DURHAM, N.H. - University of New Hampshire men's soccer player Chris Bennice (Scotia, N.Y.) has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, making him available to play for the Wildcats in the 2005 soccer season.
Bennice had previously gone through a redshirt season in 2002 when he was granted a hardship waiver after suffering an injury three games into the season. Suffering the injury while at St. John's, Bennice decided to transfer to UNH before the 2003 season to play for the Wildcats.
After leading the Wildcats with seven assists in 2003, Bennice was diagnosed with a hernia in the right groin area that required surgery. Because of the procedure, he was forced to miss the entire 2004 season.
The NCAA determined that, because Bennice was denied two participation opportunities in five seasons, he was able to get the eligibility extension to have the opportunity for a fourth playing season. Bennice is expected to be an important player in the midfield for the UNH men's soccer team in the 2005 season.
New Hampshire is a Division I member of the NCAA and competes in the America East conference. Besides Bennice, the UNH men's soccer program will welcome back 16 letterwinners from the 2004 squad that lost on penalty kicks to Binghamton in the conference tournament.