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Women's Lacrosse Hosts UNH and No. 7 Virginia in Non-Conference Weekend Games

Photo of Melanie Baskind courtesy of Gil Tablot.

Particulars
The Harvard women's lacrosse team steps out of Ancient Eight play for two non-conference home contests this weekend. The Crimson hosts New Hampshire Friday night under the lights and welcomes nationally ranked Virginia Sunday afternoon.

Follow from home
Live video and audio will be streamed on GoCrimson.com Friday and Sunday. Matt Patton and Jimmy Looney of Harvard's WHRB will provided audio Friday, while Kathryn Tylander '07 will have the call for Harvard's game against Virginia. Live statistics will also be available at game time. Click on the links above for more details.

Scouting the Crimson
Harvard is 3-3 on the season and has won two in a row entering the weekend. Ten Crimson players have found the back of the net for a team that averages 13.2 goals per game. Danielle Tetreault paces the offense with 17 goals and three assists for 20 points. Jennifer VanderMeulen (17g), Jess Halpern (12g) and Melanie Baskind (11g, 2a), have been scoring threats for the Crimson, which leads the Ivy League and is 21st in the nation in scoring offense.

Micaela Cyr leads the team and is second in the Ivy League in draw controls with 21, while Baskind leads the team with 10 ground balls. Ellen Gleason paces the Crimson with six caused turnovers. Kerry Clark has made 36 saves in the cage and sports a 10.83 goals-against average.

Last Time Out
Harvard scored early and often in a 19-3 win over Yale last Saturday. Danielle Tetreault and Jennifer VanderMeulen each had five points on four goals and an assists in the win. It was the most lopsided win in series history and the most goals Harvard has scored against the Yale since 1985.

Melanie Baskind, Jess Halpern, Chelsey Newman and Tyler Petropulos scored two goals apiece, while Jenn Leffew, Nina Kucharczyk and Kasey Uhlenhuth added tallies in Harvard's highest scoring output of the season.

The Crimson scored the first three goals of the game and then increased its advantage to 7-1 seven minutes into the game. The Crimson led 10-3 at the half and scored nine straight goals in the second. The Harvard defense shut down the Bulldogs, not allowing a goal in the final 36 minutes and 47 seconds.

Scouting the Wildcats
New Hampshire enters Friday night's game with a 5-4 record and has won four of its last six contests. The Wildcats fell last Saturday on the road to league rival UMBC, 10-8.

Five Wildcats have scored in double figures with Kate Keagins leading the way with 16 goals and eight assists. Ilana Cohen (15g, 6a), Amber Casiano (12g, 7a) and Jenny Simpson (12g, 2a) are also scoring threats. Keagins also leads the team in ground balls with 26 and caused turnovers with 22. Casiano and Ally Stager have a team-best 13 draw controls. Kathleen O'Keefe has started seven games for the Wildcats and owns a 9.38 goals-against average. She has 35 saves to her credit.

Series History
Friday's game will break an 18-18 tie in a series that dates back to 1975. Harvard won last year's battle, 11-10 in double overtime, knocking of a then-nationally ranked Wildcat team. It was the second straight extra session game between the two schools, as Harvard fell in overtime, 11-9, in the last home outing. The Crimson won a series long seven games in a row from 1992-98.

Scouting the Cavaliers
Sunday's game against the Crimson is the third game in five days for No. 8 Virginia. The Cavaliers play Wednesday at Old Dominion and Saturday at Boston College before facing off against the Crimson in Cambridge. Virginia entered the week with a 5-4 overall record.

The Cavaliers, led by Charlie Finnegan's 27 tallies, average 11.89 goals per game. Ainsley Baker and Josie Owen have both scored 20 goals this season as well, while Julie Gardner has 14 assists to her credit. Owen paces the team in draw controls with 26, while Kim Kolarik has a team-best 23 ground balls. Kolarik owns a 5-4 record in the net with 69 saves to her credit and a 11.03 goals against average.

Series History
Virginia has won all four meeting with the Crimson, including a 14-9 victory in Charlottesville last April. The Crimson trailed by one at the half, but couldn't keep tempo with the then-No.4 Cavaliers.

National Rankings
The Harvard women are ranked 20th in the nation by Synapse Sports, formerly womenslacrosse.com, and are receiving votes in the IWLCA poll for the fourth week in a row.

Against the Rest
The Crimson leads the Ivy League and is 18th in the nation in draw controls (13.5 per game), Harvard is the most accurate team in the league, converting on 53.4 percent of its shots this season. The Crimson also has the league's highest scoring offense, which ranks 21st in the nation.

Individually, Danielle Tetreault and Jennifer VanderMeulen lead the league and are 34th the nation in goals per game (2.83) and Micaela Cyr is 10th in the country in draw controls with 4.2 per contest.

Scoring Streak
Jennifer VanderMeulen has scored in every game of her career, 21 straight contests for the Crimson. She has 11 games with three or more goals and 10 games with four or more scores.

Around the League
Yale hosts Colgate and Penn welcomes Maryland in non-conference action Friday night. Princeton travels to Cornell and Brown takes on Dartmouth at home Saturday. Penn travels to Columbia and Yale visit Georgetown Sunday.

O' Captain, My Captain
Senior Sam McMahon and juniors Melanie Baskind and Tyler Petropulos were elected captains for the 2011 season. It's the fifth time in program history three players have been selected to lead the team and only the second since 1999.

Multi Sports Stars
Several Harvard players also moonlight on fall sports teams. Melanie Baskind is a member of the women's soccer team. She was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2008 and has earned second-team (2009) and first-team (2010) All-Ivy League honors as well. She was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America second team selection last fall.

Sophomore Nina Kucharczyk and freshmen Mariah Pewarski and Morgan Powell suit up for the field hockey team as well.

Tough Road Ahead
Boston College, Penn and Stanford were first of several nationally ranked teams on the Crimson's docket this spring. Six teams on Harvard's schedule appear in this week's IWLCA Division I poll: No. 4 Penn (March 12), No. 7 Virginia (April 3), No. 7 Stanford, No. 12 Princeton (April 16), No. 18 Dartmouth (April 29) and No. 19 Boston College (March 17).

Home Sweet Home
Harvard is 2-1 at home this season and 2-0 at Harvard Stadium. The Crimson's remaining three home games will be played at Harvard Stadium.

Up Next
After a four-game homestand, the Crimson travels to Brown for the first of four consecutive games away from Cambridge.