MEN'S SOCCER SIGNS TOP RECRUIT

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's soccer program and head coach Rob Thompson announced today that they have received a national letter of intent from Matt DeCastro (Providence, R.I.), the all-time leading goal-scorer in Rhode Island high school history.

DeCastro, a forward and three-year captain at Providence Country Day School, led his team to three straight South Eastern New England Prep School state championships and also a New England Private School Athletic Conference championship in 2000 and runner-up finish in 2001. He was named an All-State and All-New England player each of the last two seasons and an All-SENE player all four years. DeCastro also picked up NEPSAC Tournament MVP honors in 2000 when he scored a single-season state record 47 goals and 27 assists and was named to the NEPSAC All-Tournament Team his junior and senior seasons.

DeCastro finished his high school career with 151 career goals, a Rhode Island state record, to go along with 83 assists. Providence College, the University of Rhode Island, and the University of Wisconsin were among the other schools interested.

DeCastro is strikingly similar to former UNH standout and 1999 America East Player of the Year, Adam Purcell, who also hailed from Rhode Island. Both players set career scoring records at their respective high schools, each won five state championships with the Bayside Stompers (Premier) club team, and each player excelled in the state's Olympic Development Program. DeCastro has captained the Stompers each of the past four seasons and has been involved with the ODP since 1996.

"Matt has scored goals at an alarming rate in high school," says Thompson. "He is quick, shifty, skillful and can strike the ball extremely well. But what really sets him apart, much like Purcell, is his ability to finish. I believe Matt has the ability to continue his torrid scoring pace [at UNH]. Over the next four years, he will have the chance to chase several scoring records at UNH."

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