New Hampshire field hockey announces three signings

Wildcats ink two players from Massachusetts

DURHAM, N.H.-- Robin Balducci, the 14th-year head coach of the University of New Hampshire field hockey team, announced Thursday that Hannah Colestock (Oak Park, Ill.), Kara Napolitano (Waltham, Mass.) and Michelle Tavener (Winchester, Mass.) have signed a National Letter of Intent to join the UNH field hockey program for the 2005 season.

"We are excited that these three student-athletes have decided to join the UNH program," Balducci said. "All three possess the athleticism and skill level to step into our program and make an immediate impact."

Colestock played both forward and midfield for the Oak Park and River Forest High School field hockey team, where she led the team in assists in both the 2003 and 2004 seasons. As captain her senior year, she was the team's second leading scorer and her honors included team MVP, All-State First Team and All-Academic Team. Colestock earned the latter two honors in 2003 and was also an All-Academic Team selection in 2002. OPRF finished as state runner-up in 2004, was the titlist in 2003 and finished third in 2002. Colestock, who also lettered in soccer at OPRF, plays for the Windy City Flyers club team.

"Hannah comes from a program that is very well coached and has placed many athletes into very strong Division I programs," Balducci stated. "She has an excellent understanding of the game in addition to a high skill level."

Napolitano also played both forward and midfield in high school at Waltham. She finished with 36 goals and 16 assists in her career, which included 10 goals and seven assists last year. Napolitano was a Greater Boston League All-Star from 2002-04 and a Boston Herald All-Scholastic All-Star in 2004. She competed at the National Futures Tournament in 2003 with Team Boston U-16 and in 2004 for Team Atlanta U-19. In addition Napolitano lettered in basketball, as well as both indoor and outdoor track, at Waltham and played club field hockey with Cape Ann Coalition.

"Kara is going to be a speedy midfield-forward for us who competes with a tenacious attitude," Balducci said.

Tavener, like Colestock and Napolitano, played both forward and midfield in high school at Winchester, where she is the No. 1 scorer in the program's history with 45 goals and 34 assists and that includes 20 goals and 13 assists as a senior. Her resume includes the National USA U-16 Team, three-time Futures Elite selection (2003-05), two-time Junior Olympics participant (2002-03), three-time National Futures Tournament participant and four-time National Field Hockey Festival participant. A Boston Herald All-Scholastic Team selection in 2004, Tavener is a three-time Middlesex League All-Star (2002-04).

"Michelle is a tremendously poised field hockey player who has played extensively at high levels of competition and we look for her to step into the midfield," Balducci said.

This trio joins a UNH field hockey program that has advanced to the America East Championships three consecutive seasons and to the postseason in 12 of 14 years under Balducci's guidance.

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