Like other NCAA women’s basketball teams, Thomas College was allowed to practice for the first time on Oct. 15. Unlike other teams, the Terriers still don’t have a coach.

Coach Dan Leland resigned shortly before the season. On the first day of practice, Thomas athletic director David Roussel met with the team, and the players had a team dinner. Since then, Roussel and Sports Information Director Derek Gaudreau have been coaching the team at practices.

“We’ve been doing a lot of fundamental stuff,” said freshman Cristie Vicneire, a Madison graduate. “We haven’t been going over any plays yet, because they weren’t sure what the new coach would want, so they didn’t want to step on anybody’s toes or anything.”

Vicneire said co-captains Katie McAllister, a Gardiner grad, and Ashleigh Gagne, a Waterville grad, have helped keep the team positive.

“That’s pretty much what me and my co-captain have tried to do,” Gagne said. “Being positive is one thing that can help.”

“We’re just trying to stay positive about the situation, and get in as good shape as we can for when the new coach comes in,” Vicneire said.

The Terriers open their season Nov. 19 at home against the University of Maine at Augusta. Thomas has 11 players on its roster. There are four returning players, and Vicneire said six of the seven newcomers are freshmen. All 11 have stuck it out the last two weeks while the school searches for a new coach.

“Everybody who said they’re going to play decided to play,” Gagne said.

Thomas finished 4-22 last winter, including a 4-14 mark in the North Atlantic Conference. Asked why she’s kept playing, Gagne said, “I would say just the fact that this is my team.”

“I like basketball,” Gagne said. “I’ve liked basketball since I’ve started playing in eighth grade. I’m not going to stop doing that just because we don’t have a coach.”

• • •

Thomas and UMaine-Farmington finished 2-3 in the North Atlantic Conference field hockey standings. They’ll meet in the playoffs at 2 p.m., Sunday at Thomas.

The Terriers defeated UMF, 2-0, in Waterville in Saturday’s regular-season finale. Taylor Bergeron and Skowhegan grad Erica Blake had the goals. UMF had a 12-1 advantage in penalty corners, but Thomas out-shot the Beavers, 16-6.

Thomas (7-9 overall, 4-1 NAC) has won four straight conference games since losing to top-seeded Husson, 7-0, on Sept. 27. Blake, Bergeron, Brittany Premo and Gardiner grad Abby Dunn have all scored between six and eight goals. In the cage, Mount View grad Abbie Charrier has a 2.92 goals-against average.

The Beavers (7-6, 3-2) are used to playing on the road due to their grass home field. UMF is 1-3 at home this fall, but 6-3 on the road. Freshman Carly Raymond leads UMF with nine goals, and Messalonskee grad Mara Balboni has six. Chelsea Morley and Mt. Blue grad Sarita Crandall have five goals apiece, and Morley has dished out a NAC-best seven assists.

Patty Smith is the regular goalie for UMF. She has a 1.82 GAA and three shutouts.

• • •

Thomas men’s soccer also hosts a playoff game, with the Terriers taking on Castleton at 4 p.m., Friday. Thomas is 5-2-2 in the NAC, good for the No. 4 seed, and tied Castleton 1-1 on Sept. 27 in Vermont.

Maranacook grad Dakota Duplissie leads the NAC in both goals (14) and points (30), while Tre Ming is tops in the conference with 11 assists.

UMF women’s soccer is 5-3-1 in the NAC and is also the No. 4 seed. The Beavers host New England College in a quarterfinal at 1 p.m., Sunday. The teams played to a 0-0 tie on Saturday in Farmington.

Alexandra Crocker leads UMF with nine goals, followed by Mt. Blue grad Ava Amador with eight. Erskine grad Bridget Humphrey is tied for second in the conference with seven assists.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo


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