December 7, 2011

UNH's Balducci Feted As Dita/NFHCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year

CHANDLER, Ariz.  – Robin Balducci, 21st-year head coach of the ninth-ranked University of New Hampshire field hockey team, was honored as the 2011 Dita/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Northeast Region Coach of the Year, the NFHCA announced Wednesday. 

Balducci is one of five regional honorees eligible for the 2011 Dita/NFHCA Division I National Coach of the Year award that will be announced at the NFHCA Coaches Recognition Luncheon in Philadelphia on Jan. 13, 2012.

Balducci headed a four-person Wildcat staff that was named 2011 America East Coaching Staff of the Year. It marked the second consecutive year and fourth time overall she received that accolade. Balducci was previously feted as Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 1998. 

Balducci guided UNH to the America East regular-season and tournament titles and an NCAA tournament appearance en route to a 17-5 overall record. The 17 wins tied the program record for single-season wins, and the Wildcats established school single-season records for goals (78), assists (61) and points (217). New Hampshire, ranked in the top 10 for eight of the 10 in-season polls, peaked at No. 7 in the national polls and finished at No. 9.

She recorded her 200th career victory when UNH defeated College of the Holy Cross, 5-0, at home on Sept. 16. 

Under Balducci's tutelage in 2011, three 'Cats received All-America recognition, one player was distinguished as both the Longstreth/NFHCA Northeast Region Player of the Year and America East Offensive Player of the Year, four UNH players received Longstreth/NFHCA Northeast Region honors and a total of eight Wildcats were named to an America East team.

Balducci is the winningest head coach in New Hampshire history with 210 overall victories that includes a 77-57-2 record in America East conference play. She has guided UNH to postseason play 17 times.

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