If the 2019-2020 season is any indicator, the future may very well be bright for the University of Maine at Augusta women’s basketball team.

The Moose currently hold a record of 10-8, an impressive feat for a team with a new head coach and a roster made up of just one senior and seven players who are either freshmen or juniors. The Moose are on pace for a better finish than last season, when the team finished 10-15 before falling to New Hampshire Technical Institute in the quarterfinal round of the Yankee Small College Conference tournament.

“(The season) has been like the record, a little up and down,” UMA head coach Jim Seavey said. “The kids have worked extremely hard. It’s a pretty close-knit group, as young as they are. We have some great senior leadership in Kate Stevens, I can’t say enough great things about her, being a team captain and her leadership abilities.”

Seavey is no stranger to a roster full of home-grown talent. A longtime head coach in the high school ranks, Seavey won 230 games in 20 years with stints at Scarborough, Greely and Freeport. He led the Red Storm to a Class A championship in 2010, and led Greely to a Class B title in 2004. He has also served time as an assistant coach during Gary Fifield’s tenure at the University of Southern Maine.

Thanks in part to its youth, UMA has shown to be unselfish on the offensive end of the court this season. Sophomore forward Madeline Suhr, a Brunswick graduate, has been UMA’s top scorer and rebounder, averaging 17.4 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.

“(Suhr) was the first phone call I made when I was hired,” Seavey said. “I had heard that she had enrolled in classes at UMA and I remembered her from high school. I wanted to see if there was any chance we could get her back on the basketball court. We spoke about two times, met, and she decided to play. For selfish reasons, I think she’s having an All-American type of season. Whether she gets that status, I’m not certain, but she’s had that type of season.”

Freshman forward Kaeti Butterfield, a Monmouth alum, has also been helpful on the boards, averaging 6.5 rebounds per game while notching 11.4 points per game. Freshman guard Hope Butler (12.6 ppg) and sophomore Madison grad Sydney LeBlanc (11.9 ppg) help round out the scoring for the Moose.

“I’ve always believed in being fundamentally sound, with a team concept (offensively),” Seavey said. “Not relying on one player doing all the scoring. Because what happens when a team throws a defense at (a top player) and shuts her down? I’ve always been a big believer that if you have four, five or six kids that can shoot 8, 10 or 12 points a piece, you’re going to be tough to beat.”

The group already have a milestone win to their credit this season, thanks to a 58-53 victory over Central Maine Community College — a longtime thorn in UMA’s side — back on Nov. 5. Suhr led the way for the Moose in the win, scoring 23 points while grabbing 18 rebounds, while LeBlanc scored 14 points and Butler added 13. The rivals met again on Wednesday night, with CMCC picking up the win, 70-48.

 

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Heading down the final stretch of the regular season, both Thomas College and the University of Maine at Farmington have a shot at a top-two finish in the North Atlantic Conference.

Thomas currently has an overall record of 9-12, but has 7-3 conference record. As of press time, the Terriers are fourth in the NAC. Thomas has struggled as of late, dropping its last three games to UMF, Maine Maritime and Husson, each of which hold the top three places in the standings.

The Beavers are right above the Terriers, holding onto the No. 3 spot in the NAC. UMF has an overall record of 10-10, with a 7-2 conference record. Like Thomas, the Beavers have had a tough stretch recently, going 1-3 in its previous four games, with losses to Colby, Husson and Maine Maritime.

UMF currently holds the head-to-head edge, beating Thomas 58-53 back on Jan. 25 in Waterville. Beavers guard Alex Bessey led the way in the win with 17 points, while Karli Stubbs led the Terriers with a game-high 18 points. The two rivals meet again in the regular-season finale on Feb. 18 in Farmington.

With about five games left for each team, both the Terriers and Beavers have a chance to top Maine Maritime (15-4, 7-1 NAC), but it will be unlikely either will catch No. 1 Husson, owners of a 12-7 overall record, with a perfect 9-0 record in the NAC.

Both Thomas and UMF are locks to make it to the NAC playoffs, as the conference takes the top six teams, and both are far ahead of No. 5 Northern Vermont-Lyndon (7-12, 3-6 NAC) and No. 6 Northern Vermont-Johnson (2-17, 2-7 NAC).

 

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The Thomas men’s ice hockey team is enjoying another successful season.

A club sport at Thomas, the Terriers are enjoying a 7-5 record — which included a five-game winning streak before falling 3-1 to Central Maine Community College on Feb. 1 — as part of the American Collegiate Hockey Association. In fact, Thomas was recently named No. 9 in the ACHA Division III Atlantic Regional Rankings.

Junior forward and Waterville graduate Justin Wentworth is the Terriers’ leading scorer with 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists), followed by freshman forward Jayman Swygert with 14 points (9 goals, 5 assists). Czech Republic native and St. Dominic Academy graduate Miroslav Fuksa has seen the most time at goalie, the owner of a 3-3-0 record with a 4.00 goals against average.

The Terriers are in line for their second consecutive season with a winning record. They finished last season with a 14-4-0 record, making it as far as the Colonial Conference semifinals.

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