Vaattovaara, Steriti: Service Credit Union Student-Athlete Spotlight & Wildcat Weekly Roundup


October 8, 2012


DURHAM, N.H.Vilma Vaattovaara (Veikkola, Finland) of the women’s ice hockey team and Nico Steriti (Toms River, 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.



Vilma Vaattovaara, women’s ice hockey

     Vilma, a freshman goaltender from Veikkola, Finland, stopped 47 of 50 shots in two games last weekend to go 2-0-0 with a 1.80 GAA and .940 save percentage and be named the Women’s Hockey East co-Defensive Player of the Week.

     She was in the starting lineup for her collegiate debut and made 35 saves to backbone the UNH women’s ice hockey team to a 4-3 victory in the Oct. 5 season opener at Syracuse University.

     Vilma wasn’t in the starting lineup the next day at Colgate University, but she entered the game with the score tied 1-1 at the start of the second period and shut out the Raiders with 12 saves in the last 40 minutes to earn the victory in UNH’s 4- 1win.

     Vilma, the first UNH women’s hockey player to hail from Finland, is a 2012 graduate of Hameenlinnan Lyseon Lukio High School. She played for the Finland National Under-18 team and won a pair of bronze medals (2008, 2009).


Nico Steriti, football

     Nico, a sophomore running back from Toms River, New Jersey, recorded his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game with 11 carries for a game-high 126 yards and two touchdowns to spark the 14/17 UNH football team to a 44-21 win at Georgia State on Oct. 6. He also had an eight-yard TD reception as part of his CAA Offensive Player of the Week performance.

     Nico’s first score, the TD reception, gave the Wildcats a 14-7 lead at 12:22 of the second quarter, and the ‘Cats maintained the advantage the rest of the way. He scored again less than four minutes later – at 8:54 – on a seven-yard scamper and had a 34-yard touchdown run at 13:30 of the fourth quarter to give UNH a 44-14 lead.

     Earlier this season at fifth-ranked Old Dominion University (Sept. 22), Nico rushed for a career-high 201 yards on 21 carries and two TDs. It marked the Wildcats’ first 200+ yard rushing game since Stephan Lewis (10/13/01 at UMass). One week earlier, the sophomore running back rushed 12 times for 104 yards.

     Nico ran the ball 65 times for 370 yards last year as a redshirt freshman. He lifted UNH to a 30-27 victory vs. Maine with 21 carries for 150 yards and a TD; he also had a 71-yard kickoff return. One week earlier at Towson, he amassed 146 yards with 56 rushing yards and 90 receiving yards.



Sean McDonnell, football head coach 100th career victory



Nico Steriti, football – CAA Offensive Player of the Week

Vilma Vaattovaara – Women’s Hockey East co-Defensive Player of the Week




Tuesday, October 2

Women’s soccer: Harvard 2, at UNH 1

Friday, October 5

Field hockey: at No. 19 UNH 2, No. 22 Albany 1 (overtime)

Volleyball: at UNH 3, Stony Brook 1

Women’s ice hockey: UNH 4, at Syracuse 3

Saturday, October 6

Football: #14/17 UNH 44, at Georgia State 21

Women’s ice hockey: UNH 4, at Colgate 1

Men’s soccer: at UNH 1, UMBC 1 (double overtime)

Men’s ice hockey: at UNH 5, St. Francis Xavier 2 (exhibition)

Sunday, October 7

Women’s soccer: at UNH 2, Vermont 1

Field hockey: at No. 5 Virginia 7, No. 19 UNH 0

Women’s cross country: 15th place at New England Championships (37 teams)

Men’s cross country: 20th place at New England Championships (37 teams)



Monday, October 8

UNH Coach’s Show, 7 pm at Buffalo Wild Wings; Newington

   (with football head coach Sean McDonnell & senior linebacker Alan Buzbee)

Wednesday, October 10

Men’s soccer at Hartford, 7 pm

Thursday, October 11

Women’s soccer at Albany, 7:30 pm (at College of St. Rose)

Friday, October 12 – HOMECOMING WEEKEND

Field hockey vs. Vermont, 3 pm

Men’s ice hockey vs. St. Cloud State, 7:30 pm (TV: WBIN | FOX College Sports)

Volleyball at Albany, 7 pm

Saturday, October 13 – HOMECOMING WEEKEND

Football vs. Richmond, 12 pm (TV: Comcast SportsNet Regional)

Women’s swimming & diving vs. Boston College, 2 pm

Men’s ice hockey vs. St. Cloud State, 7 pm

Women’s cross country at Pre-Nationals Meet, 10:30 am (at Louisville, Ky.)

Men’s cross country at Pre-Nationals Meet, 11:45 am (at Louisville, Ky.)

Volleyball at Hartford, 6 pm

Sunday, October 14 – HOMECOMING WEEKEND

Men’s soccer vs. Albany, 2 pm  [Cowell Stadium]

Women’s soccer at Maine, 1 pm

Field hockey at Boston College, 3 pm



  • The UNH men’s cross country team finished 20th among 37 teams that competed at the New England Championships, which were held Oct. 7 at Stanley Park (Westfield, Mass.). UNH compiled 519 total points while Dartmouth College captured the meet with 83 points.
  • Sophomore John Prizzi (Wyckoff, N.J.) was the top Wildcat in 67th place overall. He completed the 8-kilometer course in a time of 25 minutes, 35.38 seconds.
  • Junior Joseph Jourdain (Hudson, N.H.) was the next ‘Cat across the finish line in 25:53.16 for 95th place.
  • Sophomores Jeff Moretti (Guilford, Conn.) and Dean Bhatt (Woodbridge, Conn.) finished 110th and 113th respectively at 26:03.07 and 26:04.29. Classmate Sam Gagnon (Hooksett, N.H.) completed the team scoring in 134th place (26:12.43).
  • UNH returns to action Oct. 13 at the Pre-National Meet at Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky.


  • The UNH women’s cross country team took 15th place in the 37-team New England Championships that were held Oct. 7 at Stanley Park (Westfield, Mass.).
  • Junior Julia Credendino (Islip, N.Y.) led the seven Wildcat racers in 67th place. She crossed the finish line of the 5-kilometer course in 18 minutes, 37.15 seconds.
  • Freshman McKenzie Haney (Penacook, N.H.) followed closely behind in 18:40.89 for 77th place
  • The next three ‘Cats placed within a 13-second span. Senior Meagan Boucher (Manchester, N.H.) finished 96th (18:53.55), sophomore Gabby Mancuso (New Paltz, N.Y.) was 111th (19:04.99) and senior Lucy Garfield (Hanover, N.H.) placed 115th (19:06.49).
  • UNH returns to action Oct. 13 at the Pre-National Meet at Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky.

FIELD HOCKEY (6-6 overall, 2-0 America East)

  • The 19th-ranked UNH field hockey team went 1-1 last week. The Wildcats rallied to a 2-1 victory Oct. 5 at home against Albany when they scored with 20 seconds remaining in regulation and scored in overtime. The ‘Cats then lost 7-0 at fifth-ranked Virginia, which was the team’s fifth nationally-ranked opponent the past six games.
  • Freshman forward Meg Flatley (Townsend, Mass.) lifted UNH to victory when she swept a Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) centering pass into an open cage at 76:24.
  • Junior midfielder Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) sent the game into overtime when she scored on a penalty corner at 69:40. Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.) initiated the sequence when she inserted the ball to Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.) at the top of the circle. Joyce swung the ball to Pohlmeyer.
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Carlie Tarbell (Wakefield, Mass.) recorded a career-high 12 saves Oct. 7 at Virginia.
  • UNH returns to action Oct. 12 at home against Vermont, and then the ‘Cats play Oct. 14 at Boston College. Both games are at 3 p.m.

FOOTBALL (4-2 overall, 2-1 CAA)

  • The 14th-ranked UNH football team scored 31 consecutive points to build a 38-7 lead en route to a 44-21 victory against Georgia State University at the Georgia Dome on Oct. 6.
  • The victory was the 100th for head coach Sean McDonnell, who is in his 14th year at the helm of the program.
  • Sophomore running back Nico Steriti (Toms River, N.J.) carried the ball 11 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns. He also had an eight-yard TD catch for a total of three scores.
  • Sophomore quarterback Andy Vailas (Bedford, N.H.) completed 18 of 35 pass attempts for 252 yards and four TDs to four different receivers – 26 yards to Harold Spears (Perkasie, Pa.) for a 7-0 lead at 13:35 (1st), eight yards to Steriti for a 14-7 lead at 12:22 (2nd), five yards to Justin Mello (Dartmouth, Mass.) for a 28-7 lead at 14:34 (3rd) and Chris Setian (East Longmeadow, Mass.) for a 35-7 lead at 3:17 (3rd).
  • Spears was Vailas’ top target with six catches for 94 yards.
  • Jimmy Owens (West Deptford, N.J.) recorded his first career 100-yard rushing effort with 120 yards on 15 carries.
  • The defense recorded five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumble recoveries). Matt Evans (Hanover, Mass.) finished with a team-high six tackles, including two for a loss. Jared Smith (Greencastle, Pa.) recorded five tackles with three for a loss, including two sacks, and forced a fumble.
  • UNH returns to action Oct. 13 for a Homecoming Weekend matchup against the University of Richmond. Kickoff is 12 p.m. The game is televised on Comcast SportsNet Regional.

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

  • The UNH men’s ice hockey team prevailed 5-2 in an exhibition game against St. Francis Xavier on Oct. 6 at the Whittemore Center.
  • Sophomore defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) scored two power-play goals.
  • Junior defenseman Justin Agosta (East Meadow, N.Y.) recorded a team-high three points, all on assists.
  • Junior forwards Dalton Speelman (San Hose, Calif.; one goal, one assist) and Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.; one goal, one assist), as well as sophomore forward Casey Thrush (Easton, Md.; two assists), also recorded multiple points.
  • Starting goaltender Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) played the initial 31 minutes, 16 seconds of the game and the sophomore exited with 13 saves and the ‘Cats leading 3-1.
  • Junior goalie Jeff Wyer (Reading, Mass.) went the rest of the way and made seven saves, all in the third period.
  • UNH opens the season this weekend at home with a two-game series against St. Cloud State University. The Friday, Oct. 12 season opener will be televised by WBIN and FOX College Sports; faceoff is 7:30 p.m.

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

  • The UNH women’s ice hockey team opened the 2012-13 season last weekend with road victories against Syracuse (4-3) and Colgate (4-1).
  • Senior forward Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) broke a 3-3 tie at Syracuse by scoring a power-play goal with 1:34 remaining in regulation. She finished the weekend with two goals and an assist.
  • Freshman goaltender Vilma Vaattovaara (Veikkola, Finland) earned the win in both games. She started the game vs. ‘Cuse and stopped 35 of 38 shots, then shut out Colgate in two periods (the second and third periods) with 12 saves. With those numbers, her statistics include a 1.80 GAA and .940 save percentage.
  • Five newcomers recorded their first point as a Wildcat. Sara Carlson (Hutchinson, Minn.) tallied a goal and assist in her collegiate debut vs. Syracuse, then scored a goal at Colgate. Jonna Curtis (Elk River, Minn.) and junior Jessica Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) both finished the weekend with a goal and an assist, while both Alexis Crossley (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia) and Lauren Kirwan (DeWitt, N.Y.) scored a goal.
  • Those five newcomers accounted for nine of the team’s 17 points, and both wins.
  • UNH returns to action Oct. 16 for its Hockey East conference opener against Vermont at home. Game time is 7 p.m.

MEN’S SOCCER (4-4-3 overall, 0-1-1 America East)

  • The UNH men’s soccer team played to a 1-1 tie against UMBC under the lights at Bremner Field on Oct. 6.
  • The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead at 22:40 when Alex Hussein (Haverhill, Mass.) headed in a Robert Palumbo (Kingston, N.H.) free kick from 25 yards.
  • UNH recorded the only three shots of overtime but could not break the tie, which was forced by a penalty kick goal at 76:44.
  • Palumbo leads the team in both goals (three) and points (seven), as well as shots (25).
  • Travis Worra (Lancaster, Pa.), who made four saves vs. UMBC, is 3-2-3 overall with a 0.93 GAA, .824 save percentage and three shutouts.
  • Eight of UNH’s 11 games have extended into overtime. The ‘Cats are 3-2-3 in those matches.
  • The men’s soccer team returns to action Oct. 10 at Hartford. The Wildcats’ next home game is Oct. 14 against Albany. Game time at Cowell Stadium is 2 p.m.

WOMEN’S SOCCER (4-8-2 overall, 2-1-1 America East)

  • The UNH women’s soccer team went 1-1-0 last week as the Wildcats concluded a three-game homestand with a 2-1 loss to Harvard (Oct. 2) and a 2-1 win against Vermont (Oct. 7).
  • Sophomore forward Meghan Ledwith (Yardley, Pa.) and senior forward Drea Nogueira (New Bedford, Mass.) scored first-half goals at 32:51 and 42:18, respectively, to lead the Wildcats to a one-goal America East conference victory vs. Vermont. UNH recorded a 19-5 shot advantage.
  • Sophomore back Jordan Logue (Walpole, Mass.) recorded her second assist of the season when she set up Nogueira’s game-winning tally. Junior back Kelsi O’Neill (Hampton, N.H.) tallied her first point of the season with a service on Ledwith’s goal.
  • New Hampshire took a 1-0 lead against Harvard when junior Tara Fraprie (Farmington, Conn.) scored at 27:00 for her first collegiate goal and points. The visitors tied the score in the 37th minute and netted the game-winning goal in the 52nd minute. UNH finished with an 18-13 edge in shots.
  • UNH returns to action Oct. 11 at Albany (at College of St. Rose) The Wildcats also travel to play Maine this weekend (Oct. 14).

VOLLEYBALL (12-8 overall, 4-0 America East)

  • The UNH volleyball team extended its unbeaten streak to seven matches by winning its only match of the week, 3-1, at home against Stony Brook.
  • Junior right side hitter Morgan Thatcher (Brockton, Mass.) recorded a match-high 18 kills with a .209 hitting percentage.
  • Freshmen outside hitters Abby Brinkman (Brecksville, Ohio) and Tori Forrest (Powder Springs, Ga.) both tallied 13 kills. Brinkman also had four blocks and a .333 hitting percentage while Forrest recorded half of the team’s four service aces.
  • Senior setter Jansan Falcusan (Plymouth, Mich.) tallied 44 saves and quarterbacked the attack to a .195 hitting percentage.
  • Senior libero Jessie Schnepp (East Longmeadow, Mass.) tallied a match-high 16 digs. She leads the league in digs per set (4.93) and digs (394).
  • UNH leads the America East conference in kills and assists, and is ranked second in hitting percentage, digs and opponent hitting percentage.
  • UNH hits the road this weekend for matches against Albany (Oct. 12, 7 pm) and Hartford (Oct. 13, 6 pm). The Wildcats’ next home match is Oct. 26 (7 p.m.) against Binghamton – it is the team’s annual Dig Pink fund raising event.
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