November 4, 2009

COACHES BLOG: CROSS COUNTRY, FIELD HOCKEY AND SKIING

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, cross country and ski teams.

FIELD HOCKEY
We are now finished with our regular season play. We finished the season with a record of 12-6 after beating Harvard in overtime last night 5-4.

Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) scored the game-winning goal at 6:27 in the overtime. Cally Cooke (Newburyport, Mass.) and Kate Collins Smyth (Parteen, County Claire/Ireland) both tallied a goal and an assist while both Kara Connolly (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) and Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) were credited with two assists in a balanced UNH attack. Meg Shea (Melrose, Mass.) scored two goals and added an assist to continue her point scoring streak to 18 games. Meg Shea now has 23 goals, 9 points, for 55 points on the season. She is now 2nd all time for goals and points in a season!

In the America East conference games, the Wildcats are leading several of the scoring categories. Meg Shea leads the league in points, points per game, goals, goals per game, assists, and assists per game. Her fellow forwards follow close behind. Leah Boody (Amesbury, Mass.) is tied for 2nd in points, points per game, goals, and goals per game. Whitney Frates is also tied for 4th in both goals and goals per game.

We look forward to the release of the Conference Awards on Thursday to honor the ‘Cats in both team and individual successes.

This upcoming weekend we will be traveling to Albany, which is hosting the America East Tournament as the top seed. The Wildcats will take on the defending champs at 1:00 pm on Friday November 6th in a rematch of last year’s championship game. The Cats look to reconcile last year’s 2-1 loss, with our sights set on “Continuing the Climb in 2009.”

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


CROSS COUNTRY
Thanks again for this opportunity to participate in this year’s UNH Coaches’ Blog for the men’s and women’s cross country and track programs. This past weekend, the cross country teams competed in the America East Cross Country Championships held in Burlington, Vermont. The men finished as runner-up and the women finished in 4th place. My congratulations go out to the Binghamton men’s team and the Stony Brook women’s team for their 1st-place finishes.
 
Driving home on the bus after the meet I started to think about the tradition of the UNH cross country program. The men’s team has had a remarkable string of success at the American East conference meet. Looking all the way back to 1995, the UNH men have two 3rd place, five 2nd place and eight 1st place finishes at the America East conference meet. In the past nine seasons the team has never finished lower than 2nd, with 6 championships! The women’s team has also enjoyed running in the America East meet as well. Looking back to 1997, the UNH women have one 4th place, six 3rd place, five 2nd place, and one championship in 2003. That is a total of 28 America East Championship races with only one finish lower than 3rd place! I would like to thank all the former student-athletes and coaches who have played a part in this success.
 
We are now turning our cross country attention to the NCAA Regional meet on November 14th at Franklin Park in Boston. Meanwhile, the track and field teams are very busy training for the upcoming indoor and outdoor track seasons. We will be opening up the indoor season the first week of December. That’s only one month from now!
 
I will leave you with a run down of the UNH cross country team finishes at the America East Championship over the past years.
 
Men            Women
95-3rd
96-2nd
97-2nd           97-2nd
98-1st            98-3rd
99-1st            99-3rd
00-3rd           00-2nd
01-1st            01-2nd
02-1st            02-3rd
03-1st            03-1st
04-2nd           04-2nd
05-2nd           05-3rd
06-1st            06-2nd
07-1st            07-3rd
08-1st            08-3rd
09-2nd           09-4th

(Robert Hoppler is in his 10th year as the UNH women’s cross country head coach. He has assisted with the men’s cross country and track distance runners for 13 years.)


MEN’S AND WOMEN’S SKI
Starting in 1923, the ski team has a great history. With 7 Olympians, 39 All Americans, 7 national champions and 30 top-10 finishes nationally, the team is focused on adding to these numbers.

Last year the team finished 9th at the NCAA Championships and had eight All Americans, which is the most for one year in the history of sports at UNH!  Our goal is to continue our climb nationally to be a top five team consistently.

Being UNH graduates, alpine head coach Brian Blank and I are proud to continue in the great tradition we have at UNH.  The team’s assistant coaches, Steve Monsulick and AK Walker, are back for their second year and are doing a great job.

The team will be led by Alpine captains – senior Willie Ford, Veronique Archambault-Leger, Mike Cremeno, Alex Norden – and Nordic captains Katie Miller, Tasha Kullas, Dylan McGuffin and Erick Anderson. We will begin competing in Eastern Cups in December, and during January break we will be in training camp in the White Mountains before starting our Carnival Collegiate Circuit on January 15th.

Check out our history and keep updated on our results at our new website. www.unhskiing.com

(Cory Schwartz enters his 25th year as ski coordinator/Nordic head coach for the University of New Hampshire ski team and is in his 28th year on the staff.)

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