The last time Sabrina Vaillancourt played competitive field hockey, she scored five goals for Husson University in the North Atlantic Conference championship game last fall against Castleton.

Husson still lost, 8-6, and as she enters her senior season, Vaillancourt is hoping the Eagles can take that next step this year.

“I would like to make it as far as we can,” Vaillancourt said. “I would love just to be able to make it past the (NAC) championship round. We’ve thought about how much we want to move past that game and use it as a learning opportunity. We have nine returners that are all strong players.”

Vaillancourt, a Nokomis Regional High School graduate, scored 26 goals for Husson last season, and has 49 in her college career. She has played in eight NAC tournament games in her career and has scored at least one goal in seven of them.

Husson’s season begins with back-to-back homes game Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. The team practiced twice in Wednesday’s heat.

“It definitely takes a toll on your body,” Vaillancourt said. “We just have to make sure that we’re taking care of ourselves. We’re tired, but that’s part of preseason.”

• • •

The Thomas College women’s tennis team went with the minimum six players last season and still finished with a 5-4 record in the North Eastern Athletic Conference. Each of the Terriers had to play both singles and doubles in every match.

Practice starts next week, and the season opens on Sept. 5, but coach Lauren Bickford already knows she’s looking at a roster of about nine players this fall. One player is injured and focusing on school, and another transferred to a community college closer to home, so the only returning players are Jessica Bowen, Erskine graduate Emily Howard and Dalia Williams.

“I don’t mind holding a smaller roster, if they’re all good athletes and can contribute,” Bickford said.

Among the incoming freshmen are Logan Bruneau, who played No. 1 singles for Madison last year, and Gardiner’s Lydia Williams. Another addition is Waterville Senior High School girls coach Jill Cristan, who will assist Bickford this season. When Bickford, who also coaches the Thomas women’s lacrosse team, became the head women’s tennis coach at Thomas in 2010, she had no previous tennis experience.

“To have someone helping out with that kind of experience will be valuable,” Bickford said.

• • •

Colby lost its women’s ice hockey coach when David Venditti took the job at the University of New England. The new coach for the Mules is one of Venditti’s former players.

Mallory Young, a 2005 Colby grad, was announced Wednesday as the new Colby coach. Young, who played defense at Colby, had eight goals and two assists in 84 games during her career in Waterville.

“Being an alum of this program is special to me, as it is to everyone that has played Colby hockey,” Young said in a press release. “As one of the oldest programs in the country, we have a proud history.”

The Mules were 10-15 last winter. Freshman Megan Fortier led Colby with 16 points on seven goals and nine assists, and goalie Brianne Wheeler returns after playing every game and compiling a 2.62 goals-against average.

• • •

Extra credit: Messalonskee grad Katie Bernatchez is beginning her sophomore season on the field hockey team at Boston University. The Terriers have a new field, New Balance Field, and there’s an interview with Bernatchez about the field on the team’s website at http://www.goterriers.com/sports/w-fieldh/spec-rel/081713aaa.html. … Lawrence High School grad Kevin Pressey is a senior defensive lineman on the football team at Endicott College. Pressey had 44 tackles last season, including seven for a loss. He added 3.5 sacks, forced three fumbles and recovered one fumble.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]