Game 14: Saturday, April 12 vs Binghamton
Memorial Field || Durham, N.H. || 12 pm
The UNH women's lacrosse team (6-7 overall, 1-1 America East) continues its stretch of conference games Saturday, April 12 at home against Binghamton University (6-6, 0-2). Game time at Memorial Field is 12 p.m.
The Series vs. Binghamton
New Hampshire has won all 12 lifetime meetings against Binghamton and that includes six home games. Whereas the last two road games have been close – one- and two-goal margins – the past two games in Durham have been decided by seven and nine goals; the 16-9 win in 2012 marked the Wildcats' smallest margin of victory in six home games vs. the Bearcats.
Last year at the Bearcats Sports Complex, the Bearcats led 8-6 at halftime and 11-7 midway through the second half; UNH scored five consecutive goals to take a 12-11 lead, but the home team tied the score with 57 seconds remaining; Taylor Hurwitz, who entered the game at the start of the second half, made a save with 21 seconds to play and Jenny Simpson scored with one second on the clock to give the Wildcats a one-goal victory. Laura McHoul led the offense with nine points (2g, 7a). UNH recorded the edge in shots (34-19), ground balls (21-10) and draw controls (14-12). Binghamton goalie Erin McNulty made 16 saves.
The State of New Hampshire
UNH enters the weekend with a 6-7 overall record that includes 1-1 in America East and 3-4 at home, which includes 0-1 in conference home games... The Wildcats will make their season debut at Memorial Field against Binghamton on Saturday; at the other two home venues, the 'Cats are 2-2 at Bremner Field and 1-2 at Cowell Stadium... New Hampshire went 1-1 last week with a 19-9 loss at Boston University (04/02) and 8-2 conference win at UMBC (04/05)... UNH recorded 19 ground balls each of the last two games against Boston U. and UMBC; it is tied for the team's third-highest total this season.
Junior midfielder Laura Puccia extended her goal-scoring streak to nine games with two goals at UMBC last Saturday; during the streak, she has tallied 27 goals and four assists for 31 points... Junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle scored a career-high four goals and tallied two assists to match her personal best of six points at UMBC; Hinkle was also credited with a career-high four ground balls... Hinkle has a seven-game points streak during which she has scored a goal every game; she has a point in 12 of 13 games this season... Senior midfielder and captain Molly Gaffey recorded career highs in both assists (three) and points (four) at UMBC; she also had a personal-best four caused turnovers and matched her high of three ground balls... Senior defender and captain Jamie DePetris tied her career highs in both ground balls (four) and caused turnovers (three) at UMBC... Junior goalkeeper Taylor Hurwitz recorded 12 saves – and an .857 save percentage – at UMBC to mark the sixth time this year she reached double digits in saves.
New Hampshire limited the UMBC Retrievers to two goals April 5 at UMBC Stadium. Backboned by goalie Taylor Hurwitz, the Wildcats shut out UMBC the final 53:13 of the game. UNH had not held a conference opponent to less than five goals since April 2009 (17-4 win vs. Vermont). The last time the 'Cats held a conference opponent to as few as two goals was April 2006 (18-2 win vs. Binghamton).
A Celebration of Centuries
Three Wildcats – juniors Laura Puccia and Kayleigh Hinkle as well as sophomore Laura McHoul – are approaching century milestones. Puccia, who recorded her 100th career point with the last of her five points March 14 against Fairfield University, currently has 97 career goals. Both Hinkle and McHoul are approaching the 100-point milestone. McHoul has 95 points (35g, 60a), followed closely by Hinkle at 94 (48g, 46a).
Laura McHoul leads the America East conference (through April 8) in assists per game (2.08) and is sixth in points per game (3.54). Taylor Hurwitz is atop the conference leaderboard in saves per game (9.08). Laura Puccia is the top-ranked 'Cat in goals per game at No. 5 (2.75); Puccia is also No. 3 in draw controls (3.58 per game), No. 10 in points (3.17 ppg) and No. 8 in shots (5.08 per game). Kayleigh Hinkle is among the conference leaders in both assists (No. 9, 0.92 apg) and draw controls at No. 5 (3.08 per game).
In conference-only games, Hinkle has tallied nine points (5g, 4a) in two games. She is followed by McHoul (2-4-6), Rachael Nock (5-0-5) and Molly Gaffey (2-3-5). In two America East games, Hurwitz is 1-1 with an 8.50 GAA and .541 save percentage.
A pair of Wildcats entered the week among the national leaders. Taylor Hurwitz is No. 5 in saves (118) and No. 13 in saves per game (9.08), and Laura McHoul is No. 8 in assists as well as 13th in assists per game.
Junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle is the only Wildcat who has recorded double digits in goals (23), assists (12), ground balls (12) and draw controls (40). She is on the verge of reaching double digits in another statistic – Hinkle currently has eight caused turnovers.
Climbing the Ranks
Sophomore Laura McHoul has already climbed into the program's top 10 career assist list. She supplanted Ilana Cohen (52) at No. 8 with the last of her three assists March 23 at Drexel, which increased her career total to 53. McHoul jumped to No. 5 (60) with the last of her three assists April 2 at Boston U. – Maud Kernan, Laurie Leary and Megan Mangano had been tied at No. 5 with 59. Immediately ahead of McHoul is Liz Brickley at No. 4 (67).
Last year as a freshman, McHoul finished with UNH's second-best single-season assist total of 33. She has 27 assists this season, which ranks No. 6 with Shaunna Kaplan (2010), Karen Geromini (1987) and Kernan (1993). Ahead of that quartet is Katie Leland at both No. 5 (29 in 2006) and No. 4 (30 in 2004), as well as Laurie Leary at No. 3 (32 in 1984). The single-season benchmark of 35 was established by Geromini in 1986.
Junior Kayleigh Hinkle is on the verge of entering the top 10 career assist list. She has 46 career assists and will tie Kelly Blaney at No. 10 with three more helpers.
Get the Ball
Senior defender and captain Jamie DePetris leads the team in both ground balls (25) and is caused turnovers (11). Cori Rees, another senior defender and captain, ranks third in GB (19) and is tied for second with nine CTO. Juniors Laura Puccia and Kayleigh Hinkle rank 1-2 in draw controls with 43 and 40, respectively, to account for 83 of UNH's 131 draws (63.3%).
UNH has recorded 71 assists on 105 field goals (goals not scored on a free position), which calculates to 67.6%. In comparison, the opposition has 45 assists on 95 field goals (47.4%). The Wildcats recorded a season-high 10 assists on 11 field goals at Iona College (March 10). In two games last week, the 'Cats tallied seven assists on nine goals at Boston U. and six assists on eight goals at UMBC.
New Hampshire is 4-1 when scoring in double digits and the Wildcats are 1-6 when the opposition scores at least 10 goals. The only loss when UNH netted double figures was a 15-12 decision to Vermont (March 29 at Cowell Stadium).
Senior defender Jamie DePetris has bested her single-season highs in both ground balls (25) and caused turnovers (11); her previous single-season bests were established last year in both GB (18) and CTO (10)... Cara Dowdle, another senior defender, has 13 ground balls and nine caused turnovers in 2014; in her first three years as a Wildcat, she compiled 12 GBs and nine CTOs... Senior midfielder Molly Gaffey has also had a breakout year with 10 goals, six assists, 15 ground balls and seven caused turnovers; she entered the '14 season with career numbers of seven goals, two assists, 19 GBs and eight CTOs... Junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle has single-season bests of 23 goals, 40 draw controls and eight CTOs... Junior midfielder Rachael Nock has scored double digits in goals for the first time in her career; she had nine tallies as a freshman and sophomore... Sophomore attack Laura McHoul has scored 19 goals this season to surpass her rookie total of 16.
Scouting the Bearcats
Binghamton University (Binghamton, N.Y.) enters Saturday's matchup at UNH with a 6-6 overall record that includes 0-2 in America East and 2-4 on the road; the Bearcats, who have lost three straight (and been outscored 50-12) since a 9-8 win against Quinnipiac on March 23, are 0-1 in conference road games. Last weekend, Binghamton lost 16-3 at home to Stony Brook.
Brianne Arthur is the leader in goals (31) and points (37); she also ranks third in ground balls (18). Sophia Racciatti has a team-high 12 assists and ranks second in both goals (17) and points (29). Angela Vespa (15g, 8a) has also eclipsed 20 points this season.
Valerie Denapoli leads the Bearcats in ground balls (27) and is third in draw controls, as her 23 is just two behind the top spot occupied by Alex Fisher.
In goal, Erin McNulty has started 11 of 12 games and played 449:31 of a possible 720:00; she has a 5-6 record with a 12.28 GAA and .410 save percentage. Kara Pafumi has played in eight games (one start) and played a total of 196:42; she is 1-0 with a 10.68 GAA and .375 save percentage.
Binghamton opened the season 4-1 and scored 10+ goals – including 17, 19 and 20 goals. Since then, the Bearcats are 2-5 and have scored 10+ goals twice.
GAME NOTES: Women's Lax Returns Home to Battle Binghamton (April 12)
Game 14: Saturday, April 12 vs Binghamton