Lindsy Hoopingarner came to the Thomas College women’s soccer program three years ago as a goalie. The Richmond native will leave it playing just about everywhere else.

“I came here as a goalie but in my freshman year I got bored on the bench and we needed field players so I went to striker,” said Hoopingarner, a senior. “Now I’m at center back. It’s been a little different. I hadn’t really stepped on a field other than a goalie, so I’ve had to do a lot of work on my footwork. They’ve been patient with me.”

Hoopingarner played goalie at Richmond High School, where she helped the Bobcats win two Class D state championships.

At Thomas, she’s played goalie, forward, in the midfield and now as a key defender on a young team.

“She can go anywhere,” Thomas coach Deb Biche-Labbe said. “We lost a lot of seniors to graduation so we’ve been scrambling to reinstate that back line. We’ve trained her in the back now and she’s really helping organizing our defense. She is a true utility player as she can play anywhere. We’ve had her at outside midfielder, too. As a center back, she’s just taken the role and gone with it. I think her experience as a goalie has helped, too. It’s translated well into her ability to help lead a defense.”

Hoopingarner, who started 11 of the Terriers’ 17 games last season, said organizing the defense has its challenges.


“You are trying to move as a unit,” she said. “Getting that connection with all the defenders is one of the hardest things. We’re not the fastest backs but we’re smart.”

Thomas opened the season with a 3-0 victory over Unity before it dropped an 8-0 decision to the University of Maine at Fort Kent. The Terriers will next host UMaine-Presque Isle on Friday night.

“I think we are going to surprise some people this year,” Hoopingarner said.

Added Biche-Labbe: “Going into the season we weren’t sure what to expect. We graduated six seniors and we’re replacing them with six first-year players. We weren’t sure how it’d all roll out. But we’re coming together.”

• • •

The Thomas field hockey team finished a surprising second in the North Atlantic Conference last season after being picked to finish fourth. The Terriers, who went 7-10 overall but 4-1 in NAC play, also reached the conference semifinals.


“It’s the farthest we’ve gone,” coach Andrea Thebarge said. “We expect big things this season, too. We want to go farther in the NAC than what we did last year.”

Of course, accomplishing that would mean reaching the conference title game.

“We’d like to get there,” Thebarge said.

The Terriers (1-2) return several key players, including forward Emily Leighton (Oakland), Abigail Dunn (Gardiner) and Erica Blake (Norridgewock).

Dunn scored two goals last weekend in a 4-1 win over Nichols College.

“We expect big things from them this season,” Thebarge said.


Newcomers Tiffany Weeks and Katie Taylor are also making an early impact, Thebarge added.

• • •

The University of Maine at Augusta golf team has a new coach to go along with an entirely new team.

“We’re scrambling a little bit,” said first-year coach Keith Ross, 52, who graduated from UMA last year and competed on the golf team. “Recruiting last year was non-existent but we’ll have a good little team. We have some guys new to the golf game, so our goal is to get them up to speed and peak by the conference championships.”

Lee MacDowell, Brandon Rogers, Noah Thompson, Dillon Fletcher and Keith Chesley comprise the team.

Fletcher, a freshman, is a Maranacook graduate while Clinton native Chesley plays for the UMA men’s basketball team.


“I think we’ll be pretty good,” said Ross, whose team’s first match is Saturday.

Bill Stewart — 621-5618

[email protected]

Twitter: @billstewartmtm

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