A third-year forward for the Maine Black Bears field hockey team, Madison Cummings, makes a difference both on and off the field. She may be in double-digit scoring already this season, but her eye is on something much farther into the fall.
Cummings was born on Sept. 24, 1996 in Belfast, Maine and studies nursing at the University of Maine at Orono. She has three sisters, Brittney Cummings, Makayla Cummings and Breann Cummings. Brittney is a fellow Maine alum who played field hockey for the Black Bears from 2007 to 2011.
Field hockey is nothing new for Cummings, as she first played at a fairly young age. “I started playing around age 4-5, and played with my older sister Brittney. She has taught me more than I could’ve imagined, and I wouldn’t be here without her,” she said.
Attending Belfast High School from 2010 to 2014, Cummings played field hockey and mastered the forward position, where she finished her high school career with 49 goals and 35 assists. Her best season was during her junior year, where she had 20 goals and 10 assists and set the school record with the most goals in a single season.
While at Belfast, Cummings led the Lions to a state championship, along with a state runner-up finish. After being named All-Rookie her first year, she was named as her team’s Most Valuable Player for the next three years, along with earning All-State and All-Academic awards.
“My former coach at Belfast, Amy Bernatchez, helped me so much to develop my skills, and learn how to play the game the right way. Without her, I wouldn’t have the same mindset that I have going into every game,” Cummings said.
Her impressive athletic talents don’t just lie on the field hockey pitch, as she has played softball on the field, basketball on the court and competed in track and field. She served as captain of the varsity softball team and was named best defensive player for the varsity basketball team.
“I loved playing other sports like basketball, track and field and softball, but field hockey is by far my favorite. I just feel like this is where I belong, and I’m happy with the success I’ve had so far,” Cummings said.
During her freshman year at the University of Maine, she saw action in only five games, as she fought through some injuries. She was named as a member of the 2014 Gladiator Division I National Academic Team Award by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association and also named as a “Rising Star” for accomplishing a 3.0 grade point average.
“She didn’t play much her first year because she was dealing with injuries, but worked extremely hard in the offseason and has worked her way back to be a leader of this team,” Head Coach Josette Babineau said.
As a sophomore, Cummings played in 15 games and tallied seven points that included three goals and one assist. She put one past the goalie in games at Providence, versus Siena and at Dartmouth. Cummings was given a “Bronze Medal” after being selected as a Maine Scholar Athlete and was named to the Field Hockey Academic Squad Selection by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA).
“The best memory so far was scoring the goal against North Carolina on Sunday. They’re one of the best teams in the country, and it really felt great to score against them,” Cummings said.
Madison Cummings has 10 goals and one assist totaling 21 points to lead the team so far this season and hopes to keep adding on. She doesn’t just lead the team in scoring, but is a leader in a way that influences others to step up their game.
“First-year players look up to her to gain the natural ability of learning the game of field hockey, and she’s up to the challenge to teach them. She’s able to get in front of the goal, and it takes complex understanding and instinct to do that in this game,” Babineau said.
The Black Bears are standing with a current 6-2 record with 11 regular season games remaining. Their chances at making the playoffs are very realistic, especially with the new No. 19 ranking for Maine from the NFHCA.
“I think we have a good chance to go deep into the playoffs, and make a push for the Championship in November. We have a great team, and playing well together will give us that opportunity,” Cummings said.