Lacrosse: Puccia, Hinkle reach career milestones in win

By Josh Sullivan
On April 15, 2014

The UNH lacrosse team rolled past Binghamton University this past Saturday, winning by a score of 18-6 in a game that saw juniors Kayleigh Hinkle and Laura Puccia reach career milestones.  

Hinkle not only had a career-high seven points on the season but also notched her 100th  career point in the first half. Puccia later scored her 100th goal of her collegiate career with seven minutes remaining in the first half.  It was the squad's largest margin of victory, and it couldn't have come at a better time, as they were hoping to string some wins together in a push towards the postseason. 

"It was great," head coach Sarah Albrecht said. "I thought we came out with energy and attacked them right away and did the things we've been working on all week, so I'm definitely proud of them to come out here and [string] these goals together."

So far this season, the Wildcats have lacked aggression at the beginning of games, often sitting back and playing a type of game that relies on reacting to what the opposition does. However, after a few close losses that could have gone either way, Albrecht and her squad began to make adjustments.

"We came out with guns blazing today," Hinkle said. "We have a tendency to lull a little bit and see what the other team does, but this time we were showing them what we could do."

UNH came out with a statement, scoring nine unanswered goals in the first 17 minutes in the first half and only surrendering two before the first half came to a close. Sophomore attack Nicole Grote, who has been an offensive force all year long totaling 27 points on the season, started things off for the Wildcats by scoring off of a pass from Laura McHoul, 1:49 into the game. She then proceeded to score twice more, both off of the passes from Hinkle, getting herself a hat trick before the first half even ended.

"I felt like we were working together a lot, and that's something we've been working on all week," Albrecht said. "I think the biggest thing was to make sure we brought the energy again in the second half."

"I think the 'hustle plays', the small plays [are] a point of emphasis," Puccia said. "We need to work on the ground balls a little bit, but I just thought everyone was contributing, which was a great thing, because when we do that we're dangerous."

Although Binghamton scored 1:45 into the second half, freshman middie Marissa Gurello answered right back with a goal off yet another pass from Hinkle that led the way to four goals over the next three minutes. The Wildcats never looked back on their way to victory, and goalie Taylor Hurwitz had six clutch saves to ensure that the game never got out of reach.

Nine different Wildcats scored en route to victory including Grote, Hinkle, Puccia, freshman Deven Croke and junior Becca Graves. Albrecht loved seeing production out of so many different players.

"People have stepped up when it's their turn, and that's what's so great about our offense," she said. "We have so many offense threats that they're willing to score when it's their time."

Hinkle and Puccia were humble about their achievements. Both brushed off questions asked about their milestones and attributed it to their teammates.

"It feels good, but definitely the win feels a lot better," Puccia said.

"It's just nice, because I have a ratio of goals to assists, so that means everyone's contributing," Hinkle said. "So when I get an assist or get assisted it's not just one person's point but two."

The Wildcats look to continue their streak next Saturday at Stony Brook. The game starts at 1 p.m.

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