October 14, 2009

'CAT TRAX: SHEA'S SCORING SCORCHES RECORD BOOKS

By: Dan Morse (UNH Athletic Media Relations)

DURHAM, N.H. – Senior forward Meg Shea (Melrose, Mass.) of the University of New Hampshire field hockey team is quietly becoming one of the top performers in Wildcat history. This season, Shea has broken into the top 5 in career goals with 37, which is fifth all time. Shea has also become the sixth leading overall point scorer in UNH history with 84.

Shea has been working her way up the UNH career leaderboard with her best season yet. Currently, Meg is tied for third in the nation in goals per game (1.38) and ranks sixth in points per game (3.08), and those numbers rank first in the America East conference. She leads the Wildcats in goals (18), points (40), shots (47) and shooting percentage (.383). And with five regular-season games remaining, she is already fifth on the program’s single-season list of superlatives in goals and tied for fourth in single-season points.

Meg has extended her point-scoring streak to an astounding 13 games – the longest in the 19-year tenure of UNH head coach Robin Balducci – with goal-scoring streaks of seven and five games. And she was named America East Player of the Week on Monday for the second time so far this season for scoring five goals, including two-game winning goals (one of which was in double overtime vs. Michigan), and an assist in three UNH victories last week.

Shea was a three-way varsity athlete when she attended Melrose High School in Melrose, Mass. She excelled in basketball, tennis and, of course, field hockey. With career numbers like these, you would think she has been playing field hockey her whole life, but only started in high school.

“I just wanted to try something new,” Shea said.

Head coach Robin Balducci noted that Shea has been one of the most improved players she has ever coached. “When Meg first came in, she was very raw, but I knew she had the potential and work ethic to become great,” Balducci said. “Her success and accomplishments are all owed to how hard a worker she is and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Shea is the UNH co-captain along with teammate Cally Cooke, who also had a few things to say about Meg’s success. “She’s a really hard worker, and motivates us all both on and off the field.”

Cooke and Shea played together before college on the same club team and won the gold medal in the National Field Hockey festival in 2005. Cooke went on to credit Shea as “one of the more competitive and vocal players I have ever played with, which really helps us as a team.”

Shea is a senior sociology major who hopes to stay with field hockey somehow after she graduates this spring.

“I would love to be able to stay as a coach or maybe even a trainer,” Shea said. “I definitely want to do something where I can be active.”

Off the field, Meg is a self-proclaimed “huge” Red Sox fan, who like most of us in college, “just likes having a good time.”

So, how does she feel about being mentioned among UNH’s all-time scoring leaders?

“If it wasn’t for my teammates and my coach, then I wouldn’t be where I am today. I owe it all to them.”

Shea and the rest of the UNH Wildcats are currently sitting at 8-5 overall and 1-1 in the conference, while most recently winning three in a row. They return to action at Boston University on Saturday Oct. 17th and play host to ninth-ranked Boston College on Oct. 18 (3 p.m.).

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