DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire field hockey program and 18th-year head coach Robin Balducci paid tribute to the student-athletes on the 2008 UNH Wildcats team at the annual banquet, which was held Feb. 15.
The Didio Award, which is bestowed upon a player who represents The Extra Mile Theory, which states "Some choose the shortest distance doing only what is required. Others give of themselves more freely and go the extra mile." was presented to freshman Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.).
Frates ranked second on the team in both goals (eight) and assists (seven), and was third in points (23); she also had the second-highest shooting percentage (.267). In five America East league games, she tallied two goals and two assists for six points. Her 2008 accolades included NFHCA Northeast Region Second Team, America East All-Conference Second Team, America East All-Rookie Team.
Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.) and Kate Collins Smyth (Parteen, County Claire/Ireland) were named co-recipients of the Susan Kilmister Memorial Award, which is presented annually to an underclassman who most represents the essence of the person and athlete that Susan Kilmister was, and is an unsung heroine on the team. The duo joined Frates on the America East All-Rookie Team, and both were named to the America East Academic Honor Roll.
Deck started all 20 games as a rookie in 2008. She tallied five points, all on assists. In five league games, Deck recorded a pair of assists. She immediately stepped into a starting role in a veteran backfield and, as the season progressed, became the primary stopper on defensive penalty corners.
Collins Smyth also started all 20 games in her rookie ’08 season and patrolled the midfield for the Wildcats. She tied for third on the team in assists (five) and also scored two goals to finish with a total of nine points. In five league games, Collins Smyth had a total of five points on one goal and three assists. Beyond the statistics, she helped control game tempo through passing and stick skills.
The Joyce V. Hiller Scholarship, which is awarded in recognition of all that Joyce Hiller has given and done for UNH field hockey, went to Meg Shea (Melrose, Mass.), who was an America East All-Conference First Team selection in ‘08. The junior forward tied for the team lead in goals (11) and also tallied two assists to rank second in points with 24; she led the team in both shots (72) and shots on goal (43).
Shea’s ’08 accolades included NFHCA Northeast Region First Team and America East All-Conference First Team.
The four-member senior class of Hannah Colestock (Oak Park, Ill.), Sarah Craigue (Concord, N.H.), Brittany Jacobs (Frederick, Md.) and Kara Napolitano (Waltham, Mass.) was also given special recognition. This quartet guided UNH to consecutive postseason appearances in the America East tournament in ’07 and ’08.