June 22, 2011

Field Hockey Quintet Competes at USA Championship Tourneys

DURHAM, N.H. – Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.) and Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.), both of whom will be seniors on the University of New Hampshire field hockey team next season, were recently selected to the 2011 USA Field Hockey High Performance Championships. They were two of 18 athletes named to the New England regional team to travel and compete in pursuit of the Senior Women's National Championship. Athletes competing in the tournament have the opportunity to represent their country and be selected to the U.S. National Squad. 

The USA Field Hockey Women's National Championship is a round-robin tournament featuring the top athletes from USA Field Hockey's six regional High Performance Centers. The event was held May 20-27 at American University in Washington, D.C. New England won in shutout fashion in its final game against California, but the championship was taken by New Jersey in a 3-2 overtime win against the South.

Wildcats Melyssa Woods (Glens Falls, N.Y.) and Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) were selected to the Junior Women's National Championship on the New England team, while incoming UNH freshman Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.) was also chosen to compete. 

The USA Field Hockey Junior Women's National Championship tournament is currently being held at the National Training Center in Virginia Beach. The New England team with UNH representatives conclude the round-robin format later this week against Mid-Atlantic (June 24). After that game, the regional teams will be seeded and matched accordingly to play on June 25.

Deck, a back, started all 21 UNH games and finished the 2010 season second on the team in assists (11). She was recognized for her importance to the Wildcat defense and both penalty corner units with her selection to the America East All-Conference Second Team. Deck also received UNH's Marisa Didio Award. 

Frates, a forward, was in the starting lineup in all 21 games and tied for the team lead in goals with Kyle Lyons at 11 apiece and also tied for the top spot in game-winning goals with three while also ranking second in points (30) and fourth in assists (eight); she also recorded a team-high .297 shooting percentage. Frates finished the 2010 season with several accolades: Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-America Second Team, NFHCA Northeast Region First Team, America East All-Conference First Team, America East All-Championship Team, All-Wildcat Invitational Team and UNH's Joyce V. Hiller Scholarship Award.

Bozek, a midfielder, started in all 21 games for the Wildcats during her freshman campaign. She had 12 points with six goals, landing her fourth best on the team, while also leading the team in defensive saves with two. Bozek was named to the 2010 America East All-Rookie Team and shared the first-ever UNH Freshman Award with Casey Pohlmeyer. In addition, she was given the America East Rookie of the Week award three times in as many weeks in October. 

Woods, a midfielder, started in all 21 games of the 2010 season. She finished her sophomore year with one goal and two points on just five shots, as well as being a linchpin for the 'Cats in transitioning from defending to attacking.

Joyce, another midfielder, signed a National Letter of Intent to attend UNH beginning in the Fall 2011 semester. She will be joining her sister Mackenzie, as well as KUA alums Lyons and Frates, on the Wildcats' field hockey squad. Joyce has been selected to the US Field Hockey Junior High Performance Team in previous years, as well as competing in the National Futures championships, the National Indoor Futures championships, and the AAU Junior Olympics. 

Beginning in the early spring, High Performance Centers serving the New England, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Mid-Atlantic, South, and California regions conduct open trials for college-age and older athletes. Once selected to a High Performance Center, athletes receive elite-level training from some of the nation's top coaches over the course of the spring. At the conclusion of the program, each High Performance Center selects a team to represent its region at the National Championship.

New Hampshire won the 2010 America East regular-season championship with a perfect 5-0 record en route to a 14-7 overall record. The Wildcats climbed as high as No. 19 in the Kookaburra/NFHCA Poll.

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