Member of Canadian team transfers to UMaine

Posted June 24, 2009, at 11:40 p.m.

Lelia Sacre, who played for the Canadian senior national field hockey team in 2006, has transferred to the University of Maine.

She played at Syracuse University in 2007 and had seven goals and two assists in just 13 games. She missed the first six games with a concussion.

She returned to her native North Delta, British Columbia, last year where she coached and played field hockey including a short stint with the national team.

Sacre will be a center back and will be a shooting option on penalty corners.

“She will make an immediate impact on our program. She’s the last piece to our team,” said Maine coach Josette Babineau.

“She has international experience and will bring a lot of experience to our team. Her biggest asset is her distribution skills. She will help us break out of our own end and can build an attack from the back line. She can really maneuver in tight spaces,” she added.

“I’m really excited about coming to Maine,” said Sacre, who will join three other British Columbia natives at Maine in Stephanie Gardiner, Kelly Newton and Brittany Fleck.

“I visited the campus and found everyone to be very genuine and honest. I enjoyed the campus, I had a real good feel about it.”

She is familiar with Gardiner and Newton and played in a tournament they were in a month ago. She is looking forward to being their teammate.

“They played phenomenal,” said Sacre.

She said she knew Babineau because the Maine coach had recruited her when she coaching was at Cornell.

Sacre chose Syracuse but after spending a year there, she said “it wasn’t the right situation for me.”

Sacre’s parents, John and Cindy, have both coached field hockey and her mother played at San Diego State.

The 20-year-old Sacre said her primary focus in the fall will be to do everything she can to help the team.

“I just want to win,” said Sacre.

Her coming to Maine is contingent upon her being accepted into the school and meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.

UM athletes excel in classroom

The men’s cross country team and the volleyball team at the University of Maine have been recognized by America East as the conference’s top academic performers in their respective sports.

The Black Bears’ cross country squad, coached by Mark Lech, compiled a 3.31 cumulative grade point average during 2008-09.

The volleyball team, directed by Lynn Atherley, posted a 3.27 GPA. UMaine has discontinued its volleyball program.

UMaine was among seven America East athletic programs to have a 3.00 or better GPA for all of its student-athletes last year. UMaine’s 3.06 ranked fifth, with Vermont leading the way at 3.14 en route to winning the America East Academic Cup.

lmahoney@bangordailynews.net

990-8231

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