DURHAM, N.H. – Head coach Rob Thompson of the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team, is pleased to announce the signings of four student-athletes. This group is slated to join the program in the Fall of 2013 and is poised to have a tremendous impact on the program.
"This is the beginning of a very strong class of players, and I am especially excited about convincing the best in-state talent to play for UNH, Thompson said. "I believe all four will have an impact on our team next fall, and enjoy long productive careers in Durham. There is no doubt in my mind the best soccer players in New Hampshire should be playing D1 soccer at UNH."
Name Position Hometown/Previous Team
Riley Ellis Midfield Goffstown, N.H./Seacoast United
Gunnar Ericsson Midfield Atkinson, N.H./Seacoast Academy
Erik Martel Midfield Bedford, N.H./New England Revolution
Duff Thomson Defense Newton, N.H./FC Bolts Celtic
Riley Ellis comes to the Wildcats after a standout career at Goffstown High School. During his times with the Grizzlies, Ellis was a four-year starter with the varsity squad and captained the team his junior and senior year. He was also tabbed as Rookie of the Year as a freshman. Ellis was selected to the First Team All-State squad in 2012 and was also named the Most Valuable Player. Through his four years at GHS, he racked up 30 goals and 36 assists. Academically, Ellis graduated in the top 10 percent of his class and made honor roll all four years. In 2010, Ellis was named Math Student of the Year and was awarded Outstanding Performance of the year. He was a member of the National Honor Society and GHS Athletic Leadership.
Gunnar Ericsson joins the Wildcats after a highly decorated career at Timberlane Regional High School. A four year starter, Ericsson was also captain of the squad his junior and senior years. On the field, Ericsson was named the Timberlane Soccer Rookie of the Year in 2009 and earned the Timberlane Soccer Owl Award (MVP) in 2010. As a junior, Ericsson tallied the most goals on the squad, earning the Golden Boot Award. He received multiple other honors, including an All-State Honorable Mention (2010) and was named to the All-State Second Team. Most recently, he was named an NHIAA Scholar Athlete in 2013. During his club career, he had stints with Seacoast Academy U-18 team and played with the New Hampshire Classics (USYS Region 1). With the Classics, he led the team to four consecutive titles. He also played a year with the New Hampshire Olympic Development team and the New Hampshire Phantoms of the Super-Y League.
Erik Martel joins the Wildcats after a stellar career at Bedford High School. With the Bulldogs, Ellis picked up a host of honors. As a freshman, he scored a hat trick in his first varsity game. The following year he was named First Team All-State and led the league in points (32) after tallying 16 goals and 16 assists. In his third year, Erik was voted team captain and led the squad to an undefeated season en route to becoming Division II State Champions. After scoring the game-winning goal in the final minutes of the game, Martel was named the MVP of the State Championship. As a senior, Martel was again elected captain of the squad and led them to yet another undefeated regular season, this time in Division I. After falling in the state semifinals, he was awarded New Hampshire All-America by the NSCAA and selected to the Second Annual All-American game in Birmingham, Ala. as a member of the East Team. Martel was named the 2012 New Hampshire Union Leader Player of the Year and is a top candidate for the New Hampshire Gatorade Player of the Year. He ended his high school career as the record holder for goals and assists, notching 50 of each. As a member of the New Hampshire Classics (2004-11), Martel helped the squad secure five consecutive New Hampshire State Cup Championships. Last year, he played for the New England Revolution Development Academy U16 team and currently plays for the U18 Seacoast United Academy Team.
Duff Thomson arrives at UNH after playing at FC Bolts Celtic Academy for the previous four years. There, he was elected team captain for three of the four years he played. As a student at Buckingham Browne and Nichols in Cambridge, Mass., Thomson was a member of the varsity squad for two years before committing to the Bolts. As a junior at BB&N, he was selected to the Independent School League All-League team and as an ISL All-Star. In the summer of 2012, Thomson had a two-week trial with Nottingham Forest in England. Originally committed to Michigan, Duff chose to play for the Wildcats.
UNH will try to build off last season's playoff run, shutting out all three conference opponents in route to the America East final. Over the past four years, Thompson's Wildcats have won the America East conference regular season title (2009) and have advanced to the America East conference championship game (2010, 2012) tying both finals 0-0. For more information on the upcoming 2013 season, be sure to visit www.UNHWildcats.com.