DURHAM, N.H. – Rob Thompson, head coach of the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team and his staff, recently announced that five student-athletes have committed to attend UNH and play for the Wildcat soccer program in the fall.
Blake Dawn, a goalkeeper from San Marino, Calif., will join the Wildcats after graduating from St. Francis High School in La Canada, Calif. Dawn was a team captain of the Golden Knights, who captured the Mission League title in 2008 and the CIF State Championship in 2009. Additionally, he brings significant club experience as he competed in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy with Cosmos Academy West, formally Los Angeles Futbol Club, helping the squad finish as the runner-up in the Cal Premier Soccer League in 2010.
"Blake is a very aggressive shot stopper who has a lot of potential at the Division I level," said Thompson. "I am excited about the competition we will have in goal next fall."
Connor Pauley, a back from Londonderry, N.H., will come to UNH after a four-year varsity career at Londonderry High School. Pauley was a standout defender for the Lancers, leading his team to the state playoffs all four years, while notching 10 goals and 10 assists in his career. As a senior, he earned First-Team All-State honors and was named one of the top three players in New Hampshire by ESPN Rise. Off the field, Pauley has been named to the honor roll each of the last four years and currently serves as the Vice President for Londonderry's National Honor Society.
"Connor should project as a center back at UNH," said Thompson. "He is big, rangy, smart, and his left foot is a welcome asset."
Kyle Lewis, a goalkeeper from North Reading, Mass., will come to UNH this fall after a distinguished career at Malden Catholic High School. The four-year letter winner served as team captain as a senior and was named a Catholic Conference All-Star. Lewis played for the Boston Blast where he won USYSA Massachusetts State Championships in 2007 and 2008. He was also a Region 1 Finalist in 2008, eventually finishing in sixth place at Nationals. Additionally, Lewis played for the MA Olympic Development Program for three years.
Adrien Elvis Lumumba, a back from Newfields, N.H., comes to UNH after one year at Exeter High School. Prior to attending Exeter, Lumumba was at Essex High School in Essex Junction, Vt. where he was a three-year letter winner, leading the team to national rankings in 2007 and 2008. After leading Essex to the state championship in 2007, Lumumba helped lead the Hornets to the state semifinals just two years later. He earned First Team All-State and All-Metro honors, while also being named to the Burlington Free Press All-Star Team in 2009. Lumumba will be joined at UNH by former Essex teammate Paul Bianchi (Essex, Vt.).
"Elvis is a superb athlete that can play either at center back or on the right side of the defense," said Thompson. "He can jump and tackle, and his pace and potential are great attributes."
Aaron Smith, a midfielder and forward from Loudon, N.H., will join the Wildcats after propelling Merrimack Valley High School to the New Hampshire Class 1 Final Four in 2010. Smith, a four-year letterman and senior captain for the Pride, will graduate as the high school's all-time leading scorer, recording 95 career points on 72 goals and 23 assists. Smith was a Second Team All-State selection as a sophomore and junior and picked up All-New England, First Team All-State and ESPN Rise All-Star honors during his senior campaign. Additionally, he was a four-year member of the Merrimack Valley Honor Society and kicked for the Pride varsity football team for three seasons.
"Aaron can play up top or in either wide attacking positions," said Thompson. "He has a tremendous work rate, can score with both feet, and his quickness gives him an edge in one-on-one battles.
Lewis, Lumumba, Pauley and Smith all currently play club soccer for Thompson in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for Seacoast United. The group joins fellow Seacoast alumni Steven Palumbo (Kingston, N.H.), Robert Palumbo (Kingston, N.H.), Alex Hussein (Haverhill, Mass.) and Charlie Roche (Haverhill, Mass.) at UNH.