The University of New Hampshire field hockey team will be trying to capture its fourth consecutive America East regular-season title this year. The Wildcats, who opened their season against Maryland on Saturday, returned 10 starters from a team that went 12-8 last season and finished as the runner-up in the America East tournament.
The returning starters include junior back Maegan Grew, a Hampton Falls resident who attended Winnacunnet High School in Hampton; junior Hannah Richard, a Hopkinton resident who played for Hopkinton High School; and sophomore midfielder Molly Heaney, an East Kingston resident who played at Exeter High School. Heaney was the Union Leader's All-State high school field hockey player of the year in 2011.
UNH was ranked No. 20 in the NFHCA preseason poll and second in the America East preseason poll. The Wildcats have won at least 10 games in each of the last four seasons.
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The NECBL announced its postseason awards Thursday and Keene Swamp Bats outfielder J.P. Sportman was named Rick Ligi Most Valuable player.
The league champion Swamp Bats claimed the Defensive Player of the Year award for shortstop Dylan Moore and both the Rookie of the Year and Top Prospect awards went to southpaw Nathan Kirby.
Keene manager Kevin Winterrowd was also named Joel Cooney Manager of the Year.
The All-NECBL First Team players were: catcher Chris Travers (New Bedford/Roger Williams College), first baseman Chris Shaw (New Bedford/Boston College), second baseman Joe Landi, (North Adams/ Rhode Island), shortstop Trace Tam Sing, (Newport/Washington State), third baseman Brendan Hendriks (Holyoke/San Francisco), outfielders Mike Gerber (Ocean State/Creighton), Sportman, (Central Connecticut) and Ben Roberts (Newport/Washington State), pitchers Michael Burke (Holyoke/Buffalo), Nathan Kirby (Keene/Virginia), Brett Graves (Newport/Missouri), John Miles (Vermont/Missouri) and closer Steven Rice (Sanford/Vanderbilt).
The All-NECBL Second Team players were: catcher Tyler Boyd (Mystic/Seton Hall), first baseman Ryan McBroom (Laconia/West Virginia), second baseman Zach Lucas (Keene/Louisville), shortstop Christian Muscarello (Ocean State/Trinity), third baseman Boyd (again), outfielders Chandler Brock (Vermont/ Alabama-Huntsville), Daniel Spingola (Danbury/Georgia Tech) and Evan Ocello (Ocean State/Holy Cross), pitchers Scott Squier (North Adams/Hawaii), Jordan Hillyer (Holyoke/Kennesaw State), Kurt Sowa (Mystic/Rider), Matthew Clancy (Keene/St. John's) and closer Kyle Wilcox (Newport/Bryant).
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A generous gift by the Stephen Lewinstein family has enabled the Dartmouth College athletics department to purchase a state-of-the-art, high-definition video scoreboard for Memorial Field. With a 16 feet high by 23 feet wide LED video display, the scoreboard will provide Big Green football fans with instant replays, game statistics, vivid graphics, colorful animations, and sponsor recognition.
"We are extremely grateful to Steve Lewinstein and his family for providing this terrific enhancement to Memorial Field," says Dartmouth athletic director Harry Sheehy. "The video screen will definitely add another level of excitement to our home football games, and I'm sure our fans will especially enjoy seeing replays of key action right after it happens."
"College Notebook" is compiled by the Sports staff of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News, and appears weekly during the college season in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.