The University of Maine field hockey had plenty of positives to take from the season: they finished the regular season ranked No. 25 in the polls (having since dropped to No. 30) with a record of 12-6, including 6-2 in America East play. This 6-2 record was enough to secure the Black Bears a share of the Eastern Division title with the University of Albany. Even better, Maine downed the No. 20 Great Danes on their home turf for their first win over Albany since 2005.
Unfortunately there were some negatives on the season as well. They dropped a neutral site game against eventual America East champion Stanford University, and dropped the final two games of the season, including their Senior Day matchup against the University of New Hampshire and their quarterfinal matchup against the University of the Pacific.
As a team, Maine’s offense was, at the very least, aggressive. In 18 games, they fired off 305 shots, good for 16.9 shots a game. This offensive aggression netted them 52 goals for the season, good for 2.89 goals per game. The one game that they really looked like a juggernaut came against Bryant University, where the Black Bears smoked the Bulldogs 12-1. On top of being aggressive, they also moved the ball around extremely well, averaging 2.33 assists per game.
Goaltending was a bit of an issue for the Black Bears this season. As a team they finished in the bottom of the rankings among all NCAA Div. I teams in save percentage at .689. If they want to make a good push at getting into the top of the rankings and even making a push for the national tournament, they are going to have to get a little more production in the cage.
The team will retain most of its already strong core, as they will lose just three players to graduation for next season: midfielder Madison Cummings, and goalkeepers Emma Cochran and Emily Corbett.
The Black Bears will have five of their top six scorers from this season returning. Headlining this core is third-year midfielder Libby Riedl, who finished the season with nine goals and 10 assists, good for 28 points. Second-year forward Brianna Ricker and third-year back Samantha Wagg, who contributed 24 and 23 points respectively, will also be back for Maine next season.
As far as key contributors for next season goes, Riedl, Ricker and Wagg have to be the three focal points for Maine. Third-years Emily Hindle, Casey Crowley and Ella Mosky also figure to play larger roles for the Black Bears offense. First-year Hana Davis could prove to be one of the younger stars for this team, if not in the entirety of the conference.
The Black Bears had a successful season, but a couple of losses in games that they needed to win really hurt them. They have a lot of questions that will need to be answered in terms of defending the cage, but they are right there, ready to put the university on the map.