College of Maine area hockey captain Hannah Abbott from Portland was attempting to explain her ideas on enjoying on the staff’s new synthetic turf floor and renovated stadium.
“I can’t even put it into phrases,” Abbott mentioned. “It’s stunning, it’s wonderful. It’s every part we thought it could be and extra.”
Fifth-year senior midfielder Madisyn Hartley from Pittsfield shared the identical sentiment, as did senior heart again Poppy Lambert.
“I’m so pleased to be part of the staff that is ready to get [to play on] this,” mentioned fifth-year senior midfielder Madisyn Hartley from Pittsfield. “I’m actually fortunate.”
Not solely will the UMaine area hockey staff have a brand new turf area this season, it seems that the perennial America East title contenders will probably be placing one other top-quality product on that floor. Expectations are excessive regardless of dropping league Offensive Participant of the Yr and third staff All-American ahead Chloe Walton, together with All-America East second staff choices Sydney Meader, a ahead, and goalkeeper Mia Borley.
The Black Bears have gained back-to-back league common season titles after sharing the championship with now-departed Monmouth the earlier season.
UMaine’s 8-0 convention report final 12 months was the primary time the Black Bears went undefeated in league play. Their convention report during the last three campaigns is 22-2.
However after successful the match two years in the past in Orono and incomes their first NCAA Match look, the host Black Bears had been upset by fifth seed Stanford 3-1 within the semifinals final fall.
The Black Bears had been picked to complete second in America East this season within the annual coaches ballot, which was launched on Thursday.
Defending tourney champ Albany was picked to win it, garnering eight first-place votes with UMass Lowell selecting up the opposite one.
Abbott mentioned the loss to Stanford within the semifinals will function additional motivation.
“We had an ideal common season however, clearly, it didn’t finish how we wished it to within the playoffs,” Abbott mentioned. “I do know what a championship looks like and I would like that unhealthy.”
Head coach Josette Babineau is optimistic in regards to the season.
“We can have much more depth within the midfield and our again line is mainly the identical,” Babineau mentioned. “We’re going to should work exhausting on our goalkeeping and ahead line within the preseason and our exhibition video games. We can have some endurance and provides it a while to verify we’re prepared for convention play.”
Headlining the checklist of returnees is America East Defensive Participant of the Yr and second staff All-American Lambert, who scored a school-record 22 objectives final season, principally off penalty corners. She had seven sport winners and tallied 51 factors, as she additionally had seven assists. The 51 factors tied the varsity report.
Lambert’s 1.16 objectives per sport common final season was third within the nation amongst 77 applications. She has scored 44 objectives in simply 52 profession video games.
She will probably be flanked on the appropriate aspect by Abbott, who has appeared in 57 profession video games, and on the left by senior Kristiana Walker, who performed in all 19 video games a 12 months in the past.
Junior Avani Gill and freshman Eloise Penty will present depth within the again.
Fifth-year goalkeeper Mallory Drayer, who has performed in 12 profession video games, will lastly get her probability to earn important obligation with extremely touted Australian freshman Jayde Temby vying for taking part in time.
“Mallory performed in all of our spring video games and has been in our program for a very long time,” Babineau mentioned. “Clearly, she hasn’t been in a beginning capability however she nonetheless has loads of expertise.”
Now that she is in place to be a starter, Babineau mentioned Drayer should “change her considering and strategy to the season.”
Hartley, who had a objective and 18 assists a 12 months in the past, and Czechia Nationwide staff participant Tereza Holubcova (3 objectives, 14 assists) will probably be two of the necessary catalysts within the midfield, together with Skowhegan’s Bhreagh Kennedy (4 & 2). Olivia Geniti performed in all 19 video games and fellow sophomores Zoe Furber and Julia Berk additionally acquired somewhat enjoying time a 12 months in the past and will probably be anticipated to contribute extra with a 12 months of expertise underneath their belts.
There are additionally three promising freshmen within the midfield in Brianna Townsend from Newport, Bryynn Dzengelewski and Saylor Kuefler.
On the ahead line, Canadian Nationwide staff participant Mallory Mackesy had 11 objectives and three assists as a freshman final season and was named to the America East All-Rookie staff.
Kate Richardson (1 & 1) performed in 18 video games as a freshman and sophomores Taylor Stanford and Taylor Katsube acquired necessary enjoying time in restricted service and must also be making a big soar this season.
“It’s thrilling. I’m seeing lots of people able to step up,” Lambert mentioned. “They’re displaying loads of vitality. And we’ve a tremendous group of freshmen. They’re working exhausting and adapting nicely to our fashion of play, which is superior.”
Abbott mentioned that dropping a dynamic 11-goal scorer and playmaker in Walton goes to be robust to switch however she mentioned the younger gamers realized quite a bit from her and are able to fill the void.
“We’ve at all times had a great assault and been capable of rating loads of objectives,” Babineau mentioned. “We normally lead the convention in that class. Our midfield should step up and rating extra.”
She anticipates her staff being in lower-scoring video games this season.
UMaine averaged 3.42 objectives per sport en path to its 14-5 marketing campaign final season, which was third-most within the nation.
UMaine will play exhibition video games in opposition to Stonehill and Merrimack earlier than opening the season by internet hosting Boston School on Friday, Aug. 25 at 1 p.m.