Senior defender Sarah Willis
BALTIMORE—The UMBC women’s lacrosse team (8-3, 1-0 AE) heads to America East rival New Hampshire (6-3, 0-0 AE) Saturday for a 1 p.m. opening draw at UNH Memorial Field. The Retrievers will put their six-game winning streak on the line against the Wildcats, who are receiving votes in the Inside Lacrosse media poll.
Last Time Out: Sophomore midfielder Bria Phillips (Davidsonville, Md./Coronado (Calif.)) led the Retrievers to a 20-7 win over Manhattan on Monday with a career-high seven points on five goals and two assists. Sophomore attack Emily Coady (Westminster, Md./Westminster) also contributed five goals, while senior goalie Kate Quick (Phoenix, Md./Maryvale Prep) recorded six saves.
On the Wildcats: New Hampshire is coming off a 13-9 win over Yale on Wednesday. Attack Shaunna Kaplan led the Wildcats with four points on three goals and an assist. Midfielder Hayley Rausch is tops on the team with 30 points on 18 goals and 12 helpers, both team bests. Midfielder Allie Duclos leads UNH with 20 ground balls, while midfielder Kate Keagins is tops with 18 draw controls and 13 caused turnovers. Goalies Katie Gunts and Kathleen O’Keefe have split time between the pipes this season; Gunts owns the better goals-against average at 8.63, while O’Keefe’s .440 save percentage ranks higher. The Wildcats, who were picked to finish second in the America East preseason poll, are averaging 10.11 goals per game on the season, third-best in the league.
Inside the Series: UMBC has never defeated New Hampshire in eight tries. Last season, the Wildcats defeated the Retrievers, 11-8, at UMBC Stadium.
For Starters: At 8-3, UMBC is off to its best start in the school’s Division I history and the best overall since opening the 1986 campaign with nine wins in its first 11 games. In addition, the Retrievers’ current six-game winning streak is their longest since also taking six in a row from April 17-May 3, 2003.
Quick Stops: Quick ranks 11th in the NCAA with a 7.61 goals-against average. She has allowed double-digit goals just twice this season, in back-to-back losses to ranked opponents Vanderbilt and Towson Feb. 27-March 3.
Tenacious D: As a team, the Retrievers’ boast the ninth-best scoring defense in the nation, allowing just 7.48 goals per game. In addition, UMBC’s 10.64 caused turnovers per contest rank 12th in the NCAA.
Helping Hand: Junior attack Erika Braerman (Fallston, Md./Fallston) leads the America East and ranks 27th in the nation with 1.45 assists per game. Her 16 helpers on the season nearly match her career total heading into the 2010 campaign, as she had dished out 17 assists in her first two seasons at UMBC.
Going Streaking: Braerman has tallied at least one point in all 11 games so far this season with a goal in all but one, including seven in a row, while sophomore attack Alicia Krause (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron/Duquesne) has found the back of the net in all 10 games in which she has played. Junior midfielder Ashley Stodter (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) has scored in eight straight and 10 of 11 overall, while Coady has tallied in four straight and nine of 11. Junior midfielder Amanda Pappas (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) has scored in six of the seven games in which she has played, including the last four.
Dawg Bites: The Retrievers’ 20 goals scored against Manhattan on Monday were the most since also tallying 20 against Iona on March 17, 2009… Thirteen Retrievers have found the back of the net this season, including seven in double digits… Braerman and Krause have both posted seven multi-goal games this season, while Braerman has a team-best nine multi-point efforts… She leads the Retrievers with 23 goals, 16 assists and 39 points on the season, all career highs… Quick has picked up a team-best 26 ground balls, while senior midfielder Amanda Gable (Mount Airy, Md./Glenelg) has won a team-high 24 draw controls and junior defender C.J. Durham (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) leads the Retrievers with 19 caused turnovers… Braerman and freshman midfielder Lindsay Cox (High Bridge, N.J./Voorhees) were named America East Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively, for the first week of the season, while Pappas and freshman midfielder Kerianne Allen (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) earned the same honors a week later… Quick was tabbed the league’s Defensive Player of the Week on March 29… The Retrievers were picked to finish fifth in the America East preseason poll.