DURHAM, N.H.Robin Balducci, 18th-year head coach of the University of New Hampshire field hockey team, announced Monday that four student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to join the UNH field hockey program in the fall 2009 season.

All four future Wildcats are from the Northeast region and that includes New Hampshire’s own Emma Erler (New Hampton), who is one of three to garner All-America honors in high school. The other three recruits who will be matriculating at UNH are Emily Buda (Simsbury, Conn), Kylie Damon (Skowhegan, Maine) and Melyssa Woods (Glens Falls, N.Y.).

“We are very excited about the quality within this recruiting class,” Balducci said. “This gives us two classes in a row -- 2008 and 2009 -- that will come in to our program and have the ability to make an immediate impact.”

Buda, a letterwinner in both field hockey and lacrosse at Simsbury High School, captained the SHS field hockey team to the state championship as a senior in 2008. She garnered regional All-America accolades as well as the Coca Cola Player of the Year (Conn.) and Hartford Courant Player of the Year (Conn.) awards in ’08. Buda compiled 18 goals and 15 assists for 51 points that year and amassed career totals of 63 goals and 41 assists for 167 points. She was a four-time selection as both a Connecticut Field Hockey Association All-Star and a Hartford Courant All-Star. Buda also has seven years of experience with the Seacoast United club team.

Damon, who led Skowhegan Area High School to Maine’s Class A state championship four consecutive years from 2005-08, was named a regional All-America player in 2007 and 2008 and was further honored as a National Second Team All-America selection in ’07. Damon was named to the Portland Telegram All-State First Team in ’07 and ’08. Her other accolades include KVAC First Team (2008) and Second Team (2007). Damon’s various club teams include Seacoast United, Maine Event and Katandin.

Erler, a letterwinner in field hockey, basketball and outdoor track & field at Newfound Regional High School, led NRHS to a Class M/S field hockey state title in 2006 and 2008; the Bears finished as runner-up in ’07. In addition to All-America recognition, Erler’s field hockey honors included NFHCA Northeast Team (’07 and ’08), All-State First Team (’06 and ’08) and All-State Second Team (’07). Erler was also the recipient of the prestigious 2009 William Loeb Scholar-Athlete Award, which is in recognition of academics, school involvement and community volunteer work. She competed at the national futures tournament each of the past two years. Erler also helped lead both the basketball and track teams to state runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2006, respectively.

Woods is a three-sport letterwinner at Glens Falls High School; in addition to field hockey, she also competes on the ice hockey and lacrosse teams. She earned five field hockey letters and led GFHS to the Section II Class B title in 2005, 2006 and 2008; in ’06, the team advanced to the Class B championship game. Woods competed in the Futures Elite program in ’08 as well as the National Futures in ’07. Her 2008 accolades included All-State Team, Post-Star Player of the Year and Foothills Council First Team All-Star – it marked the third consecutive year she was selected as a First Team All-Star. Woods tallied 15 goals and five assists as a senior and her five-year totals included 65 goals and 21 assists.

This quartet joins a UNH program that advanced to the 2008 America East championship game and finished with an overall record of 9-11.


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