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Allen Lessels' UNH Notebook: Big-time foes to invade Durham
Rhode Island quarterback Bob Bentsen is surrounded by UNH's defense, including Jay Colbert, left, and Rashid Armand, during Homecoming weekend, on Saturday in Durham. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
The University of New Hampshire football team attracted one of its largest Cowell Stadium crowds ever for its get-the-season-back-on-track win over Rhode Island on Saturday, while the men’s hockey team was kicking off its season in Minnesota.
The football team takes on Colonial Athletic Association rival Villanova in the latest in a stretch of crucial games on Saturday, sandwiched between UNH hockey games against perennial power Michigan at the Whittemore Center on Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (7 p.m.).
“Hopefully we get great turnouts for both teams. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The Wildcats treated the crowd to a 59-19 throttling of URI to up their overall record to 2-3 and even their CAA record at 1-1.
Just how much of a test it is became even more clear on Saturday night when Villanova jumped out early at Towson, the No. 2-ranked team in the FCS, and rolled to a 45-35 win. UNH had opened an early lead at Towson the week before, but was unable to hold on and lost, 44-28.
Robertson is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds and was named the CAA Offensive Rookie of the Year and won the Jerry Rice Award as the best freshman in the FCS last year.
For the season, Robertson is the fifth-most productive rusher in the league at 98.8 yards per game and has scored eight touchdowns. He has completed 94 of his 132 passes (71.2 percent) with seven touchdowns and three interceptions.
THE NO. 13-RANKED men’s hockey team beat Clarkson, 4-2, on Friday in its season opener and then lost to host Minnesota, 3-2, in the championship game of the Ice Breaker Tournament on Saturday night.
“We saw some good things,” Umile said. “I don’t think we’ll see anyone better than Minnesota during the season. They’re real quick and skilled and have good goaltending. We had a real good chance to tie the game with eight seconds left. Dalton Speelman was right there on the back door and the kid made a great save.”
The Wildcats were missing top line senior forward Kevin Goumas for much of the weekend.
Umile said Goumas has a deep muscle pull and it’s not yet clear whether he will be able to play against Michigan.
“They’re real good,” Umile said. “They’ll be similar to what we saw this weekend. Whether we win or not will depend on how we handle everything, but we proved we can skate and compete with anybody.”
CAMERON LYLE, the Timberlane Regional of Plaistow graduate who ended his UNH track and field career early last spring to become a bone marrow donor, has been named the recipient of a major NCAA award.
Lyle chose to pass up the America East championships last spring when he discovered he was a rare match for a 28-year-old man who had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Communication between donor and bone marrow recipient is very limited and guided by strict rules, but according to a story on the NCAA web site, Lyle received word a few months after his donation that the recipient was doing well.