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No. 12 Big Green to Host UNH Thursday Afternoon at 3 PM

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By Mark Washburn

No. 12/13 Dartmouth (1-0) vs. New Hampshire (0-2)

▶ Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 ▶ 3 PM  ▶ Hanover, N.H.
▶ Scully-Fahey Field (1,600)
▶ All-Time Series: 21-17-0 (39th Meeting)
▶ Last Meeting: Feb. 25, 2012 (Durham) - W, 13-7
▶ Streak: 2-0-0

Just five days after beating Oregon in overtime to open the 2013 season, the Dartmouth women's lacrosse team will be back in action Thursday against New Hampshire in the home opener. Originally scheduled for Wednesday, the opening draw between the two Granite State teams from Scully-Fahey Field has been moved to Thursday at 3 p.m. due to the possibility of inclement weather.

Starting off the year with a road win, the Big Green will welcome the Wildcats to Hanover for the team's home opener. UNH served as the Green's home opener in 2011 as Dartmouth came out with the 9-5 win. During head coach Amy Patton's time in the Upper Valley, UNH has been her team's opponent in its first home contest seven times and in each instance Dartmouth has come out on top. The Big Green are 8-1 vs. UNH overall in home-opening games.

In 40 all-time home openers for the program, Dartmouth is 34-5-1. During Amy Patton's 20 seasons on the sidelines, her team is 19-1 with the lone blemish coming back on 2004 with a 7-6 overtime loss to 12 James Madison. Since then, the team has won its last eight Hanover debuts.

New Hampshire comes into the game having lost its first two match-ups of the 2013 season at Hofstra (13-12) and at home against No. 14 UMass (18-9).  Laura McHoul leads the team with eight points on three goals and five assists, while Jenny Simpson's five goals are tops among her teammates. Kathleen O'Keefe has been the goalkeeper of record both games, posting a 16:35 goals-against average and a save percentage of .356 in 106:26 of action.

Dartmouth holds a 21-17 advantage in the all-time series between the two, including victories in the last two meetings. The first game between the two in-state rivals came back on May 15, 1973 with New Hampshire handing the Green and White a 6-0 loss.

Last season's annual meeting was the season opener for both squads and came in Durham on Feb. 25. Five goals from senior Kirsten Goldberg and hat tricks from Hana Bowers and Sarah Plumb sparked the visitors to a 13-7 win.

The league office announced Monday morning that Bowers had earned Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week honors for the three-goal, four-point performance Saturday against Oregon. The weekly accolade as the top offensive player was the first for a Dartmouth player since Kat Collins '11 was recognized on Mar. 28, 2011.

Junior Liz Calby kicked off her season in fine form as she scored twice against the Ducks. Her second of the day proved to be the biggest as it came with 1:03 remaining in the overtime period and put her team up 8-7. Her first of the afternoon and season came via the free-position shot with 13:21 left in regulation and cut the Oregon lead to one, 6-5.

For the second straight year, Big Green goalkeeper Kristen Giovanniello has been named to the Tewaarton Award Watch List. The annual accolade is presented to the top male and female college lacrosse player in the country at the conclusion of each year. Giovanniello was also on the list as a sophomore in 2012 following an All-American season the previous spring.

With the win in Eugene, Dartmouth stretched its streak of victories in overtime games to three. The Big Green have played just one OT contest in each of the last two seasons, defeating No. 1 Maryland (2011) and No. 3 Duke (2012) prior to taking down the Ducks. The last overtime loss in a non-conference game for the Green came back on Mar. 18, 2009 against the then-No. 2 Terrapins (13-12).

The team is once again ranked No. 12 and No. 13, respectively, in the latest releases of both the IWLCA and Inside Lacrosse deBeer Media Polls. That continues the program's incredible stretch of being ranked in 66 consecutive match-ups. The last time Dartmouth played a game in which it was not ranked in the nation's top-20 was a May 4, 2008 contest with Duke in the season's final tilt. Since then, the Green have been ranked in every game played since the start of the 2009 season.

The Big Green were a perfect 7-0 last season at home at Scully-Fahey Field. In 2011, the team was 8-0 on its home field during the regular season, but lost to Albany in the NCAA Tournament on May 15. The last regular season home loss for Dartmouth was April 17, 2010 against Penn.

Following Wednesday's game with the Wildcats, Dartmouth will head back out on the road for its first of two away from Hanover as it takes on Yale Saturday in New Haven. The contest with the Bulldogs will once again mark the Ivy League opener for both after Dartmouth edged Yale, 8-7, last season in Hanover.

Thursday afternoon's game with the Wildcats will be streamed live on Big Green Insider, the official audio and video portal of Dartmouth Varsity Athletics. Fans can also follow the action using live stats and in-game tweets on the team's official Twitter page, @DartmouthWLax.