On Friday, Nov. 2, the University of Maine Field Hockey team triumphed over the University of California Golden Bears in the quarterfinal round of the America East Championships, winning 4-3.
The Black Bears, who had to beat the Golden Bears to advance to the semi-finals, entered the field in good spirits, after beating University of Massachusetts, Lowell on Oct. 28. Many members of the Black Bears had also just won America East Field Hockey awards for this season that were announced at the America East banquet.
Nina Keur, a first-year who has scored 20 points in her debut season, was selected for the AEFH All-Rookie Team. Casey Crowley, a fourth-year, was selected a third time for the AEFH East Division All-Conference after leading the Black Bears with 26 points this season. Samantha Wagg, a fourth-year, was also selected for AEFH East Division All-Conference recognition after racking up 7 goals and 3 assists for the Black Bears this season. Libby Riedl, a fourth-year, was awarded AEFH East Division All-Conference Honors, after tallying 10 goals and 3 assists during the 2018 season.
Crowley was also awarded the AEFH Midfielder of the Year award, becoming the first Black Bear to achieve this honor since 2011.
During the game against California, the Black Bears proved why they had been awarded AEFH recognition and battled hard to succeed to the semifinals. Friday’s game went into double-overtime for the second time during the America East conference.
UMaine took the lead quickly in the first half. Brianna Ricker, a third-year, tallied a goal on corner, bringing the score up to 1-0 in favor of the Black Bears. The score was tied soon after by Moore from the Golden Bears.
Mia Borley, a first-year, made an impressive save for the Black Bears after the Golden Bears were awarded a corner penalty, just barely deflecting the ball from the Golden Bear’s attack. Not only was Borley playing impressively in the goal on Friday, the entire UMaine team had some impressive saves. Wagg, picked up a clutch defensive save 24 minutes in, just as the ball looked like it would roll into the net.
The second goal for UMaine came 30 minutes into the game, as Riedl scored on a breakaway, giving the Black Bears a 2-1 lead.
California scored on a penalty corner less than five minutes later, bringing the score to a tie. Yvie Lock of California followed that up shortly after by finding the back of the net, giving the Golden Bears their first lead of the evening.
Crowley led the charge back for Maine, and after being assisted by Riedl and third-year forward Brittany Smith on a penalty corner, tied the game with less than four minutes remaining in regulation.
Ricker scored the first and last goals of the night, with her final goal in the second overtime period bringing home a victory for the Black Bears.
“We definitely had to face some adversity today, there were some ups and downs in the game, but the whole game we were working our butts off no matter what … we’ve had a lot of circumstances this season where we’ve had to come back from being down. I think that our team [are] such hard workers, we work for each other, and we end up pulling it off,” Ricker said post-game.