The University of Maine women’s basketball team has pretty much dropped off the radar of coaches in the America East Conference.
Coach Cindy Blodgett’s Black Bears were picked to finish eighth in the nine-team league in the America East preseason coaches poll released Thursday.
Vermont was the coaches’ choice to claim the conference title, garnering five first-place votes on its way to 61 points. Defending champion Hartford was picked second with four first-place votes and 60 points.
The rest of the top five included Boston University third (50 points), Albany fourth (41) and Maryland Baltimore County fifth (31). Binghamton (25), New Hampshire (22), Maine (18) and Stony Brook (16) rounded out the sampling.
Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams.
“People’s expectations of us are very low,” Blodgett said, “but [our players’] expectations have risen. I see it in practice, every single day.”
UMaine did not have anyone selected for the preseason all-conference team.
UMaine wound up eighth during the 2007-08 regular season, but lost to No. 9 seed Stony Brook in the first round of the America East Championship held at Chase Arena in West Hartford, Conn.
The Bears had been picked to finish seventh in last season’s preseason poll.
UMaine plays the first of two exhibition games on Sunday when it takes on the University of New Brunswick at noon in Alfond Arena. The Bears then have a Nov. 7 exhibition contest against Husson University of Bangor before opening the regular season Nov. 16 at Atlantic Coast Conference power Duke, which is coached by former UMaine coach Joanne P. McCallie.
UM’s Hodgson all-district choice
Anjelica Hodgson of the University of Maine has been named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA All-Academic District I third team.
The junior fullback from Nepean, Ontario, has maintained a 3.74 grade point average while majoring in biochemistry. She is a two-time Maine Scholar-Athlete honoree and has twice been named to the America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Hodgson has anchored the Black Bears’ defense and the 2007 All-America East second-team pick has started 54 consecutive contests since arriving in Orono.
UMaine sponsoring ‘Trick or Eat’
Several student-athletes from the UMaine will participate in the second annual “Trick or Eat” campaign on Halloween night.
Representatives of Black Bear teams will visit homes Friday night in the Orono-Old Town area, where they will collect cans for the Crossroads Resource Center.
The Student Athlete Advisory Committee collected 1,060 cans last year, the largest donation ever received by the Community Resource Center, which is located at 2 Wood St. in Old Town. It serves upwards of 700 families every month.