BANGOR, Maine — Liz Saucier, who spent this last season as the assistant field hockey coach at John Bapst High School, has been elevated to head coach, replacing Gina Schuck.
Schuck retired to spend more time with her family after 16 seasons as the coach at John Bapst.
“I’m really excited. It’s going to be a lot of fun,’ said the 29-year-old Saucier, who was an Old Town High School field hockey standout before playing at William Smith College (N.Y.).
She was a three-time All-Liberty League pick, a two-time NCAA All-Region choice and a second team All-American her senior year when she set a school record with 17 assists.
Saucier was an assistant at the University of Maine for one season before serving as an assistant and head coach at SUNY-New Paltz.
John Bapst athletic director Rick Sinclair said he liked her approach to the game and the fact she “isn’t too far removed from her playing days so she can do the drills with the players.
“The players really liked her last fall and she has an extensive field hockey background,” added Sinclair.
Saucier is from a prominent field hockey family.
Her mother, Dodi, coached her in high school and is the head field hockey coach at Orono High.
Her older sister, Shaunessy, has spent the past five seasons as the head field hockey at Division I Bryant University (R.I.).
Liz Saucier works for the Department of Labor as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and is responsible for helping high school students with disabilities get jobs. She said she has benefited from being exposed to a group of “amazing mentors” including her mother, UMaine coach Josette Babineau and William Smith coach Sally Scatton.
Scatton has guided her teams to three NCAA Division III national championships and she is a member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame.
Saucier said she likes the fact her team gets to practice and play their home games on the FieldTurf surface at UMaine.
“That allows us to play fast-paced, possession field hockey with a quick passing game,” said Saucier. “That prepares our student-athletes to play at the next level because that is where the college game is now. But they will also have to transfer their skills to a bumpy, grass game (for road games).
“I’m looking forward to developing athletes who are versatile,” she added.
She also said coaching at the high school level is her favorite, “because you can see such progress, especially at a school like John Bapst, because the student-athletes are the kinds who who want to learn and are open to trying new things.”
She will inherit a youthful team that went 3-10-1 last fall. Only one player, Lauren Tribuzio, will graduate.
“We will really miss Lauren but we will have an incredible class of seniors with a lot of leaders and they’ll help me along the way,” Saucier said.