Maine and the Canadian province of British Columbia have been two prime recruiting grounds for the University of Maine’s field hockey program, and the team’s two-member recruiting class for next fall has one player from each area.
Skowhegan Area High School center back Bhreagh Kennedy, the recent recipient of the Miss Maine Field Hockey award, and North Vancouver, British Columbia, native Kristjana Walker were announced as newcomers to the program recently.
UMaine had nine Maine natives and six players from British Columbia on its 20-member roster during the 2019 season.
Kennedy verbally committed to attend UMaine a year ago.
Kennedy anchored a back line that allowed just seven goals in 18 games as 18-0 Skowhegan captured its fourth state Class A championship in five years. She also contributed 19 goals and 16 assists to her team’s offense.
She was a first-team All-State selection and the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
Kennedy concluded her high school career with 35 goals and 31 assists.
Skowhegan head coach Paula Doughty called her of the best players she has ever coached and cited her versatility as a strength.
“She will make an impact at Maine,” Doughty said.
Walker, also a back, helped North Vancouver’s Handsworth Royals to three straight North Shore School AAA and Premier banners. She and her teammates also won two Bridgman Cup titles.
The Bridgman Cup involves 16 provincial teams.
Walker captained her provincial team at the Field Hockey Canada National Tournament and was named to the all-tournament team.
She also was part of a team that captured the 2019 India Club Tournament in British Columbia.
UMaine finished 8-10 this season but went 7-3 after a 1-7 start. The Black Bears finished 4-1 in America East play to earn the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament before being eliminated in the semifinals 1-0 in penalty strokes by No. 17 Stanford, the eventual tournament champion.
Leading returners for UMaine next season include third-team All-American back and America East Defensive Player of the Year Cassandra Mascarenhas and second-team all-conference goalie Mia Borley.