Men's Soccer Announces Signing of Six Student-Athletes

DURHAM, N.H. - Rob Thompson, head coach of the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team, and his staff recently announced that six student-athletes have signed letters of intent to attend UNH and play for the Wildcat soccer program in the fall.

"This is a strong incoming class both individually and collectively," said Thompson. "They bring a wealth of experience and talent, along with a tradition of winning to our team. Four of the six have experience at the highest youth level in club soccer, playing for teams in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, while five of the incoming players led their respective high schools to state titles during their senior year. I fully expect this leadership, experience, and winning mentality to carry over to our program."

Paul Bianchi, a forward from Essex, Vt., will join the Wildcats after leading Essex High School to the 2010 Vermont Division 1 State Championship. The four-year letterman was a four-time All-Metro selection, three-time All-State selection, two-time Burlington Free Press All-Star, and for his contributions to the 2010 state title run he was named an NSCAA All-American. Over his four years in uniform for the Hornets, Bianchi scored 46 goals, including 21 during his senior season. Bianchi currently plays club soccer for Synergy FC, winning numerous tournament titles including five USYSA Vermont State Championships (2006-2010). Synergy has twice made it to the Region 1 semifinals (2006 and 2009) and was the national runner-up in 2010 at the U.S. Club Soccer National Championship. Bianchi also played for the Vermont Olympic Development Program in 2008. 

"Paul can score goals and I expect that to be the same here at UNH," said Thompson. "Even though he was an NSCAA High School All-American, I believe he is a bit under the radar coming out of Vermont.  I think his best years will be in a Wildcat uniform."

Cameron Bielski, a midfielder and forward from Dover, Mass., will come to UNH this fall after winning the 2010 Division 3 Massachusetts State Championship as a senior at Dover-Sherborn High School. Bielski, who was a four-year starter and captained the Raiders during his junior and senior seasons, tallied 17 goals and 22 assists as a senior.  Over his career, Bielski scored 49 goals and added 49 assists. He was a two-time Tri Valley League MVP and was named to the All-Eastern Mass and All-State Team during both his junior and senior seasons. Additionally, as a senior Bielski was an All-New England selection, was named to the All-Scholastic teams by both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald, and was the Metrowest Daily News Player of the Year. Bielski plays club soccer in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for the New England Revolution. Prior to joining the Development Academy he played with the Massachusetts Olympic Development Program, serving as the team's captain. 

"Cam can play in a variety of roles but I would expect him to compete as a midfielder for us next fall," said Thompson. "Quick and skillful, he has improved each year we have seen him and I think it will be the same at UNH."

Clint Caso, a back and midfielder from Kinnelon, N.J., will join the Wildcats after leading St. Benedict's Preparatory School to three straight New Jersey State Prep Championships (2008-2010). For his efforts in the Gray Bees' 2009 and 2010 title runs, Caso was named to the New Jersey All-Prep First-Team both seasons. He was also named to St. Benedict's honor roll each of the last two years. Caso has played club soccer for Red Bull New York since 2006 and currently plays in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. He helped Red Bull win the USYSA New Jersey U15 State Championship in 2008 and qualified for the Development Academy Finals Week last summer. 

"Clint has plenty of experience and he plays for one of the best high school prep teams in the country and for one of the best academy teams in the nation," said Thompson. "He is technically very strong and adds versatility to our squad as a left sided player."

Ryan McNamara, a midfielder from West Nyack, N.Y., will come to UNH this fall after a four-year varsity career at Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey. McNamara recorded 31 goals and 34 assists during his career, propelling the Ironmen to league championships all four years and county championships in 2007 and 2009. He was tabbed an All-League and All-County selection each of the last two years, while also earning honor roll status all four years. McNamara currently plays club soccer in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for F.C. Westchester, where his team has qualified for the Development Academy Playoffs each of the past two seasons. In 2009 McNamara was named to the 1993 U16 Select team at the Development Academy showcase. Prior to joining the Development Academy, his F.C. Westchester team won the U15 Eastern New York State Cup and was a Super-Y League finalist. McNamara was named to the Super-Y League National Team for his efforts in the team's run to the finals.

"Ryan is a box to box central midfielder who can pass, get forward, and is tough enough to play in a central role," said Thompson. "A superb leader, I expect him to bring an edge to our midfield."

David Schlatter, a forward from Marlton, N.J., will join the Wildcats after leading Cherokee High School to the New Jersey Group 4 State Title, scoring the game-winning goal in the championship game. For his efforts, the team captain was named Burlington County Player of the Year, earned All-South Jersey and Olympic Conference First-Team honors, and was also tabbed a Star Ledger All-State Second-Team honoree. The three-year letter winner scored 26 career goals and added 20 assists for the Chiefs, posting 18 goals and 13 assists during his senior campaign. In the classroom he was just as stellar, earning honor roll status all four years at Cherokee. Schlatter currently plays club soccer for the South Jersey Barons, after helping them win the Bethesda (Md.) Thanksgiving Tournament, the MSSL/MAPS Spring College Showcase, and the MSSL/MAPS Spring Challenge Tournament last year. Schlatter also attended the Super-Y National Olympic Development Program Camp in 2010.  

"David is tall and athletic, and his upside as a forward is why I am most excited," said Thompson. "We need to score more goals next fall, and I believe David has the tools to help us in this area."

Travis Worra, a goalkeeper from Lancaster, Pa., will join the Wildcats this fall after leading Hempfield High School to the PIAA Class AAA State title in 2010. As a senior, Worra compiled a school-record 157 saves on his way to 19 shutouts and a .357 goals against average. His stellar performance didn't go without merit, as Worra was named the Lancaster-Lebanon League Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight year. He had similar success in the classroom, earning honor roll status all four years, while also earning the Senior Soccer Scholar Award for having the highest GPA on the team as a senior. Worra currently plays club soccer in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for PA Classics and will join former PA Classics alumni Jordan Thomas (Mohnton, Pa.), Ryan McNabb (Downingtown, Pa.), Alex Russell (Harrisburg, Pa.) and Jeffrey Turner (Blandon, Pa.) at UNH. Prior to his time in the Development Academy, Worra was also a three-time EPA Olympic Development Program player. 

"Travis is an outstanding goalkeeper already, but with our recent successes in this position, I believe he will have an even better college career," said Thompson. "Long and athletic, he will have a chance to make an immediate impact next fall."

New Hampshire wrapped up its 2010 campaign with a 9-5-6 record, recording its second straight nine-win campaign, competing in the America East tournament for the sixth time in the last eight years. Despite falling 5-4 on penalty kicks to UMBC (Nov. 13) in the America East Championship game, the Wildcats held the Retrievers scoreless through regulation and both overtime periods, marking the third consecutive team they shut out in the conference tournament, as they also blanked Binghamton (Nov. 6) and Boston University (Nov. 10). The impressive mark makes UNH the first team ever to record three shutouts in the conference tournament.

The Wildcats won the America East regular season title in 2009, posting a 6-0-1 record in league play. Academically, UNH has had an APR in the top 10 percent in the nation for the past five years, while also receiving the NSCAA team academic award the past four years.    

"I have always said UNH is a special place, and I believe we will continue to attract top talent to our program with our success both on and off the field," said Thompson. "I expect this class to continue to push our program to great heights. I am excited about the future of UNH soccer."
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