Maine Field Hockey Faces A "Canine Weekend" Playing the No. 12 Albany Great Danes and Bryant Bulldogs At Home
Maine enters a key weekend where it faces possibly its toughest conference foe, in No. 12 Albany on Saturday afternoon, in Orono, Maine. The Black Bears host the Great Danes beginning at noon. Maine will then take on Braynt on Sunday at the UMaine Field Hockey Complex, beginning at 1 pm.
SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES
The Great Danes are the highest ranked America East team according to the NFHCA Poll from this past week. Albany enters the weekend as the No. 12 ranked team, one spot lower than their highest ranking of the year, which was No. 11. The Great Danes suffered their first loss of the season last weekend, falling to then No. 6 Stanford, 2-1. Until that point Albany was undefeated on the season reeling off nine-straight wins.
Daphne Voormorlen headlines the Great Dane offense, leading the team in points with 28 points (12 goals and four assists). Albany has one more player that has already broken the 20-point plateau as Paula Heuser has eight goals and five assists for 21 points. In total the Great Danes have five players with double-digit point totals.
In the cage, Maxi Primus has seen a majority of the action, going 8-1 in her nine starts. The netminder maintains a .750 save percentage and a 1.10 goals against average.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Bryant enters the weekend with a two game slate. The Bulldogs will play La Salle at home on Friday and then travel to Orono, Maine to play the Black Bears on Sunday. Prior to last weekend the Bulldogs were on an eight-game winning streak. The Bulldogs were upended by Holy Cross, 2-1, to snap the streak.
Rosie Bird leads Bryant in point production with 23 (nine goals and five assists) with two other Bulldogs reaching double-digit points totals. Olivia Jankins has 15 points (five goals, five assists) while Mallory Hancock has 10 (two goals, six assists).
Megan Hancock has seen all the time in the cage for the Bulldogs this season. She's made 55 saves and allowed 24 goals while maintaining a 2.63 goals against average and a .696 save percentage. The goalkeeper is 7-2.
Redshirt freshman Natasha Ford has seemingly hit her stride as starting goalkeeper of the Maine field hockey team. Ford has helped the Black Bears win five of its last six contests with its only loss coming against No. 4 Virginia. Ford is third in the conference in goals against average with 2.00 and fourth in save percentage with a mark of .692. However the most impressive feat so far for Ford has been her current scoreless streak of 210 minutes. Dating back to Sept. 15, Natasha Ford and her defense haven't allowed a goal. The latest shutout came against conference foe, UMass-Lowell as the Black Bears defeated the River Hawks, 4-0.
While the Black Bears have played a number of ranked opponents and played those foes close, they have had their way with unranked opponents in 2013. The Black Bears have outscored their unranked opposition, 22-4 (five contests). They defeated both Hofstra and Quinnipiac, 5-2 while they rolled Brown, 6-0, downed Central Michigan, 2-0 and handled UMass-Lowell, 4-0. The Black Bears have only been held scoreless once this season, and are averaging 3.12 goals per contest.
SPREADING THE LOVE
The Black Bears have been buoyed offensively by the team's tremendous offensive depth. While Annabelle Hamilton currently leads the team in points with 15 (six goals and three assists), Maine has four players with double-digit point totals while a total of 12 Black Bears have recorded at least one point in this latest campaign. Holly Stewart is second on the list with 14 points while Nicole Sevey is third with 12 and Marissa Shaw has 11. Cassidy Svetek is next closest with nine points while Sydney Veljacic, (one goal, three assists) has five points.
BLACK BEAR RANKINGS
The University of Maine field hockey team ranks highly in the offensive category when compared to its America East peers. Maine currently ranks in the top-three in every offensive category. Highlighting where the Black Bears feature is scoring average (second-place 3.22 gpg), shots (second-place 178/19.78 spg), and goals scored (third place, 29 goals/3.22 gpg). The Black Bears also sit second in the assist category with 24.
The current shutout streak has also helped improve the defensive numbers for the Black Bears. Natasha Ford is tied with Albany's Maxi Primus for first in the conference in shutouts with three. The Black Bears are also second in goals against, averaging 1.89 having only allowed 17. Albany is first in that category having only allowed eight this season.
This past weekend, Gardiner, Maine native, Becca Paradee was featured in a story in the Kennebec Journal. The story, written by Bill Stewart, talks about Paradee's presence on the backline has helped stabilize the Maine defense. Read the story at the link below:
A LOOK AHEAD
After the this home weekend the Black Bears take to the road for a one-game showdown against New Hampshire on Oct. 11. The Black Bears will return home later that weekend to host Northeastern at the UMaine Field Hockey Complex. The match times are 6 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively.