BY JOSH SULLIVAN
Despite snow on the ground and below freezing temperatures, lacrosse season kicks off this Satuday in Long Island, New York. Sarah Albrecht’s squad will head to Hofstra to take on a Pride team that finished 8-10 last season in a non-conference matchup. The ‘Cats opened up their 2014 season with a 9-5 win in Durham against the same matchup, and will be looking to the same corps group of players as last season, but another year older. The squad lost at Stony Brook 13-5 in the America East semifinal last season.
Senior captain Laura Puccia led the ‘Cats in scoring last season with 41 goals. The midfielder won America East’s fan’s choice player of the year award in 2014, beating out five other players with 41 percent of the vote.
She’ll be joined by junior attack Laura McHoul, who offered up 39 assists and 21 goals last season, and senior captain Kayleigh Hinkle, who had 25 goals in 2014.
UNH is faced with a goalkeeper vacancy after Taylor Hurwitz graduated. Her stellar season last year leaves big shoes to fill. Freshmen Kate Clancy and Sarah Lambert will battle for the starting spot. Both goalies hail from New England — Clancy from Barrington, Rhode Island. and Lambert from Auburn, N.H. and a graduate of Pinkerton Academy.
Junior attack Nicole Grote will be a player to watch. Grote got hot towards the end of last season, and finished with 18 goals and 11 assists. Look for her to step up and be an impact player with the graduation of Molly Gaffey.
The Wildcats play their first home game against UMass-Amherst Saturday, Feb. 21 at Cowell Stadium.