DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire field hockey program recently held its annual team banquet to commemorate the 2011 season by recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of the team and student-athletes, as well as honor the senior class.
UNH (17-5) won the America East regular-season and tournament titles en route to advancing to the NCAA Championship for the first time since the 2000 season. The Wildcats were ranked in the top 10 in seven of nine regular-season polls and peaked at No. 7 in the nation.
This year's squad tied the benchmark for wins in a season established by the 1986 national runner-up team and broke the single-season records for goals (78), assists (61) and points (217).
Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.) was named recipient of The Didio Award for the second consecutive year. The award was established in 2006 and is bestowed upon the UNH player who represents The Extra Mile Theory, which states "Some choose the shortest distance doing only what is required. Others give of themselves more freely and go the extra mile."
Erler, a junior forward, started all 22 games and tied for third on the team in assists (10) and ranked fourth in points (18). Both those numbers, as well as four goals and 27 shots, marked personal single-season highs. Erler ranked fourth in America East in assists per game. In addition to her contributions on offense, she was an integral part of the defensive penalty corner unit. Erler was selected to the 2011 America East All-Academic Team.
Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) was presented with the Susan Kilmister Memorial Award, which is presented annually to an underclassman who most represents the essence of the person and athlete that Susan Kilmister was, and is an unsung heroine on the team.
Pohlmeyer, a sophomore midfielder, started all 22 games and recorded 13 points on five goals and three assists while playing an integral role on the offensive penalty corner unit. With those numbers, she tied for fourth on the squad in goals and ranked fifth in points. She was also a vital part of the defensive penalty corner in addition to her role in transitioning the Wildcats from defense to offense.
The Joyce V. Hiller Scholarship, which is awarded in recognition of all that Joyce Hiller has given and done for UNH field hockey, went to Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.). The sophomore back started all 22 games and tallied five goals and one assist for 11 points as an integral part of the offensive penalty corner unit. That included the game-winning goal in the America East title game against Boston University as well as a goal in the NCAA first-round game vs. Michigan.
Bozek led the Wildcats in defensive saves with three and was also a prominent part of the Wildcats' defensive penalty corner unit. Her 2011 accolades included Longstreth/NFHCA Northeast Region Second Team, America East All-Conference Second Team and America East All-Academic Team.
The Donna Lynne '74 Scholarship Award was bestowed upon Melyssa Woods (Glens Falls, N.Y.) for "substantial contribution to the team through athletic and leadership abilities."
Woods started all 22 games as a junior midfielder. She recorded two goals and one assists for a total of five points. The two goals and five points matched her single-season highs established as a freshman in 2009.
The six-member senior class – comprised of Kendall Deck (Bridgewater, N.J.), Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.), Kyle Lyons (White River Junction, Vt.), Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.), Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.) and Jess Sweeney (Accord, N.Y.) – led UNH to postseason play all four years, including this year's NCAA tournament berth and America East championship title as well as last season's runner-up finish in the America East tournament. This group also guided the Wildcats to back-to-back league regular-season titles (2010, 2011).
2012 UNH Field Hockey Team Banquet Awards
- The Didio Award: Emma Erler
- Susan Kilmister Memorial Award: Casey Pohlmeyer
- Joyce V. Hiller Scholarship: Megan Bozek
- Donna Lynne '74 Scholarship Award: Melyssa Woods