NH College Notebook: Hudson's Purcell becomes Rivier scoring leader
Hudson's Deanna Purcell had a night to remember on Thursday, hitting the decisive 3-pointer, finishing with a game-high 28 points and becoming Rivier University's all-time leading scorer during the Raiders' 84-79 non-conference victory over Salem (Mass.) State.
With the score tied at 79 and the clock winding down, Purcell, a junior guard out of Hudson's Alvirne High School, hit a 3-pointer from in front of the Rivier bench, enabling the Raiders to stave off Salem State's upset bid.
The victory gave Rivier a 13-3 record heading into Saturday's North Atlantic Conference game against Johnson and Wales University while Salem State, a Mass. State College Athletic Association school, dropped to 6-11.
Purcell's 28 points (on 10-of-16 shooting) gave her 1,448 for her career, topping the 1,439 amassed by former Rivier scoring leader Jari Williams.
Thursday's supporting cast included two other former New Hampshire high school standouts, freshman Savanna Butterfield of Londonderry, a Tilton School graduate, and senior A.J. Guidi, who graduated from Pinkerton Academy in her hometown of Derry. Butterfield contributed nine points and 10 rebounds while Guidi chipped in with 16 points off the bench.
Rivier needed all of those contributions to offset a Salem attack led by junior guard Rachael Carter of Merrimack, who had team highs of 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists before fouling out.
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PARISIAN import Pierre Omanga, who last month led the Southern New Hampshire University men's soccer team to the NCAA Division II national championship, was selected by the New England Revolution in the third round (50th overall) of the 2014 Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Tuesday.
A participant in the recent MLS Player Combine, Omanga is in position to become the third SNHU player to compete in Major League Soccer. Freddie Butler, a 1994 SNHU graduate, was selected in the second round of the inaugural 1996 MLS Draft and played with the San Jose Clash and Columbus Crew. Preston Burpo (SNHU '95) spent time as a goalkeeper with Chivas USA, the Colorado Rapids and the Revolution from 2006-10. Burpo is now the goalkeeper coach for D.C. United.
Omanga, the 2013 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division II Player of the Year, totaled 21 points and three assists for 45 points in his lone season with the Penmen. He ranked third nationally in goals and sixth in total points while leading Southern New Hampshire to its second NCAA championship, the first since 1989.
A three-time Northeast-10 Player of the Week, Omanga was also the league's Player of the Year as he led SNHU to an unblemished (13-0-0) league mark and the regular-season championship. He followed up by earning Most Valuable Player honors in the Northeast-10 Championship with three goals in three games - including the lone goal in 1-0 wins over Adelphi University and Merrimack College in the semifinals and final, respectively - and finished the year by earning Most Outstanding Offensive Player recognition in the NCAA tournament.
Omanga scored in 14 of 24 games for the Penmen this season and had six multi-goal games, including a hat trick in a 5-1 win over neighboring St. Anselm on Sept. 25. He also had an eight-game scoring streak from Oct. 16-Nov. 10. He finished the season with 10 game-winning goals.
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SEVEN WEEKS ago, Amherst's Jane White was three minutes into her first collegiate start and already had drained a 3-pointer for Bentley University when she hit the floor with a fractured fibula.
Fortunately for the Falcons, they still had Manchester's Christiana Bakolas, who helped Bentley remain unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in Division II heading into yesterday's Northeast-10 Conference game against visiting St. Anselm.A senior point guard out of Manchester High Central, Bakolas was averaging a team-high 5.7 points to go along with 6.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game through Friday for the Falcons, who were off to a 17-0 start overall, 11-0 in the NE-10.Bakolas' assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.6 ranked third nationally in Division II. Coincidentally, White had the same ratio when she suffered her injury on Dec. 7. She also was averaging 5.3 points per game while becoming an increasingly important contributor to the division's top team.
As of Friday, though, it was unclear whether she'll be able to return to action this season.
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KEENE STATE College second baseman Nick Vita has received honorable mention on the d3Baseball.com preseason all-America team. A resident of Spofford, graduate of Keene High and two-time KSC captain, Vita is looking for a big finish to his college career after an outstanding junior season.
In 2013, his .430 batting average was third in the Little East Conference, and he had a team-high 34 RBIs to go along with 65 hits in 41 games. He had at least one hit in 35 of those games, in one stretch putting together a 17-game hitting streak, and he had multiple hits in 24 games.
That performance earned him roster spot with the New England Collegiate Baseball League's Keene Swamp Bats, for whom he hit .333 in eight games before breaking his wrist.
KSC coach Ken Howe is hopeful of a full recovery.
"He's doing really well and looking forward to a great senior campaign," How said.
"College Notebook" is compiled by the New Hampshire Union Leader staff and published weekly in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org and include "College Notebook" in the subject field.