For Allison Lancaster and Bethany Winkin, Wednesday’s national signing day was a formality — both had already made their college choices several months earlier. Winkin, a senior at Winslow High School, and Lancaster, a senior at Skowhegan, have committed to playing field hockey at the Division I level. Winkin is headed to Bryant, while Lancaster will play at Providence.
Lancaster and Winkin are both veterans of the Majestix field hockey club team, which is run by Amy and Brian Bernatchez. Majestix had scheduled a ceremony Wednesday night for Winkin, Lancaster, and Belfast’s Maddy Cummings (who is headed to the University of Maine) but it was canceled because of the weather. Lancaster will actually sign her National Letter of Intent on Thursday afternoon at Skowhegan Area High School.
Lancaster, whose Skowhegan teams under coach Paula Doughty went 72-0 with four state titles, actually decided on Providence nearly a year ago.
“After I met with the coach and I saw all the girls play, I knew immediately that it was a place I wanted to check out further,” Lancaster said. “Outside of the gates, (the campus) is very city-like. But as soon as you step inside the gates, it’s more homey, like country-open spaces — which I love.”
Lancaster was named Miss Maine Field Hockey, the award given annually to the top senior field hockey player in the state. She said making such an early decision on a college was beneficial in many ways.
“It has helped me a lot academically,” Lancaster said. “I’m not really stressing about doing these different applications like my friends are.”
Bryant is located in Smithfield, R.I., but coach Shaunessy Saucier is a UMaine graduate and there were seven Maine natives on this year’s roster.
“It was kind of a comfort to know that going into it,” Winkin said.
Both Winkin and Lancaster said playing for Majestix enhanced their experience. Winkin’s high school coach was Mary Beth Bourgoin, who also coaches for Majestix.
“The love of the game and stuff really came from Coach Bourgoin,” Winkin said. “But Amy and Brian, they fine-tuned skills. And being able to travel, you get a lot more competition, so it just gives you a better idea of what’s out there.”
Erskine standout Jade Canak plans on competing in indoor and outdoor track in college. Canak has not decided on a school yet, but said her top two choices are Division I St. Francis (Pa.) and Division II Franklin Pierce (N.H.).
“I still sort of have five in front of me that are pretty promising,” Canak said. “I’ve applied to all the schools and I’ve been accepted. It’s just comparing. Probably after our state meet (Feb. 17) I’ll have made a decision.”