DURHAM, N.H. -- Robin Balducci, 21st-year head coach of the University of New Hampshire field hockey team, announced Tuesday that four incoming students enrolled at UNH for the Fall 2012 semester will join the Wildcats' field hockey program. This quartet complements the five students who committed to New Hampshire by signing a National Letter of Intent in February 2012.
Lauren Gardner (Allentown, Pa.), Molly Heaney (Kingston, N.H.), Cari Posternak (York, Maine) and Taylor Rideout (Barrington, R.I.) are the Wildcat newcomers.
Gardner was a standout goalkeeper at Parkland High School, where she was an All-State Academic Team selection as a senior in 2012 and led the Trojans to second place in the district championship as a junior. Gardner helped backbone her X-Calibur club team to the NIT Pool A title this past year after a runner-up finish in 2011. Her team also placed second at the 2009 Keystone State Games' Scholastic Division District Championship.
Heaney starred as a back for the Exeter High School field hockey team. She was named the New Hampshire Division I Player of the Year, All-State First Team, Union Leader Player of the Year and was selected to the Twin State team as a senior in 2011. Heaney was also an All-State First Team selection in 2009 and 2010 and earned All-State Second Team honors as a freshman in 2008. She is also a Cape Cod Challenge All-Star Team member.
Posternak will remain a Wildcat, as she lettered for the York High School Wildcats and led the field hockey team to the Western Maine Class B championship and was an All-State selection in 2010 and 2011. The forward recorded 20 goals and 18 assists as a senior to become the second-leading scorer in York history. Posternak tallied 18 goals and 18 assists as a junior as well as 16 goals and 17 assists in her sophomore season. Posternak also played for the Seacoast United club team, which went 6-0 at the Field Hockey School Festival in Arizona this past year. She also competed with New England Hockey Mates, which had a 5-1 record a the most recent Disney Showcase.
Rideout was a 2011 NFHCA All-America Third Team selection as a forward/midfielder at Barrington High School. She also garnered All-State First Team, All-Division and All-Tournament honors as a senior captain, when she led the field hockey team to the RIIL Division 1A division and state championships. Rideout has competed at the USFHA Futures program from the 2008-12 seasons – including Futures Championship, Futures Elite and National Hockey Festival – and has also played for the Lead the Way field hockey club for six years (2007-12) and was an AAU Junior Olympics participant in 2008-09. Rideout led Barrington to the Division 1A championship in 2009 and 2010, as well as a runner-up finish in the '10 state tourney. Her other schoolgirl accolades include NFHCA All-Region Team, All-State First Team and RI Field Hockey Coaches Association All-Division Team in 2010.
These incoming student-athletes join 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 school 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).