Gifford, Cefalo: Service Credit Union Student-Athlete Spotlight & Wildcat Weekly Roundup


October 7, 2013

DURHAM, N.H.Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) of the women’s ice hockey team and Nick Cefalo (Basking Ridge, N.J.) of the football team are featured in this week's Service Credit Union Student-Athlete Spotlight. This information and more can be found in the Wildcat Weekly Roundup.


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Nicole Gifford, women’s ice hockey

     Nicole, a senior from Ennismore, Ontario, tallied four points (one goal, three assists) to factor in 4 of the team’s 5 goals last weekend to help the UNH women’s ice hockey team split a pair of home games against RIT (3-2 loss) and Syracuse University (3-2 win).

     After scoring a goal vs. RIT, she recorded a career-high three assists vs. Syracuse by setting up all three goals to help the Wildcats erase a two-goal deficit. The ‘Cats pulled within 2-1 at 14:45 of the second period, then leveled the score at 3:03 of the third period and took the lead, 3-2, at 14:27.

     Nicole recorded her 50th career point with the first of those three assists and now has 52 points (20g, 32a) in 104 games. The captain leads the 2013-14 ‘Cats in assists (three), points (five) and shots (16). She has tallied a point in three of four games this season.

     Last year as an assistant captain, Nicole played in all 34 games. She tied for second on the team in power-play goals (three) and ranked fifth in assists (10). In 21 Hockey East league games, she recorded seven points (2g, 5a).

     Nicole was also an assistant captain as a sophomore in 2012, when she played in all 35 games and ranked second on the team in both goals (10) and points (27). Her season highlights included a career-high three goals vs. Princeton. Nicole skated in 31 of 32 games as a freshman in 2011 and finished with seven points (5g, 2a).


Nick Cefalo, football

     Nick, a junior from Basking Ridge, N.J., finished with a career-high seven tackles, two fumble recoveries and a pass breakup in the 18th-ranked UNH football team’s 44-28 loss at second-ranked Towson University on Oct. 5.

     The safety helped UNH build a 20-3 first-quarter lead. He recovered Terrance West’s fumble on the second play from scrimmage at the TU 23 yard-line to set up the Wildcats’ first TD of the game for a 7-0 lead at 13:18. With New Hampshire leading 13-3, Nick recovered another West fumble at the TU 43 and that led to UNH’s third touchdown and a 20-3 advantage at 6:04. Late in the first quarter, he nearly had an interception when he broke up Towson quarterback Peter Athens’ pass attempt to Leon Kinnard at the TU 15.

     Through four games this season, Nick has 23 tackles – 13 solo and 10 assisted – as well as three pass breakups. Prior to establishing a career high of seven tackles this past Saturday, he matched his previous best of six tackles against both Central Michigan (Sept. 7) and Colgate (Sept. 14).

     Nick was named to the CAA Academic All-Conference Team and received the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award in 2012. He started all 12 games and shifted to free safety for the final eight games following a season-ending injury to Chris Beranger. Nick finished with 44 tackles (30 solo) with two tackles for a loss, two interceptions and five pass breakups. His season highlights included two interceptions and four tackles against Central Connecticut State University.

     In 2011, Nick was one of only two true freshman to see action as he played in five games.



Thursday, October 3

Women’s soccer: at UNH 1, Albany 1 (tie-2 OT) [Cowell Stadium]

Friday, October 4

Field hockey: #9 Boston College 3, at #20 UNH 1

Women’s ice hockey: RIT 3, at UNH 2

Volleyball: at Stony Brook 3, UNH 2

Saturday, October 5

Men’s cross country: 22nd place (47 teams) at Paul Short Invitational (Lehigh)

Women’s cross country: 33rd place (48 teams) at Paul Short Invitational (Lehigh)

Football: at #2 Towson 44, #18 UNH 28

Women’s ice hockey: at UNH 3, Syracuse 2

Men’s ice hockey: at #13 UNH 6, Acadia 3 (exhibition)

Men’s soccer: UNH 1, at UMass Lowell 0

Sunday, October 6

Field hockey: #20 UNH 3, at Hofstra 2

Volleyball: UNH 3, at UMBC 1

Women’s soccer: UNH 1, at Hartford 0 (2 OT)



Monday, October 7

UNH Coach’s Show, 7 pm at Buffalo Wild Wings (Fox Run Mall; Newington, N.H.)

     featuring UNH football head coach Sean McDonnell

Tuesday, October 8

Men’s soccer vs. Brown, 3:30 pm (Cowell Stadium)

Wednesday, October 9

Women’s soccer vs. Dartmouth, 7 pm (Bremner Field)

Friday, October 11 – Homecoming Weekend

Field hockey vs. Maine, 6 pm

Volleyball vs. Providence, 7 pm

Men’s ice hockey vs. Clarkson, 5 pm (Ice Breaker Tournament at Minnesota)

Saturday, October 12 – Homecoming Weekend

Football vs. Rhode Island, 12 pm

Men’s soccer vs. Stony Brook, 7 pm (Bremner Field)

Women’s cross country at New England Championships, 12 pm (Franklin Park, Boston)

Men’s cross country at New England Championships, 12 pm (Franklin Park, Boston)

Women’s swimming & diving at Boston College, 2 pm [season opener]

Men’s ice hockey vs. Minnesota/Mercyhurst, 5 or 8 pm (Ice Breaker Tournament)

Sunday, October 13 – Homecoming Weekend

Volleyball vs. Hartford, 1 pm

Women’s ice hockey vs. Maine, 2 pm [White Out the Whitt]

Women’s soccer at Vermont, 1 pm

Field hockey at Syracuse, 3 pm



  • The UNH women’s cross country team placed 33rd of 48 teams that competed at the Paul Short Invitational, which was held at Lehigh University, on Oct. 5.
  • Senior Cayla Pellegrini (Derry, N.H.) finished first for the Wildcats and 105th overall of 401 runners by completing the 5K course in a time of 21 minutes, 53 seconds.
  • Sophomore Brianna Boden (Keene, N.H.) was the second ‘Cat across the finish line and 161st overall in 22:19.
  • Freshmen Sarah Keiran (Rowley, Mass.) and Amanda Szymanski (Londonderry, N.H.) finished third and fourth, respectively, for UNH at 22:24 (172nd place) and 22:50 (217th).
  • Sophomore Amber Short (Keene, N.H.) crossed the finish line four seconds behind Szymanksi to finish 225ht overall.
  • New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 12 at the New England Championships, which are at Franklin Park in Boston.


  • The UNH men’s cross country team placed 22nd of 47 teams in competition at the Paul Short Invitational that was held Oct. 5 at Lehigh University.
  • Junior John Prizzi (Wyckoff, N.J.), the reigning America East Men’s Cross Country Performer of the Week, was the top ‘Cat and 62nd of 395 total runners by completing the 8K course in 24 minutes, 59 seconds.
  • Sophomore Zachary Chabot (Manchester, N.H.) finished second for the Wildcats and 107th overall with a time of 25:27.
  • Junior tri-captain Jeff Moretti (Guilford, Conn.) crossed the finish line five seconds behind Chabot for 116th place.
  • Sophomore Luke Miller (Birdsboro, Pa.) took 157th place at 25:48 and junior Jeremy Wildgoose (Woodstock, Conn.) completed the team scoring in 179th place at 25:58.
  • New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 12 at the New England Championships, which are at Franklin Park in Boston. 

FIELD HOCKEY (6-5 overall, 0-0 America East)

  • The 20th-ranked University of New Hampshire field hockey team split last week’s games with a 3-1 loss at home to ninth-ranked Boston College (Oct. 4) and 3-2 win at Hofstra University (Oct. 6).
  • Hannah Richard (Hopkinton, N.H.) lifted the Wildcats to victory at Hofstra by breaking the 2-2 tie with 96 seconds remaining in regulation. It was her sixth goal – and team-leading third game-winning goal – of the season.
  • Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) scored her first goal of the year when she tied the score, 2-2, in the 59th minute at Hofstra.
  • Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) recorded three points last week with a goal vs. BC and assist at Hofstra.
  • Carlie Tarbell (Wakefield, Mass.) has played all 810:15 in goal and has a 2.42 GAA with a .699 save percentage.
  • Richard and Pohlmeyer are both on the verge of recording career point No. 50. Richard currently has 47 points (21g, 5a) and Pohlmeyer has 46 (14g, 18a).
  • New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 11 in a Homecoming Weekend game against the University of Maine. Game time at Memorial Field is 6 p.m. The Wildcats also travel to play nationally-ranked Syracuse University on Oct. 13 (3 p.m.).

FOOTBALL (1-3 overall, 0-1 CAA)

  • The No. 19/18 UNH football team was upended 44-28 at No. 3/2 Towson University on Oct. 5.
  • Harold Spears (Perkasie, Pa.) had four catches for a season-high 106 yards, including a 29-yard TD reception. In four games, Spears has 12 receptions for 188 yards and a team-leading three TDs; his 15.7 yards per reception also leads the team.
  • R.J. Harris (Odenton, Md.) finished with eight receptions for 77 yards to move into No. 10 on UNH’s career receptions list with 156 and he now has 1,992 career receiving yards.
  • Andy Vailas (Bedford, N.H.) was 18-for-29 for 194 yards and he had 51 rushing yards, including a 44-yards TD run.
  • Hayden Knudson (Alexandria, Va.) led the Wildcats with 12 tackles and was also credited with a pass breakup.
  • Nick Cefalo (Basking Ridge, N.J.) finished with seven tackles, two fumble recoveries and a pass breakup.
  • New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 12 with a Homecoming Weekend kickoff against the University of Rhode Island. Game time at Cowell Stadium is 12 p.m.

WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY (2-2-0 overall, 0-0-0 Hockey East)

  • The UNH women’s ice hockey team split a pair of home games last week with a 3-2 loss to RIT (Oct. 4) and 3-2 win against Syracuse University (Oct. 5).
  • Senior captain Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) tallied four points (1g, 3a) to factor in 4 of the team’s 5 goals last week. After scoring a goal vs. RIT, she recorded a career-high three assists vs. Syracuse by setting up all three goals to help the Wildcats erase a two-goal deficit.
  • Through four games, Gifford leads the team in assists (three) and points (five). She recorded her 50th career point with the first of her career-high three assists vs. Syracuse.
  • Sophomore goaltender Vilma Vaattovaara (Veikkola, Finland) won her only appearance of the week as she stopped 24 of 26 shots (.923 save percentage) to backbone UNH to the 3-2 win vs. the Orange. Vaattovaara is 2-0-0 this season with a 1.50 GAA and .956 save percentage.
  • Sophomore defenseman Alexis Crossley (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia) scored two power-play goals, including the game-winning tally with 5:33 remaining in regulation, to power UNH past Syracuse. The two goals matched her personal best.
  • Senior forward Jessica Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) recorded a point in both games last week with an assist vs. RIT and goal against Syracuse.
  • Junior forward Hannah Armstrong (Keswick, Ontario) tallied an assist in both games last week and that included the primary assist on the game-winning goal.
  • New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 13 with a Homecoming Weekend faceoff against the University of Maine. Game time for White out the Whitt is 2 p.m.

MEN’S ICE HOCKEY (0-0-0 overall, 0-0-0 Hockey East)

  • The 13th-ranked UNH men’s ice hockey team recorded a 6-3 victory against Acadia in an Oct. 5 exhibition game at the Whittemore Center.
  • Kyle Smith (Lumberton, N.J.) and Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) both scored two goals.
  • Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.; one goal, one assist), Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.; two assists) and Casey Thrush (Easton, Md.; two assists) also tallied multiple points.
  • Jamie Hill (Glassboro, N.J.) was UNH’s other goal scorer. Dan Correale (Prince George, British Columbia), Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.), Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) and Matt Willows (Congers, N.Y.) were each credited with one assist.
  • Jeff Wyer (Reading, Mass.) started the game in net and held Acadia scoreless on 13 saves in 32:36 of action. Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) played 27:18 of relief and stopped 12 of 15 shots.
  • New Hampshire, which advanced to No. 12 in this week’s national poll, opens the 2013-14 season this weekend at the Ice Breaker Tournament at the University of Minnesota. The Wildcats face off against Clarkson University on Oct. 11 (5 p.m.) and will play either the host team or Mercyhurst College on Oct. 12 (5 or 8 p.m.).

WOMEN’S SOCCER (3-5-4 overall, 1-0-2 America East)

  • The UNH women’s soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to four games (1-0-3) with a 1-1 tie at home vs. Albany (Oct. 3) and 1-0 win in double overtime at Hartford (Oct. 6).
  • Freshman Anna Deweirdt (Seattle, Wash.) recorded her first career points when she broke the scoreless tie with a goal in the 107th minute to give the Wildcats a 1-0 victory.
  • Mimi Borkan (Medfield, Mass.), another freshman, recorded her third shutout of the season with a two-save effort at Hartford. She has a 0.70 GAA and .870 save percentage in nine games (seven starts).
  • Borkan leads the America East conference in save percentage and ranks third in GAA. In conference-only games, she is second in both GAA (0.28) and save percentage (.917) with a league-high 326 minutes, 15 seconds played.
  • Sophomore Kirsten O’Neil (Hampton, N.H.) scored the game-tying goal vs. Albany when she netted her second goal of the season in the 35th minute, just 93 seconds after the Great Danes took the lead.
  • New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 9 (7 p.m.) at home against intrastate rival Dartmouth College at Bremner Field. Later in the week, the Wildcats play at Vermont on Oct. 13 (1 p.m.).

MEN’S SOCCER (6-3-0 overall, 1-0-0 America East)

  • The UNH men’s soccer team won its America East conference opener with a 1-0 victory at UMass Lowell on Oct. 5.
  • Jesus Tudela (Zaragoza, Spain) scored his team-leading third goal of the season in the 66th minute to break a scoreless tie and it proved to be the game’s only goal.
  • Travis Worra (Lancaster, Pa.) recorded his fourth shutout of the season with a two-save effort vs. the RiverHawks. In six games, he has a 0.32 GAA and .923 save percentage to lead the America East conference in both statistics.
  • Worra has 18 career shutouts, which ranks fourth on UNH’s career leaderboard.
  • In the last seven games, UNH has recorded five shutouts and allowed a total of three goals.
  • New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 8 at home against Brown University. Game time at Cowell Stadium is 3:30 p.m. During Homecoming Weekend, the Wildcats play host to Stony Brook University on Oct. 12 (7 p.m. at Bremner Field).

VOLLEYBALL (8-11 overall, 2-1 America East)

  • The UNH volleyball team split a pair of tightly contested road matches last week with a five-set loss at Stony Brook University (Oct. 4) and 3-1 win against UMBC (Oct. 6).
  • Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) became the seventh UNH Wildcat to record 1,000 career kills during her nine-kill effort at UMBC.  She is currently No. 7 on the leaderboard with 1,002 kills. Ahead of Thatcher at No. 6 is Kirsten Bates (2006-09) at 1,028.
  • In the match at Stony Brook, the Wildcats captured the second and fourth sets to force a decisive Set 5. With the score tied 10-10-, the Seawolves won four of the next five points. UNH fended off two match points to close within 14-13 before the home team closed out the match by winning the next point.
  • In the match at UMBC, the Wildcats dropped Set 1 but won the next three sets by scores of 25-19, 25-23, 25-23.
  • Tori Forrest (Powder Springs, Ga.) recorded her fifth consecutive double-double at UMBC with a career-high 18 kills – on the strength of a .293 hitting percentage – and 14 digs. She tallied 11 kills and 11 digs the previous match at Stony Brook.
  • Abby Brinkman (Brecksville, Ohio) had a strong week with 12 kills vs. SBU and 13 against UMBC as part of a .250 hitting percentage.
  • Demi Muses (Orangevale, Calif.) was impressive at Stony Brook with 11 kills – no hitting errors – and .550 hitting percentage as well as a career-high seven blocks. Muses followed that with nine kills, .350 hitting percentage and three blocks vs. UMBC.
  • On the America East leaderboards, Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich.) is the conference leader in blocks per set (0.99), Thatcher ranks second in kills/set (2.82) and blocks/set, Madison Lightfoot (Clarkston, Mich.) is third in digs/set (4.22) and Taylor Dunklau (Mukwonago, Wis.) is fourth in assists/set (9.04).
  • New Hampshire returns to action with a pair of home matches during Homecoming Weekend. The Wildcats, who have played 11 consecutive matches away from Lundholm Gym, play host to Providence College on Oct. 11 (7 p.m.) and then the University of Hartford on Oct. 13 (1 p.m.).
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