Eight Field Hockey Players Receive America East Accolades; Wildcats Named Coaching Staff of the Year

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Eight student-athletes on the 20th-ranked University of New Hampshire field hockey team received a total of 11 America East conference awards, including junior back Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) as Defensive Player of the Year, the league announced Wednesday afternoon. Head coach Robin Balducci and her staff was voted Coaching Staff of the Year for the third consecutive year. 

Balducci led the Wildcats, selected fourth in the America East Coaches' Preseason Poll back in mid-August, to a third consecutive conference regular-season title and tournament top seed with a perfect 5-0 record as part of an 11-7 overall record. The 22nd-year head coach of the 'Cats, whose staff includes assistant coaches Ross Gorham and Meg Shea, also received this accolade in 1998, 2000, 2010 and 2011.

UNH is the first program to receive three consecutive America East Coach of the Year awards and Balducci ties three other league coaches for most overall awards with five.

Bozek, the first UNH player to be named Defensive Player of the Year since its 2001 inception, was joined on the All-Conference First Team by senior midfielder and captain Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.) and junior midfielder Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.); both Bozek and Pohlmeyer were unanimous selections. 

Junior forward Hannah Richard (Hopkinton, N.H.) and sophomore midfielder Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.) were voted to the All-Conference Second Team, while three 'Cats – Meg Flatley (Townsend, Mass.), Chandler Giese (Trappe, Pa.) and Lynne Lehman (Landisburg, Pa.) were All-Rookie Team honorees; Flatley and Giese were unanimous selections.

Erler was named to the All-Academic Team for the third consecutive year and Bozek received her third award with her second selection to the All-Academic Team in as many years.

MEGAN BOZEK EMMA ERLER CASEY POHLMEYER

Bozek, an All-Conference Second Team honoree last year who has a 3.35 grade-point-average in math education, started all 18 regular-season games. She recorded nine points and three assists for 21 points to rank second on the team in both goals and points. Bozek also has a team-best four defensive saves, which leads America East and is eighth-best in the country. In other statistics, she ranks sixth in the conference in goals per game and eighth in points per game.

Bozek tallied two goals and two assists for six points in five America East conference games; with those numbers, she ranked third in assists per game and sixth in points per game. Overall, Bozek recorded a point in 11 of 18 games with a goal in 8 of 18. Her other 2012 accolades include America East Defensive Player of the Week (Sept. 17) and ECAC Defensive Player of the Week (Sept. 18).

Erler, who has a 3.76 GPA in environmental horticulture, started all 18 regular-season games. She recorded three goals and six assists for 12 points to rank tied for second on the team in assists. Erler had a team-best four-game assist streak spanning Aug. 31 to Sept. 14 in which she tallied a total of five assists. Her season highlights include a one-goal, two-assist effort at Brown University (Aug. 31) in which she tied her personal bests in both assists and points (four). Erler is an integral part of UNH's success on the offensive penalty corner unit as the insert, and she is also a member of the defensive penalty corner unit.

Pohlmeyer also started all 18 regular-season games and recorded four goals and nine assists for 17 points; both the assist and point totals are personal single-season bests. She leads the team in assists and shots, and is fourth in points. In America East, Pohlmeyer ranks third in assists per game and sixth in shots per game. In five conference games, she recorded two goals and three assists for seven points, which puts her atop the leaderboard in assists per game, fourth in points per game and 10th in goals per game as well as fifth in shots per game.

Pohlmeyer's season highlights included a one-goal, two-assist performance against University of the Pacific (Sept. 14) to establish career highs in both assists and points (four). She also tallied two assists at 24th-ranked Boston College on Oct. 14. Pohlmeyer tallied four points in the last weekend of the regular season with a goal and an assist in the 2-1 victory at the University of Maine (Oct. 27) and an assist in the regular-season finale, a 5-4 overtime win at intrastate rival Dartmouth College. Like Bozek and Erler, she is a key component in both penalty corner units.

HANNAH RICHARD KELLIE JOYCE MEG FLATLEY CHANDLER GIESE LYNNE LEHMAN

Richard, a two-time America East Player of the Week honoree in 2012, had a breakout junior season in which she recorded 14 goals and four assists for 32 points. The forward leads the 'Cats in goals and points, as well as shooting percentage (.424), and is tied atop the leaderboard in game-winning goals with three; furthermore, she is fourth in both assists and shots, and 27 of her 33 shots (81.8%) were on goal; as a reference, the team is at 62.2%. With those numbers, Richard ranks second in the conference in both goals and points per game.

Richard tallied four goals for eight points in five America East conference games to ranked second in goals per game and third in points per game. Her season highlights included a two-goal, one-assist effort at Brown to mark personal bests in both goal and points (five). She also scored two goals against Pacific, Fairfield University (Sept. 28) and Dartmouth.

Richard recorded a team-high seven-game points-scoring streak spanning Aug. 31 to Sept. 28 in which she recorded nine goals and four assists for 22 points, and a five-game goal-scoring streak was inclusive. Overall, she recorded a point in 11 of 18 games with a goal in 10 of 18.

Joyce, who also started all 18 games and was an All-Rookie Team selection in 2011, recorded five goals and six assists for 16 points, and all three totals exceeded lat year's rookie totals (2-3-7). The midfielder tied for the UNH lead in game-winning goals with three, including one in the regular-season finale at Dartmouth, and is also tied for second in assists; Joyce's other rankings include fourth in goals and fifth in points, as well as third in shots. In America East, she ranks fifth in assists per game.

Joyce's season highlights include a four-game points-scoring streak from Aug. 31 to Sept. 14 in which she tallied 10 points on four goals and two assists. She scored a career-high two goals at the College of the Holy Cross (Sept. 9) and recorded a personal-best two assists at 20th-ranked Drexel University (Sept. 30).

Flatley, who redshirted the 2011 season, recorded eight goals and two assists for 18 points to rank third on the squad in both goals and points; the forward also tied for the team lead in game-winning goals and ranked second in shooting percentage (.308). In America East, Flatley is ninth in goals per game and 10th in points per game. She recorded a five-game goal-scoring streak spanning Aug. 31 through Sept. 16. Flatley, whose 2012 accolades included America East Rookie of the Week, recorded career highs in both goals (two) and points (four) at Holy Cross.

Giese started all 18 games as a member of UNH's defensive unit. She also contributed offensively with two assists for two points as a stick-stop on the Wildcats' offensive penalty corner unit. Among UNH rookies, Giese tied for the team lead in assists. She recorded her first career point at Brown and tallied her other point against Pacific.

Lehman played in all 18 games and was in the starting lineup six times, including each of the last five games. The forward recorded four goals for eight points, and half of those numbers came in conference play. She scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win against 13th-ranked Boston University to give the Wildcats at least a share of the regular-season title. Lehman has recorded at least one shot each of the last 11 games with a season-high of three shots against both Vermont and Boston U.

New Hampshire (11-7 overall, 5-0 America East) returns to action as host of the America East Championship for the third consecutive year. Top-seeded UNH faces Fairfield University in a Nov. 2 semifinal. Game time at Memorial Field is 2 p.m. Second-seeded University at Albany battles the University of Maine in the later semifinal.

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