UMass host No. 16 UNH

By David Brinch, Collegian Staff

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The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team and New Hampshire have a history.

The Maroon and White will look to continue its turnaround when it faces No. 16 New Hampshire in its final non-conference game today at 3 p.m. at McGuirk Stadium.

Today’s matchup will be the 37th all-time meeting between the two squads, and is the longest in program history. But these two teams have taken different paths this season. While UNH has gotten off to a hot start, the Maroon and White have struggled against non-conference, ranked opponents.

Out of the last eight meetings between the Minutewomen and Wildcats, seven of the duels have been decided by either one or two goals.

After losing six consecutive games to four ranked opponents, the team got back on track Saturday, defeating Boston College, 13-10, at McGuirk Stadium, thanks in part to captain Kathleen Typadis and redshirt junior Kaytlin McCormick.

“We were really excited about the one [victory] against BC,” UMass coach Alexis Venechanos said.

“We definitely needed this win; we definitely needed it for our confidence, and it’s good walking off the field and getting the W, for sure.”

The senior midfielder, who has been inconsistent at times this season, notched four goals for the Minutewomen (2-6), while McCormick continued to look impressive this season, tying her career-high on Saturday with four goals.

“[Typadis is] multidimensional, and is a great scorer, and we’re hoping for more goals this season [from her],” Venechanos added.

Typadis, who was the leading scorer (52 goals) last season and is ranked second all-time in goals for the Minutewomen, is now second on the team in goals (eight), behind team-leader McCormick (17).

“She [Typadis] definitely stepped up, and it’s good to have her back on board,” Venechanos said.

“During the games, at times, our attack has been really predictable, and we just worked on that through the whole week of practice, and it definitely benefited [us],” Venechanos said later.

That practice definitely payed off for the Minutewomen, as they held an 18-7 advantage on draw controls, and shot a season-best 6-for-8 on free-position shots.

The Wildcats have a six-game winning streak going, with their last defeat coming at the hands of No. 20 Dartmouth on March 2. Since then, UNH has outscored opponents, 106-65, and have seven players who have scored 10 or more goals this season.

“They’re a great team, and they’re on a roll right now,” Venechanos said.

“They won six games and have a taste of winning [while] we just got back to winning, so it’s going to be a strong game.”

The Wildcats opened its America East schedule on Saturday, defeating Maryland-Baltimore County, 11-4.

Midfielder Michaela Hardy and attacker Shauna Kaplan lead a balanced attack that put up 11 goals against the Retrievers, while each had three points for UNH.

“They have a great attack and are very disciplined,” Venechanos said.

“They have great athletes, great speed, and they are playing very well

this part of the year.”

Last season, UMass lost a heartbreaker to the Wildcats, 11-10, in a game in which Typadis had four goals, keeping her 31-game scoring streak alive.

Melynda Zwick also had two goals and two assists for the Minutewomen, who were tied 6-6 at halftime. Back-and-forth scoring categorized the game, with UNH attacker Ashley Durepo netting the game winner with a little over four minutes left.

“We know what they are going to do, and they know what we are going to do, so we are hoping to keep stepping up,” Venechanos said.

“[There have] close games the past few years, but for the most part, we’re just going to play tough defense