Lacrosse: Gaffey leads surging Wildcats into weekend

By Josh Sullivan
On April 11, 2014

The Wildcats lacrosse team looks to string a pair of wins together this Saturday when they take on the Binghamton University Bearcats at Memorial Field. The Wildcats will have to bring the intensity against a Binghamton team that started off hot, but has since dropped three straight games in a row and will be looking to be one game above .500 coming to Durham.  This game could be an indication as to how the rest of the season will go, as Binghamton will be the third conference opponent UNH takes on this season. The Bearcats have already played both Stony Brook and Albany in their past two games, and have lost by a combined score of 38-5 in those two games.

"I think it's going to be a good game," senior Cori Rees said. "For us to win this game we're really going to come out, work our hardest and really find those connections that we had on UMBC. We have to focus on those fundamentals, and doing our role and working our butts off."

Junior attack Kayleigh Hinkle - who is third on the team in points this season with 35 - is also positive about the match up this Saturday.

"I think everyone knows how big of a game it is for us, so if we come out hard and play like we did against UMBC we'll play well again," she said. "We want to make conference and go further than we did last year, so we want to just keep doing better and better."

Head coach Sarah Albrecht knows her squad needs to burst out of the gate with some fire in their bellies in order to come out on top.

 "I think the biggest thing is that we need to focus on what we're doing and make sure we bring our energy," Albrecht said. "I think we've shown throughout the entire year that when our energy isn't there, teams jump out on us right from the start."

UNH is coming off a busy week in which they split the week's contests. They were beat handily by the Boston University Terriers on Wednesday 19-9, but bounces back strong to Wednesday 19-9, but bounces back strong to County Retrievers 8-2.

Hinkle led the Wildcats in scoring with a career best six points, netting four goals and getting two helpers on the day. Senior Molly Gaffey had a goal and three assists to go along with four caused turnovers and two ground balls on the day.

Laura Puccia also had two goals on the day, and Rachael Nock tallied one as well. The Wildcats were backed by stellar play from goalie Taylor Hurwitz who finished the day with 12 saves and her sixth win on the season.

Puccia and Hurwitz stood out against the Terriers, though their efforts failed to prevent the loss.  Puccia had four goals and an assist, and Hurwitz had 13 saves.  

Sophomore Laura McHoul had three goals and three assists, and Hinkle found the back of the net twice. 10 unanswered goals from the 24-minute mark on in the first half proved too great of a deficit to come back from.

 "We had a lot of people working hard out there, but we just weren't working together up and down the field," Rees said.

"I think we just really connected on our fundamentals against UMBC, and we didn't against BU," Hinkle added.

If the Wildcats outplay Binghamton from the opening faceoff and carry that momentum until the end of the game, the scorer's touch that Hinkle, Puccia and McHoul have been providing could be the difference maker in Saturday's game.

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