Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Thomas field hockey coach Andrea Thebarge knew exactly where she wanted the Terriers to improve this season.
Thomas scored 30 goals last season, which was tied for eighth in the 10-team North Atlantic Conference. Castleton (98 goals) and Husson (67), the two highest-scoring teams in the NAC, were also the two teams in the conference championship game.
This fall, the Terriers have 17 goals in seven games, and Thebarge said this is the most weapons she's had on offense in her six years at Thomas.
One reason for the increased production is Messalonskee graduate Miranda Tinsman. As a sophomore, Tinsman played on defense, then moved up the field to the midfield last season. This year, Thebarge has installed her as the center forward.
"We definitely needed to work on our offensive threat and she has a knack for the goal," Thebarge said. "She's definitely a huge force in the circle."
Tinsman has five goals this season as does sophomore Michelle Greene. At Winslow High School, Greene scored 47 goals, including 20 as a senior. Greene had two goals as a freshman at Thomas.
"She is just playing outstanding," Thebarge said. "Her stick skills and the speed that she goes after the ball are amazing, and she's really stepped it up this year."
Messalonskee grad Lauren Hachey is third on the team with eight points. She and Skowhegan grad Erica Blake have done a nice job igniting the offense from the backfield and also providing extra options on penalty corners. Thebarge said Hachey, Tinsman and goalie Sofia Sourgiadakis (0.63 goals-against average) have all played well and been standout leaders.
The offense is so deep that junior Brittany Premo, who led the Terriers with 25 points last season, has been able to take on more of a play-making role.
Thomas is 4-3-0 overall and the next game is a big one -- at 1 p.m., Saturday at home against Castleton, the defending NAC champion.
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The Hancock triplets -- MaKayla, Mallory and Megan -- are seniors on the field hockey team at Bryant University. The Skowhegan grads have helped the Bulldogs equal the best start in the history of the program.
Bryant was 6-13 last fall, but is 6-1 and will carry a six-game winning streak into today's game at Dartmouth. A win today would put the Bulldogs at 7-1 for the first time in school history.
Megan Hancock has played every minute in goal, and has a 2.85 goals-against average. Mallory Hancock has two goals and five assists for nine points, while MaKayla Hancock has five points and a defensive save.
Another Skowhegan grad, sophomore Mikayla Fitzmaurice, has started three games on defense for Bryant this season, and has tallied two assists.
Bryant plays at Maine on Sunday, Oct. 6. That game will feature seven former Skowhegan players. Adriana Martineau, Nicole Sevey and Jessica Skillings all play for the Black Bears.
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Athens native and Madison grad Matt McClintock has set a high standard in his first two cross country races for Purdue this season. On Saturday, McClintock finished second overall and first among Big Ten runners at the Indiana Intercollegiates, completing the 8K-course in 25 minutes, 4 seconds.
A week earlier, in a four-team meet with Ohio State, Michigan and Illinois, McClintock took first overall, with a time of 24:41 for the 8K.
Waterville grad Tiana Thomas, a freshman at the University of New England, is also getting used to people chasing her. Thomas finished second in first collegiate race with a time of 21:31 on a 5K course.
Thomas followed that up by placing sixth among 137 runners in her second race. This weekend at Gordon College, Thomas had a time of 20:20 for the 5K and took third among 177 runners.
Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243