In a non–conference early season game, the University of Maine women’s field hockey team beat the Hofstra University Pride 1-0 on Friday, Sept. 9 in Orono. The lone goal of the game was from third-year student Poppy Lambert who scored her second goal of the season on a penalty corner shot with 5:04 left in the first quarter. The goal remained the game’s difference maker. Madisyn Hartley and Tereza Holubcova both made assists, their third and second assists of the season respectively.
However, the star of the game was fifth-year goaltender Mia Borely. The Durham, England native posted an eight save shutout including three very key late penalty shots to seal the game and improve UMaine’s record to 2-3 on the season. Borely was named the America East Conference top goaltender last season and is one of the premier net minders in the country.
The Black Bears are looking to three-peat as America East champions and go back to the national championship tournament, where they were defeated last year by the Miami University of Ohio in the opening round of overtime.
UMaine came into this season ranked No. 22 in the nation and had a tough schedule to start, losing in a heartbreaking overtime game to the No. 25 ranked UMass Amherst 4-3. The team followed that with a 5-1 drubbing by the No. 1 ranked and defending champion Northwestern. However, the Black Bears got back to their winning ways with a 5-2 win over an undermatched UMass Dartmouth team. The next game they played was a 1-0 upset loss against Quinnipiac before beating Hofstra this past Friday.
So the start of the season has not been the kindest to UMaine’s Black Bears but it is really not that important for their overall record. Play within the conference has not started yet, so this time is great practice for the team. UMaine will start their play in America East on September 23 when they welcome rival University of New Hampshire to town. Almost all of the games they play will be in-conference, where they’ll be playing against teams like the aforementioned UNH, Vermont, UMass Lowell, Albany, University of California (UC) Berkely, UC Davis, Stanford and Bryant.
Head coach Josette Babineau, who is currently coaching in her 16th season, has a career record of 175-114 and has the all-time lead for career and single season wins in UMaine history. She has already taken the program to heights it has never been to before, but she is trying to do even better than that. Her assistant coach Michelle Simpson is in her 6th year in the position, but she also has newly graduated former player Brooke Sullinski to assist her in the coaching duties as well this season.
Most of the championship winning roster from a year ago has returned, such as the previously mentioned Borely, Lambert, Hartley and Holubcova, as well as Hannah Abbot, Breagh Kennedy, Kristjiana Walker and Chloe Walton among others. UMaine also has multiple first-years contributing to the team this season, including Mallory Mackesy, Olivia Geniti and Kate Richardson. With a talented roster this year, there is no limit to the potential of this team in the 2022 season and beyond.