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Gritty in pink: UNH defeats Vermont in the ‘All ‘Cats Wear Pink’ game at Cowell Stadium

On Saturday, the Wildcats hosted the University of Vermont Catamounts in the ‘All ‘Cats Wear Pink’ game under the lights at Cowell Stadium. In the end, Wildcat senior captains Nicole Grote and Laura McHoul shined the brightest as both players eclipsed century milestones, and led their team to a 12-9 victory over Vermont, the first time UNH has beaten UVM since 2010.

McHoul became the sixth player in program history to record 200 career points when she assisted Krissy Schafer’s goal at 24:43 first-half mark. Grote recorded her 100th career point when she scored her 16th goal of the season at 14:28 in the first half. McHoul, who leads the team in assists, has her teammates to thank for her accomplisment.

“Ever since freshman year [it was] just everyone making me better and my teammates around me because I couldn’t have done it without them” McHoul said. She now leads the team in points with 38.

Grotes milestone goal came off the hands of McHoul, a combo that Grote said started and continued to develop since day one of freshman year.

“Laura and I have been thing one thing two for four years now and it’s like the teamwork is amazing on this team,” Grote said. “We hope it keeps going, continually.”

The efforts of Grote and McHoul, along with reinforcements from Schafer and Devon Croke gave Wildcats a 6-2 lead at the end of the first half. The score was highly predicated on the Wildcats’ defense showing. The team scooped nine ground balls and forced Vermont to commit nine turnovers that allowed the ‘Cats to hold a four-goal advantage.

“I think they just stuck with the gameplan and played nice solid defense today,” head coach Sarah Albrecht said. “We really just executed so that was really great to see.”

The game tightened up in the second frame as the Catamounts opened the scoring, and scored three consecutive to cut the deficit to one at 7-6. But as the team has shown in previous matchups, UNH finished the job in the late minutes of the game.

The Wildcats answered every comeback bid the Catamounts could generate, and came away with the 12-9 victory and improved to 4-2 at home.

UNH has improved to an undefeated 3-0 conference record, its best start in conference since 2008. The team says they had a specific game plan to make that happen, and it was just a matter of bringing the effort along with it.

“Once conference started we had a game plan and we stuck to it all three games,” Grote said. “We have the energy and I hope we just keep rolling with it.”

“I think we are starting to come together as a team and people are starting to contribute all over the field,” Albrecht said. “I thought today was a great team effort for sixty minutes so you know I was really proud of the team for that.”

The ‘Cats take a break from America East action and travel to Boston, Massachusetts on April 13 as they are scheduled to take on the Boston University Terriers at 4 p.m. With only 3 days to prepare, Albrecht is confident for the upcoming competition that awaits them.

“They’re a tough team, you know they have a lot of weapons on their team so we’re looking forward to the matchup and I think it will be a good one.” Albrecht said.

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