#13 Maine Field Hockey to Battle #10 New Hampshire Friday Afternoon
ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine Field Hockey team (14-2, 2-1 America East), ranked #13 in the most recent National Field Hockey Coaches Association Poll, will travel to battle the #10 University of New Hampshire Wildcats (13-3, 3-0 America East) at Memorial Field in Durham, N.H. on Friday at 3 p.m.
The Black Bears enter the contest winners of their last three with victories over Holy Cross, Fairfield and a 5-4 come from behind victory over Hofstra. Maine continues to lead the nation in scoring as set a new school-record last weekend when it tallied its 82nd goal of the season, besting the old record set in 2009 by 10 goals and counting.
Maine continues to hold one of the best attacks in the country. Maine leads the nation in scoring average (5.1), goals per game (5.13) and points per game (14.0). Maine is second in the nation in assists per game (3.75), fourth in scoring margin (3.48), fifth in winning percentage (.875) and sixth nationally in penalty corners per game (9.5).
The Black Bears are led by senior co-captains Stephanie Gardiner (Vancouver, British Columbia) and Kelly Newton (Vancouver, British Columbia). Newton, already the holder of four Maine scoring records, set another last weekend as she tallied her 46th point of the season, surpassing the old record of 45 points set by Annie Elkanich in 1996. Newton currently leads the nation in assists (22), averaging 1.38 per game, while adding 12 goals, including four game-winners, for 46 points on the season. Newton is seventh in the nation in points per game at 2.88. Gardiner also has 12 goals on the season to go along with seven assists for 31 points. Fellow senior Jocelyn Mitchell (Kanata, Ontario) is chipping in nine goals and four assists for 22 points. Together, the three seniors have all tallied over 100 points a piece as Newton has 158 career points, Gardiner has 113 and Mitchell has recorded 106 totals points.
Maine has shared the wealth in scoring this season as 14 Black Bears have tallied at least one point thus far this season. Nine Black Bears have totaled double-digit points this season including current America East Player and Rookie of the Week Holly Stewart (North Vancouver, British Columbia) who has 11 goals and six assists for 28 points. Sophomore Alexa Binnendijk (Den Haag, Holland) has not only played shutdown defense this season but she has been a key part of the Maine penalty corner unit, tallying 13 goals and one assists for 27 points. Zoe Adkins (Coquitlam, British Columbia) has moved from the back to the midfield and has five goals and 10 assists for 20 points. Freshman back Annabelle Hamilton (North Vancouver, British Columbia) has five goals and five assists for 15 points while senior leader Lelia Sacré (North Delta, British Columbia) is assisting from the back with four goals and three assists for 11 points. Senior Courtney Glynn (Hampton, N.H.) rounds out the double-digit scorers as she has five goals for 10 points.
Senior Brittany Fleck (Vancouver, British Columbia) controls the cage for Maine as she is 8-2-0 on the season with two shutouts. Fleck has accumulated a 1.99 goals against average with a .630 saves percentage.
The Wildcats are led by the duo of senior scorers in Whitney Frates and Hayley Rausch. Rausch leads New Hampshire with 16 goals and 20 assists for 46 points while Frates has 18 goals and 10 assists, also totaling 46 points. Rausch ranks sixth nationally with 2.93 points per game while Frates is eighth at 2.86 per game.
New Hampshire currently sits tenth nationally in goals per game at 3.73 and rank ninth in scoring average at 3.73.
Maine and New Hampshire last met on Nov. 5, 2010 when the #4 seeded Black Bears faced the #1 seeded Wildcats at Memorial Field in the opening round of the 2010 America East Tournament. The Black Bears jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by Mitchell before Rausch tied things up just under two minutes later. Newton gave the Black Bears a 2-1 lead on her 19th goal of the season before Frates tied things at 2-2 heading into halftime. Rausch would tally the eventual game-winner in the 62nd minute to give New Hampshire a 3-2 victory.
Maine last defeated UNH on Oct. 3, 2009, a game won 6-3 in Durham by the Black Bears. Gardiner and Mitchell each tallied a pair of goals in the win for Maine.
The Black Bears return to action with a neutral site game on Saturday, Oct. 22 when they meet Rutgers at UMass for a 3 p.m. start.