DURHAM, N.H. – Senior forward Ugochukwu Uche (Ann Arbor, Mich.) of the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team was presented with the Robert Black Award for Most Valuable Player at the program's annual awards Banquet held at Holloway Commons.
In his final season for the Wildcats Uche made 18 appearances while making nine starts. He scored six goals, which included four game winners. In the regular season finale against Vermont (Nov. 6), Uche notched a pair of goals to help the Wildcats blank the University of Vermont, 2-0, to earn a first-round bye in the America East tournament. He also added an assist for a team leading 13 points.
Uche garnered America East All-Conference First Team and NSCAA All-Region accolades in his senior season. "Uche had a tremendous impact on our 2013 season. He scored big goals for us and was a focal point of our attack," said head coach Rob Thompson. His efforts, and growth, both on the field and off, were fantastic for him as a person, and valuable to our team throughout the year. His contributions, personality and impact will be missed."
Junior goalkeeper Travis Worra (Lancaster, Pa.) received the Harvey Johnson Award for Most Inspirational Player. Worra started 12 games during the 2013 campaign recording six shutouts leading the Wildcats to a 8-3-1 record. His 0.52 goals against average and .889 save percentage led him to receive the America East Goalkeeper of the Year Award as well as First Team All-Conference honors.
"Travis was recognized by the league as the Goalkeeper of the Year but I believe he provides much more than what he just does in between the goalposts during games. He leads through his consistency both in training and games, and the work ethic he displays provides a good example for student-athlete's who are in, and entering, our program on how to have a professional mentality within our program," said Thompson.
The Walter Weiland Award for the Most Dedicated Player was bestowed upon Duff Thomson (Greenfield, N.H.). As a freshman, Thompson appeared in nine games for the wildcats making three starts. He contributed an assist versus Hartford (Oct. 6) in helping the team to a 2-0 conference win. Thomson's continued hard work led him to be a contributor late in the season as he helped the Wildcats get to the America East semi-final.
"Duff consistently worked hard throughout the year which led to his playing time during an important part of the season," said Thompson. He has a tremendous work ethic and terrific coach-ability which are two staples of our program here at UNH."
Granite State native Andrew Chaput (Manchester, N.H.) was the recipient of the Glenn Aborn Award for the Most Improved Player. As a sophomore Chaput was an anchor for the back line of the Wildcats who had a team GAA of 0.58. Starting 16 of 18 games in 2013, Chaput also contributed a goal against Rhode Island (Sept. 18) and had the game winning assist against Hartford (Oct. 6) during the season. Chaput was an America East All-Conference Second Team selection.
"Over a single season Andrew has developed into a consistent, reliable and crucial part of our defense. He not only has improved his play but has become a leader as well. He is very deserving of the Glenn Aborn Award," said Thompson.
Freshman Riley Ellis (Goffstown, N.H.) earned the H. Richard Sandler Award for Academic Achievement to round out the awards. The rookie started three of the 10 games he saw action in at the midfield position. In the classroom, Ellis posted a grade point average of 3.83 in his field business administration. He earned further distinction as he was named to the America East Commissioner's Honor Roll, a feat in which the student-athlete must achieve a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
"Balancing school and soccer can be a difficult task but Riley has taken the workload in stride and has proven to not only to be a contributor on the field but an example of how to manage your time, maintain focus and excel in the classroom," said Thompson. We pride ourselves on academic excellence here at UNH and Riley is a shining example of that."