KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Three University of New Hampshire men's soccer student-athletes received National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) scholar honors, the organization recently announced.
Colin O'Donnell (Hampden, Mass.) was selected as an NSCAA Men's College Scholar All-American, becoming just the second Wildcat all-time to achieve Academic All-American status. Matt Shump was the first, earning third-team CoSIDA ESPN Academic honors in 2005 as a junior.
O'Donnell, who was one of just 16 first-team honorees in the country, takes home the honor after being named a first-team all-region selection along with teammate Brad Hilton (Merrimack, N.H.). Joe Corsello (York, Maine) rounded out UNH's honorees, as he was tabbed a second-team All-East selection.
O'Donnell was a major key to UNH's success this season, becoming the first goalkeeper to record three shutouts in the America East Tournament. In the quarterfinal round, he was credited with two saves in a 1-0 victory at Binghamton University. He then blanked top-seeded Boston University – also on the road – in UNH's 1-0 overtime victory on Nov. 10, tallying six saves. He closed the tourney with a four-save effort to shut out UMBC through regulation and overtime (110 minutes) in the league title game.
With those three shutouts, O'Donnell was selected to the All-Tournament Team and concluded his collegiate career with a shutout streak of 309 minutes, eight seconds. He also increased his single-season shutout total to 10, which ties the UNH record, and lowered his goals-against-average to 0.43, which is a school single-season record and ranked No. 2 in the nation.
Additionally, O'Donnell finishes the year ranking first in the country with a .902 save percentage, allowing more than one goal just once in 17 matches. He was especially stellar at home, posting a 5-0-2 record with a 0.26 GAA, .946 save percentage and five shutouts as he stopped 35 of 37 shots on goal.
His accomplishments did not go without merit, earning the America East Goalkeeper of the Year award and All-Conference First Team honors for the second consecutive year. Aside from his impressive GAA and save percentage numbers, he topped the America East in shutouts (10) and saves (74), while ranking third in saves per game (4.35).
Hilton, who owns a 3.37 GPA in business administration, earned America East Second-Team honors this season after posting a team-best eight points on three goals and two assists. The two-time America East All-Academic selection, tallied a pair of game-winning goals in back-to-back efforts against Presbyterian (Sept. 12) and Bryant (Sept. 22). The junior captain also tallied a goal in UNH's 2-1 win over Boston University (Oct. 23), helping hand the Terriers their only regular season loss in conference play this year. Additionally, the midfielder registered an assist in a win against Bryant and in a tie versus Cornell (Sept. 10).
Corsello, who is an environmental engineering major with a cumulative GPA of 3.74, was also recently named to the CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-American First-Team for District 1 and the America East All-Academic Team for the second straight season. He played in all 20 games including 18 starts this year, posting four shots, while scoring a game-tying goal against Cornell on Sept. 10 in the first frame to help the Wildcats earn a 1-1 tie.
All three student-athletes were chosen based on their accomplishments both in the classroom and on the playing field.