Colby is annually listed among the top 10 or 15 teams in the country in the NCAA Division III women’s weekly lacrosse polls. This year, the Mules reached as high as second in the country, and sat in fourth when the latest poll was released on Monday.

Colby coach Karen MacCrate Henning, whose Mules were 9-2 heading into Tuesday night’s game with No. 7 Bowdoin, insists the high ranking don’t change Colby’s approach.

“We try really hard not to look at the rankings,” Henning said. “I don’t want to say they don’t mean anything, because it’s respect — it feels good to have someone respect you. But ultimately it’s going to be what we bring every single day. In some ways, we should be getting the best of everyone, which means we have to play our best to be successful — and I love that.”

The Mules are fifth in the country in scoring defense, allowing 6.36 goals per game. Colby is also 12th in the nation with a .496 save percentage as a team. Regular starter Claire Dickson is at .504.

Colby has its typical balanced offense, as there are six players who have at least 19 points, and another (Sasha Fritts) who has scored 13 goals in seven games. Abby Hatch (18 goals, 20 assists, 38 points) is Colby’s top scorer, followed by Abby Hooper (20-3-23) and Sara Miller (16-4-20).

“We’re just working on becoming more dynamic and expanding our game every day,” Henning said.

Hatch, Miller and Dickson are joined by Caroline Keaveney and Lindsay McCabe in a small but valuable senior class. Henning said that group leads the way as far as setting an example for the younger players.

“I could tell you something about each one of them —that’s how awesome they’ve been,” Henning said. “They just balance each other out and give us what we need at any given time.”

Entering Tuesday night, Colby’s only losses this season were to No. 9 Hamilton by one goal, and No. 2 Middlebury by two goals. So it’s evident that the Mules can play with any Division III team in the nation.

“I’m really happy,” Henning said. “I think there’s a tremendous upside to us. The longer we keep playing, I think the better we’re going to be playing. I’m just so proud of them. In so many ways, I don’t want the season to end.”

• • •

Beginning Wednesday, UMaine-Farmington has a stretch of 18 baseball games in 11 days (assuming, of course, the weather is good enough to play all those games). The Beavers are 8-4, and while they have a chance for one of their best seasons in some time, they also have a chance to be one of the most prolific teams on the basepaths.

Last spring, the Beavers stole 34 bases in 36 games. This year, UMF already has 17 steals in 12 games. While sabermetricians are usually against stolen bases, they also generally agree that the break-even point for success is around 67 percent. The Beavers have been caught stealing only three times, so they’ve been successful on a whopping 85 percent of their thefts.

Erskine grad Sean Cabaniss is second on the team with six stolen bases. It’s not surprising that Cabaniss has been smoking on the basepaths — he also runs track for UMF, and won the 100-meter dash at Saturday’s Bowdoin Tri-Meet with a time of 11.73 seconds.

Jimmy Neal, a Mt. Blue grad, leads UMF with six steals in seven attempts. If Neal and Cabaniss keep running, they could catch Winthrop grad Russ Schmelzer, who stole 18 bases for UMF as a senior in 2011.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo


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