on the road... The Wildcats have alternated wins and losses the past six games and are looking for back-to-back wins for the first time this season... UNH scored a season-high 14 goals in its most recent game, a 14-11 home win against the University of Colorado last Sunday (March 16)... The 'Cats also had a season-high 34 shots in that game vs. the Buffaloes.
Junior midfielder Laura Puccia extended her point- and goal-scoring streak to six games with three tallies against Colorado; she has 19 goals and three assists for 22 points in that span, which began March 1 vs. Lehigh... Puccia has netted multiple goals 8 of 9 games this season; the only game she did not score was Feb. 22 vs. Dartmouth... Sophomore attack Nicole Grote matched her career highs in both assists (four) and points (seven) against Colorado... Senior midfielder Molly Gaffey scored a career-high three goals against Colorado; the three points also marked a personal best... Junior attack Emma Kriss recorded her first career multiple-goal game with two tallies vs. the Buffaloes... Freshman midfielder Marissa Gurello tallied her first career assist vs. Colorado.
UNH's second longest active point streak belongs to junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle – three games (6g, 2a); she opened the 2014 season with a point in five consecutive games... The longest point streak of the season belongs to sophomore attack Laura McHoul, who tallied a point each of the first eight games of the season before being held without a point March 16 vs. Colorado; that game also ended a seven-game assist streak... Junior midfielder Rachael Nock has been a consistent point producer with one point in 8 of 9 games.
Laura Puccia recorded her 100th career point with the last of her five points March 14 against Fairfield University at Cowell Stadium. She inched toward the milestone with four goals vs. the Stags and reached the benchmark on an assist with 4:20 remaining in the second half. Puccia enters Sunday's game at Drexel with 89 career goals and 14 assists for 103 points in 42 games; she also has 99 career draw controls.
Puccia leads the team in goals (25), free-position goals (five), points (29), draw controls (29) and shots (43); her other numbers include a .581 shooting percentage and .907 shots-on-goal percentage. She has scored a season-high four goals three times, including consecutive games against Iona (March 10) and Fairfield (March 14). Puccia is on pace to break her single-season high for goals; she netted 34 goals as a freshman and 30 last year.
In just 25 career games, Laura McHoul has already entered the program's top 10 career assist list. She is currently No. 9 with 50 – she reached that benchmark with the second of her two assists March 14 against Fairfield. Directly ahead of McHoul is Ilana Cohen (52) and then there is a three-way tie for fifth place – Maud Kernan, Laurie Leary and Megan Mangano – at 59. Last year as a freshman, McHoul finished with UNH's second-best single-season assist total of 33.
Junior goalkeeper Taylor Hurwitz recorded eight saves in both the first and second halves at 10th-ranked UMass on March 8 to finish with a career-high 16 saves, which marked the highest total by a UNH goalie since April 4, 2007, when Natalie Jones also had 16 saves vs. Vanderbilt. Hurwitz has played all 540:00 in goal for the 'Cats – she played a total of 412:02 the first two seasons – and her .470 save percentage is better than either of her previous years (.429 in '12 and .455 in '13). She has finished with double-digit saves four times this season; the team is 2-2 in those games.
On the Road Again
New Hampshire has a 1-2 road record with a pair of losses against nationally-ranked teams – Boston College, 17-8, on Feb. 20 and UMass, 12-6, on March 8. In their most recent road game, the Wildcats were 12-3 victors against Iona College (March 10).
New Hampshire is 3-0 when scoring in double digits with an 11-7 win vs. UConn (March 5), 12-3 victory at Iona (March 10) and 14-11 W vs. Colorado, which marked the Wildcats' first win when surrendering double figures to the opponent. The Wildcats are 1-3 when the opposition scores at least 10 goals.
UNH has won the battle for draw controls each of the last three games – 10-7 at Iona (March 10), 13-7 vs. Fairfield (March 14) and 17-10 vs. Colorado (March 16). The Wildcats were on the short end of that comparison each of the first six games of the season. Laura Puccia and Kayleigh Hinkle, who is in the circle for the draw, are the top 'Cats in draw controls with 29 and 27, respectively; to pout those numbers in perspective, third on the team leaderboard is Laura McHoul with nine. Puccia recorded a career-high seven draw controls against Fairfield and followed that with six vs. the Buffaloes; she has at least one DC every game. Hinkle has recorded 4+ draws five times, including a career-high five against Colorado, this season; she tallied four DCs each of the previous two games vs. Fairfield and Iona.
The battle for ground balls, turnovers and draw controls is almost even with New Hampshire holding a slim of margin in ground balls (138-126) while committing slightly more turnovers (149-138); the opposition has a 100-88 edge in draw controls. Senior defender and captain Cori Rees is the Wildcat leader in both ground balls (18) and caused turnovers (eight).
UNH has taken a 1-0 lead three times in nine games, including both of last weekend's games against Fairfield (March 14) and Colorado (March 16). The Wildcats have a 2-1 record when scoring first, with the loss coming at the hands of Fairfield; UNH also scored first en route to a 11-7 win vs. UConn (March 5). The 'Cats have a 2-4 record when the opposition scores first.
At the Half
The team leading at halftime has gone on to victory 8 of 9 games this season; the only exception occurred March 14, when the Wildcats led 5-4 at the half but the Fairfield Stags rallied for a 10-8 victory. UNH's largest lead at the half is four goals (6-2) against UConn. New Hampshire's largest deficit has been five goals at then #13 Boston College (9-4) and at then #10 UMass (7-2).
What Just Happened
UNH scored eight consecutive goals to build a 9-2 halftime lead and closed the game on a 4-2 run to hold off the University of Colorado for a 14-11 victory at Cowell Stadium last Sunday, March 16. Nicole Grote recorded seven points (3g, 4a) to match her career highs in both assists and points; she assisted on three consecutive goals in a three-minute span in the first half, then in the second half Grote scored back-to-back goals after the visiting Buffaloes had pulled within 10-9. Laura Puccia (3), Molly Gaffey (3g), Kayleigh Hinkle (2g) and Emma Kriss (2g) also scored multiple goals for the 'Cats, while Taylor Hurwitz finished with 10 saves.
New Hampshire finished with the edge in shots (34-24) and draw controls (17-10), but CU had the advantage in ground balls (13-12) and turnovers (9-13) as UNH was 6 of 13 on clear attempts in comparison to the Buffaloes' 7-for-9.
Following Sunday's game at Drexel, the Wildcats return home to play their America East conference opener against border rival University of Vermont on Saturday, March 29 (1 p.m.).
UNH scored 25 seconds into the first half and netted a goal 39 seconds into the second half of the March 5 game vs. UConn. Prior to that Wednesday game, the earliest UNH had scored in the first half was 5:29 elapsed (Feb. 15 season opener vs. Hofstra); that opener had also marked the quickest second-half Wildcats' goal of 2:26 into the half.
Scouting the Dragons
Drexel University enters Sunday's game against UNH with a 4-4 overall record that includes 3-1 at home. The Dragons were defeated 16-5 at the University of Louisville last Saturday (March 15); prior to that, Drexel had won consecutive games against UMBC, 9-8 at home on March 8, and at La Salle, 10-8 on March 12.
Kelly Palace leads the Dragons in goals (18) and points (19). She is followed by Joelle Hartke (10g, 8a), Amanda Norcini (12g, 4a) and Emily Duffey (8g, 2a). Norcini is atop the team leaderboard in ground balls (25) and caused turnovers (20), and is second in draw controls (19).
Teresha Bradley has started all eight games in goal and played 434:21 of a possible 480 minutes. She is 4-4 with a 10.08 GAA and .407 save percentage.