The UNH Coaches Blog will be a weekly feature in which selected coaches share thoughts and insights about their program. This week’s blog highlights the field hockey and men’s ice hockey teams.

It is great to be a Wildcat!

With only five games left of our 18 game season, we are now 8-5, with a 1-1 record in conference play. We are coming off a great overtime win against Michigan this weekend, where senior Meg Shea continued her 13 game point-scoring streak with the game-wining goal. In the last three games, she recorded five goals and one assist for a total of 11 points, which earned her the America East Player of the Week for the 2nd time this season. Shea is also leading the America East in goals (18) and points per game (3.08).

We have also had some stellar individual performances throughout the season by rookie Melyssa Woods, junior mifielder Kara Connolly, and sophomore defender Kendall Deck.

This weekend, we will take on our rivals in Boston, first on Saturday against conference rival Boston University. Then on Sunday, we will take on 9th-ranked Boston College home on Memorial Field.

We will conclude our season with two conference games against Fairfield University on October 24th, which will be our final home game and senior day!

The following weekend, we will take on the America East defending champions, University of Albany, in a rematch of the 2008 championship game.

We are well on our way to reaching our goal of going to the America East Tournament and competing for the conference title as we “Continue the Climb in 2009.” GO BLUE!

(Robin Balducci ‘85 is in her 19th year as UNH field hockey head coach.)

The men’s hockey team is excited about this season and we are really looking to our senior leadership once again. I think that our program has always had great senior leadership and this year is no exception.

Our senior co-captains Bobby Butler and Peter LeBlanc have done a nice job all off-season and into the beginning of this season with setting a good example and getting our young guys ready to compete. In addition, we have two other seniors that we will call upon often for their leadership in Brian Foster and Nick Krates.

Although it’s early in the season, we are excited about the enthusiasm and pace in the early going. We have an extremely difficult month of October and I think our early schedule will help us get better as a team. I think our team is getting better every day and we are striving to continue to get better every day throughout the season.

We opened the regular season up last Saturday at Rensselaer. It was a difficult road trip to Troy, N.Y. and I think we learned some things about our team that can help us.

This weekend we are happy to welcome Miami University for two games. They played in the national championship game a year ago and have most of their players back. We are excited to have Miami in the Whitt as we play our home opener. I know the players, fans and our coaching staff are extremely excited to be back at the Whitt for the next four games.

Of course, we have the two with Miami and open league play with Northeastern on Friday (Oct. 23) on NESN and Saturday night (Oct. 24) is our annual “White Out the Whitt”.

I think these games will be fun for our fans and players and should be a good test for our team. We close out the month with a two-game road trip at Wisconsin. I know it’s always exciting for our players to go out there and play a team like Wisconsin. They are always a very good team and I know they draw a lot of fans out there at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Overall, I think we are excited about the opening month of the season and are looking forward to seeing all the fans out at the Whitt.

(Dick Umile ’72 is in his 20th year as UNH men’s ice hockey head coach. He was an assistant coach in the program for one year and associate coach for another year before being elevated to head coach.)

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