When the University of Maine at Farmington women’s lacrosse team hosts a North Atlantic Conference tournament first-round game today, the Beavers will have a good and recent scouting report on their opponent.

The Beavers played their first-round opponent, New England College, on Saturday.

The Beavers won that game, 10-9. They led 10-5 late in the second half before NEC rallied.

“I think we did have control of the game,” UMF coach Molly Wilkie said. “We’re a young team, so there are times, in pressure situations, we get a little nervous. But the thing that I came away with is that we were able to hang on. Sometimes, that’s what you gotta do.”

The Beavers are 5-7 overall and 3-3 in the conference. They’ve won three out of their last four, with the only loss a 15-13 setback at Thomas.

“I think we’re playing really well,” Wilkie said. “Our team is really focused. Everyone has played their role well on the team, and supported each other that way.”

One player who is certainly during her part is freshman midfielder Ayla Allen. This season, Allen has a team-high 38 goals and 14 assists in 12 games. Allen also leads UMF in ground balls, draw controls, and caused turnovers. Her 3.17 goals per game rank her 13th in the country among Division III freshmen.

“She’s really a marked woman (on the field), and I think Ayla thrives on it,” Wilkie said. “She obviously can score goals, but she’s so committed to doing the other things, too. She’s very skilled at draw controls, (and) she gets back on defense.”

Wilkie especially liked how Allen had four assists in UMF’s last game, against Green Mountain — a game the Beavers just happened to win by four goals.

“She loves to score, but she’s developed into someone who can also set her teammates up,” Wilkie said.

* * *

After finishing 5-7 last spring, including 2-4 in the NAC, the Thomas women’s lacrosse team earned the No. 2 seed in this year’s conference tournament.

There are two first-round games today, including Husson at Colby-Sawyer. Saturday’s semifinals and Sunday’s championship game are all at top-seeded Castleton. Thomas (10-4 overall, 5-1 NAC) plays the winner of the Husson-Colby-Sawyer game Saturday.

The Terriers defeated Colby-Sawyer 10-9 on April 7 in a wild game. Thomas led 9-5 with 18 minutes to go in the second half, but the Chargers tied it up with 46 seconds left. Miranda Tinsman scored the game-winning goal for Thomas with 24 seconds remaining, off a pass from Jenn Day.

Thomas had an easier time with Husson, winning 18-10 on April 17. Still, that game was 6-6 at the half. Tinsman finished with seven goals that day.

Tinsman (38 goals, nine assists), Day (37-16), and Ceara DiBiase (37-12) give the Terriers a potent three-pronged attack. Brittany Premo has added 21 goals, while Erin Nelligan (13 goals, 10 assists) leads Thomas in ground balls.

* * *

Gardiner native Mary Lewis had a .359 batting average heading into April for the Bates softball team.

Then she really got going.

Lewis, a senior shortstop, leads off for the Bobcats. She had played 21 games heading into Tuesday’s doubleheader with Fisher, and had scored a run in 18 of those and had at least one base hit in 19. In one of the two games where she didn’t have a hit, Lewis drew three walks and stole three bases.

In nine games in April, Lewis is 18 for 31 — a batting average of .581. That’s raised her average to .457. She also has nine walks and 18 stolen bases.

Lewis has a shot at the school’s career record for base hits. She had 114 heading into Tuesday, with seven games remaining. The Bates career record of 127 hits was set by Stacia Saniuk, who played from 2006 to 2009. If Lewis surpasses Saniuk’s mark, she would also set the school’s single-season hit record.

Lewis already hold Bates’ career records for singles and stolen bases, and with nine runs in her final seven games, she would set a single-season school record in that category as well.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]


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