NCAA passes over UMaine for field hockey tournament

Posted Nov. 08, 2011, at 11:29 p.m.

Despite finishing with a 16-4 record, the University of Maine field hockey team’s 4-0 America East semifinal loss to Boston University has closed the book on the Black Bears’ season.

America East regular-season and tournament champion New Hampshire is the only team from the conference to earn a berth in the 16-team NCAA Tournament.

The 17-4 Wildcats will take on 14-6 Michigan in the first round.

The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee chose the field hockey field Tuesday night.

Maine lost a 3-0 decision to the Wildcats this season and also dropped a season-opening 3-2 decision to Northeastern, which went 14-7 and earned a first-round date with Penn State (16-5).

Maine coach Josette Babineau said she thought they had a chance to get in and was nervous all day in anticipation of the selection show that she watched with her players Tuesday night.

In hindsight, she understood that they didn’t have the strength of schedule required to earn an at-large berth.

“But at least we were in position to watch the show for the first time ever because we had a chance. We had a pretty talented team and we proved we can compete with the top 15-16 teams in the country,” said Babineau. “One of our goals was to be ranked in the top 20 all year and we were. We were 17th in this week’s coaches poll.”

HUSSON HONORS 3 PLAYERS

Cross country runner Angela Stauble and three-sport standout Amanda Gifford have been named Husson University’s co-female athletes of the year, while football-baseball star Kyle Vanidestine has been selected the male athlete of the year.

This is for their performances last year (September 2010 through May 2011).

They will receive their awards at the Husson Sports Hall of Fame banquet to be held Dec. 2 at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono.

Husson athletic director Bob Reasso explained that the coaches make recommendations to the senior athletic administrators, and the administrators make the final selections.

Stauble won the 2010 North Atlantic Conference cross country championship and was named the NAC Runner of the Year and Rookie of the Year in Husson’s first varsity season. And it was Stauble, a native of Amherst, N.H., who was instrumental in the formation of the program.

She established the running club and petitioned Husson president Robert Clark and the athletic staff about adding cross country.

Stauble, who maintained a 3.97 grade-point average in occupational therapy, helped lead the Eagles to the NAC team championship this past fall with a fifth-place finish.

Gifford, a native of Lee, had a busy 2010-2011.

She had three goals and two assists from her midfield position last fall, including a game-winning goal; averaged 10.7 points per game as a point guard for the basketball team and led the team in assists (123) and steals (74) and, as a utility player on the softball team, she hit .275 with 18 RBIs and 19 runs scored.

Bangor native Vanidestine, a safety on the football team and a left fielder for the baseball team, led the Eagles in tackles last fall with 91, including a team-high 70 unassisted tackles. He also had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. On the diamond, he hit .319 with 15 stolen bases, 12 doubles, two homers and 22 RBIs.

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