SOARING: The women's gymnastics team didn't have far to take its trophy when the squad earned its second-ever East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) championship on March 22. The event brought eight teams from as far away as Pittsburgh and North Carolina to UNH's Whittemore Center, the first time since 2003 the Wildcats have hosted the championship. With multiple First Team performances in every rotation and a near-perfect floor routine by Erin Machado '14, the squad earned its fifth-highest score in program history and an automatic bid to the NCAA Regional Championships. The Wildcats finished fifth at the April 5 event, held at Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania.
BACK TO BACK(STROKE): In February, the women's swimming and diving team earned its second-straight America East championship with a record-breaking 877-point performance at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sports and Recreation Center. It was the team's sixth-ever America East championship and the third time in program history that the Wildcats have claimed back-to-back titles. Three swimmers in individual events and the 400-yard freestyle relay team all contributed first-place finishes to the record performance, including Lauren McCandless '14, who took her third-consecutive America East title in the 1,650-yard freestyle and was tabbed for the inaugural Dave Alexander Coaches Award at the end of the meet. Head coach Josh Willman and his staff were named the America East Coaches of the Year for the fifth-straight season.
ON ICE: In April, the women's ice hockey team named Hilary Witt as the new head coach of the 37-year-old program. A standout player for Northeastern University and the U.S. National Team, Witt's coaching credentials include serving as assistant coach of the 2014 U.S. Women's Olympic Ice Hockey team under head coach Katey Stone '89 as well as coaching positions at Northeastern and Yale University. Describing the highly decorated Witt as one of the all-time great players in women's hockey, UNH athletic director Marty Scarano says, "she and knows exactly what it takes to succeed at this level and we look forward to her leadership in rebuilding UNH into a national contender."
SOCCER PITCH: Steve Welham was named the new head coach of the women's soccer program on May 22. Welham has spent the last eight years with the women's soccer program at Stony Brook University in New York, first as assistant coach and as associate coach since 2009. A magna cum laude graduate of Seton Hall who also holds a master's degree in counseling and sport psychology from Boston University, Welham played professionally with the South Jersey Barons of the United Soccer League and was invited to try out with the Major League Soccer New York/New Jersey MetroStars. Former colleagues praise him as a "high character" and "high quality" coach, with the knowledge and skill to build an America East Championship-caliber team.
Originally published by:
UNH Magazine, Spring 2014 Issue