DURHAM, N.H. – Robin Balducci, 21st-year head coach of the University of New Hampshire field hockey team, announced Thursday that five student-athletes signed a National Letter of Intent to attend UNH in the Fall 2012 semester and play for the Wildcats' field hockey team.
This class is comprised of forwards Meg Carroll (Mansfield, Mass.), Emma Compagna (Canton, Mass.) and Lynne Lehman (Landisburg, Pa.), goalkeeper Lexy Cole (Belgrade, Maine) and back/midfielder Chandler Giese (Trappe, Pa.).
"This incoming class is the deepest and the most skillful since we brought in the senior class that will graduate this spring," said Balducci, the 2010 and 2011 America East Coaching Staff of the Year and 2011 Dita/NFHCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year honoree. "This group has the ability to come in and have an immediate impact on the program. Their goal, and ours, is to come in and enhance our national ranking we achieved in the 2011 season.
"We are most proud of bringing in players from the top clubs in the country, such as Giese and Lehman from Pennsylvania, in addition to some of the top regional clubs," Balducci added.
Carroll is coming to UNH from Mansfield High School, where she received Sun Chronicle All-Star Team and Hockomock All-Star Team recognition as both a junior and senior as a forward. Carroll has been a High Honors student all four years at Mansfield.
Cole was a four-year letterwinner at Messalonskee High School, where she was an All-State selection as a junior in 2010. Her other schoolgirl accolades included All-Conference First Team as a senior, when she recorded 10 shutouts in 17 games, as well as All-Conference First Team as a junior and All-Conference as a sophomore. Cole helped backbone Messalonskee to the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship as a freshman in 2008. Academically, she has received High Honors all four years and Cole has also played for the Maine Majestix club team.
Compagna is a two-year letterwinner at Canton High School, where she helped lead the team to the South Sectional Division II title. She is also a three-year letterwinner in both ice hockey and lacrosse at Canton. Compagna, who competed at the Disney Showcase and UMass College Connection in 2011, has played for the Connecticut Revolution Hockey Club and participated at the Bentley Elite Field Hockey Camp.
Giese had a highly-decorated senior year at Perkiomen Valley High School as her 2011 honors included All-State First Team, PAC-10 Conference First Team and All-Academic Team, Pottstown Mercury All-Area First Team and Times Herald All-Area First Team. The back/midfielder helped lead the Vikings to a 2011 Pac-10 Final Four runner-up finish and the district playoffs. As a junior in 2010, Giese was named All-State Second Team and PAC-10 All-Conference. Beyond high school, Giese was a 2011 National Futures Championship participant and Futures Elite selection; in 2010, she was a silver medalist at the National Futures Championship and also competed at both the Junior Olympics and Futures Elite; in previous years, Giese was a gold medalist at the 2008 and 2010 National Indoor Tournament and the 2009 National Field Hockey Festival, and earned silver at the 2007 National Indoor tourney. Giese has also played for the WC Eagles club team, which won a silver medal at the 2011 national club championships.
Lehman was a four-year starter at West Perry High School, where she captained the team as a senior forward in 2011 and earned All-State Second Team as well as Mid Penn All-Star recognition. Lehman helped lead WP to a 2010 division championship and her accolades included All-State Honorable Mention and Mid Penn All-Star. She also received Mid Penn All-Star honors in 2009. Lehman competed at the Futures tournament from 2009-11 and was the 2009 Regional Rumble MVP as well as the '-0 Maryland team camp MVP. She also played for the Key State club team that won the Disney Classic Under-19 Pool in 2010. Most recently, Lehman played on the East Coast Field Hockey club team.
This quintet joins a UNH field hockey program that won the 2011 America East regular-season and tournament titles en route to advancing to the NCAA Championship. That squad tied the benchmark for wins in a season established by the 1986 national runner-up team and broke the single-season records for goals (78), assists (61) and points (217).