DURHAM, N.H. - New Hampshire men's soccer head coach Rob Thompson, having led the Wildcats to three of the last four America East postseason tournaments, has announced that three student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to join the UNH program beginning next season.
Dan Cripe (Raymond, N.H.) was a four-year starter for the Raymond High School soccer team. In 2002 he was named his high school's Freshman Athlete of the Year, and last year he earned the honor of Raymond High School Athlete of the Year. Cripe was named First Team All-State twice, and in club soccer he was a member of the U-17 State champion and the Super-Y League Northeast Region champion.
"Cripe should play wide left in an attacking role," Thompson said. "He's quick, very good in one-on-one situations, and can serve the ball with both feet."
Mike McKee (Newtown, Pa.) was a member of the Council Rock North High School soccer team all four years. As team captain in 2004, he led his team to a 17-1-1 record and the district championship while earning First Team All-State accolades. He helped his club team, FC Delco, to the Region I semifinals as well as the EPYSA State Cup championship in 2003.
"McKee's a tough, left-sided ball-winner that can play left back or center back in our system," said Thompson.
Scott Rowling (Richboro, Pa.), one of McKee's teammates on FC Delco, was a three-year starter for the Council Rock South High School varsity team. A two-year captain, Rowling led his team to consecutive league titles, earning team MVP, conference Player of the Year, All-League, and All-State honors along the way. Last season, he scored 17 goals and assisted on 16 other scores, notching regional All-American honors from the PSCA and the NSCAA.
"Rowling can play almost anywhere in midfield in an attacking role," Thompson said. "He is technically clean, tactically sound, and equally adept at scoring or creating chances for his teammates."
All three players have at one time participated in the Olympic Development Program (ODP). In 2003, Cripe was a member of the Super-Y League ODP Region 1 Regional Team. McKee was a member of the ODP EPYSA State team from 1999 to 2002. Rowling, part of the USYSA ODP Region I team in 2004, was selected to the U.S. U-19 Interregional All-Star Team while training in Chula Vista, Calif.
New Hampshire is a Division I member of the NCAA and competes in the America East conference. The UNH men's soccer program will welcome back 16 letterwinners from the 2004 squad that lost on penalty kicks to Binghamton in the conference tournament.
"We've added three very good players to a strong nucleus of returning players," Thompson said. "This puts us in a better position to make a run for the America East title."