DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's soccer program held its annual end-of-year awards banquet on Sunday at the Squamscott Room in Holloway Commons on the UNH campus. The Wildcats celebrated a season in which they won eight games and honored this season's award winners as well as recognizing the team's nine seniors.

Senior Brendan Hankard (Glastonbury, Conn.) was named the recipient of the Robert Black Most Valuable Player Award for the fourth straight season. Hankard was a first team America East All-Conference and All-New England second team selection. He was also named the UNH Nike Fall Classic Most Valuable Player as well as being named to the UVM Smith Barny and Denver Invitational All-Tournament teams.

Senior Ben Utter (Arlington, Mass.) received the Glenn Aborn Most Improved Player Award. Utter helped anchor the UNH defense by playing in 15 games including 12 starts. He emerged as a valuable defender and starter after starting only four games in the previous three seasons.

Senior Otaso Osayimwese (Lincoln University, Pa.) was named the winner of the H. Richard Sandler Academic Achievement Award. A business administration major, Osayimwese has been an integral part of the UNH defense the past four seasons. This season he played in nine games including one start for a defense that allowed just 20 goals during the regular season.

Freshman Matt Shump (Durham, N.H.) received the Walter Weiland Most Dedicated Player Award. Shump played in 16 of the 17 regular season games for the 'Cats including 12 starts. Shump, a graduate from in-town high school Oyster River, was a valuable midfielder down the stretch for UNH. He was also a member of the UNH Nike Classic All-Tournament Team.

The Harvey Johnson Most Inspirational Player Award was given to senior Josh Hareld (No. Kingstown, R.I.). Hareld played and started in 15 games. He was the team leader in shots with 33. He was among the team leaders in scoring with two goals and one assist for five points.

Coach Thompson and the rest of the UNH soccer team also took time to recognize the nine seniors on the 2003 squad, who will each leave UNH with degrees. Matt Chambers (Conifer, Colo.), Business Administration; Matt Glode (Barrington, N.H.), Psychology; Hankard, Kinesiology/Sports Studies; Hareld, Zoology; Jamey Haughton (Hampton, N.H.), Political Science; Nicolas Mello (Rehoboth, Mass.), Health Management; Osayimwese, Business Administration; Utter, Political Science; and Brett Wyman, (Durham, N.H.) Communication.

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