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NH College Notebook: Portsmouth's Noucas added to Dartmouth women's hoop staff

August 24. 2013 1:56AM

Anne Twombly (10), of Exeter, is a senior co-captain of the 2013 University of New Hampshire women's cross country team. (COURTESY)

Dartmouth College women's basketball coach Belle Koclanes has added Portsmouth native Maria Noucas to her staff as recruiting coordinator and assistant coach tasked with scouting opponents and working with Big Green guards on skills development.

"I am thrilled to welcome Maria home to New Hampshire after a successful four years at the US Naval Academy," Koclanes said in a release. "She has a great passion for education and the coaching profession."

As an assistant coach for four seasons at Navy, Noucas helped guide the Midshipwomen to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and three Patriot League titles. During her tenure, Navy compiled a record of 76-52 and 37-19 in Patriot League action.

A 2009 graduate of Bowdoin College, Noucas was a four-year member of the basketball team at the Maine school, leading the Polar Bears to four consecutive NCAA tournament berths and at least a share of three New England Small College Athletic Conference titles. Noucas left her mark in the Bowdoin record books, where she's ranked among the school's all-time leaders in multiple categories.

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SOUTHERN New Hampshire University is losing its associate director of athletics, Chad Mason, to a similar position at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.

A 1998 graduate of what was then New Hampshire College, Mason has been a member of the athletics department at his alma mater for 15 years, serving in his current role since 2009. He started in the department as equipment and events manager in 1998 and was promoted to assistant AD in 2004. Mason also worked in the athletics department for four years as an undergraduate.

Mason has had a hand in nearly every facet of SNHU'S 17-sport NCAA Division II program, overseeing overseeing its facilities, nearly all of which have seen extensive renovations in recent years. He oversaw the areas of operations and equipment, as well as athletics communications, while also serving as a supervisor for several sports. He also served as a liaison for outside groups using SNHU's athletics facilities and for a time oversaw compliance with NCAA regulations.

A native of Hamilton, N.Y., Mason is a past president of the SNHU Alumni Association and received that organization's Young Alumni Award in 2000. Mason, who also instructed a course on facilities management within SNHU's highly regarded sports management department, earned his master's degree from SNHU in 2000.

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RIVIER University of Nashua hired Laura Ray as head coach of its women's soccer program. She also will serve as the athletics department's senior administrator for women's sports.

Ray joins the Raiders after spending the last three seasons as head coach at Dean College in Franklin, Mass. She earned the National Junior College Athletic Association's Region 21 Coach of the Year award after guiding Dean to a 9-5-1 record in 2012. It was the school's best record in women's soccer since 1998.

Ray served two seasons as head coach at SUNY Cortland during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, recording an 18-16-3 record and leading the team to the SUNY Athletic Conference playoffs both seasons.

As an assistant coach, Ray made stops at Division I University of Akron, Division II Binghamton University, and on the Division III level with Plattsburgh State University, Springfield College, and Wheelock College.

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AFTER what has become its traditional opener with Division III Suffolk University at home on Nov. 9, coach Bill Herrion's University of New Hampshire men's basketball team plays its first Division I opponent on the road, at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh on Nov. 13.

The 'Cats return home to face New Jersey Institute of Technology on Nov. 17 before traveling to play Big East power Marquette in Milwaukee on Nov. 21.

The Wildcats host in-state rival Dartmouth on Dec. 18.

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UNH's field hockey team, led by 23rd-year head coach Robin Balducci, was selected second in the 2013 America East preseason coaches poll that was released Thursday.

The Wildcats, who have won three consecutive America East regular-season titles and advanced to three straight tournament championship games - a victory in the 2011 title game - received one first-place vote and a total of 21 points.

Albany garnered four first-place votes and 24 points for the top spot in the poll. Maine, which received the other first-place vote, follows UNH, in third place with 18 points. Fairfield (12 points), UMass Lowell (8) and Vermont (7) complete the poll.

Voting was conducted by the conference's six head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own team.

New Hampshire, with a 14-1 aggregate conference record the past three years, returns 10 starters and 15 letter-winners overall from the 2012 team, which went 12-8 overall and 5-0 in America East.

Seniors Megan Bozek and Casey Pohlmeyer were all-conference first-team honorees a year ago, while classmate Hannah Richard of Hopkinton and junior Kellie Joyce were second-team selections. Bozek, also the conference's Defensive Player of the Year, was named to the NFHCA Northeast Region first team and All-America third team. Joyce and Pohlmeyer were voted to the Northeast Region second team.

UNH begins the 2013 season in the Conference Cup tournament at Temple University with a game against the Maryland on Aug. 31 at noon. The Wildcats' first home game is Sept. 13 (7 p.m.) against Providence College.

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SENIORS Anne Twombly of Exeter and Elise Beattie will captain the women's cross country team in 2013.

A Woodstock, Ill., resident, Beattie also captained the 2012 squad. She went on to finish as the America East runner-up in the 5,000 meters at the conference indoor championships, recording a time of 17 minutes 15.62 seconds. At the 2013 outdoor conference championships, she finished third in the same event, crossing the line in 17:31.5.

Twombly, a graduate of Exeter High School, also enjoyed a successful 2013 season as she finished sixth in the 800-meter run at the conference indoor championships (2:16.45) and fifth in the mile (4:59.54). At the New England Championships, the Granite State native took gold in the 1,500, breaking the tape with a time of 4:29.44.

Both runners were members of the record-setting distance medley relay squad at the New England Championships, setting a standard of 11:36.04. The previous record of 11:39.29 had stood for 11 years.

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AFTER a strong performance during Canada's National Development Team selection hockey camp, Dartmouth's Laura Stacey has been selected as one of nine forwards for the women's national U-22 squad.

Earlier this month, Stacey was part of a group of 40 players invited to attend the week-long camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre, Hockey Canada's home arena at Canada Olympic Park.

Stacey was tabbed as one of 13 players selected to join the 27 senior team members who will centralize with Canada's national team in Calgary for training to prepare for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Stacey joins a roster that is heavily dominated by ECAC standouts. Clarkson has a trio of skaters on the roster while Quinnipiac, Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton and Harvard each have one player on the U-22 roster.

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KEENE STATE College women's soccer head coach Denise Lyons has added assistant coach Kristin Boeker, most recently associate head coach at the University of Texas-San Antonio, to her staff.

Before her seven-year stint in San Antonio, Booker was an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois University, where she helped guide the Panthers to a 36-18-9 record over three seasons, including three consecutive Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championships.

"We're very fortunate to add Kristin Boeker to our program," Lyons said in a release. "I'm sure with her extensive playing and coaching experience at the Division I level, she'll bring fresh and different ideas to the team and be another pair of eyes on the field."

"Someone new brings a different perspective, a different vision and a different way of doing things," said Boeker. "I'm here to learn from Coach Lyons, and whatever I can give back to her would be a bonus. She obviously established an extremely successful program and has a tremendous background in the sport. This is my opportunity to grow as a soccer coach and learn more about the game."

Originally from Lake St. Louis, Mo., Boeker played for the University of Missouri, lettering from 1997-2000. As a junior, she helped lead the Tigers to their first NCAA tournament appearance, in 1999.

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PAUL HOGAN, director of athletics at NHTI-Concord's Community College, recently announced the Quonquer the Quad fundraiser in support of the Jen Kemps Scholarship Fund to benefit the school's student-athletes.

A fitness challenge for teams of four members age 18 or older, the event will start at 8 a.m. on Sept. 22. The teams will compete in a variety of events on a course designed by NHTI alumnus Eric Marsh of Fun Intelligent Training. A separate challenge of participants 17 and under will take place on the NHTI quad.

To register online, go to, or contact Hogan at or 271-6484, ext. 420.

"College Notebook" is compiled by the Sports staff of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News, and appears weekly during the college season in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Email submissions to

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