WATERVILLE — Allison Whittemore has always been a leader, serving as a captain during a standout career with the Skowhegan field hockey team, then later at Division I Providence College.

Now, she’s getting a taste of leading her own program, after Colby College named her its head field hockey coach last May.

Whittemore was previously serving as an assistant under former head coach Kelly Terwilliger.

The chance to coach Colby was too good to pass up, Whittemore said. After all, she grew up watching the Mules and sister Caitlyn, who was a three-year starter and captain from 2008-11.

“It’s amazing, this is a dream job,” said Allison Whittemore. “Getting this position was always a life goal of mine, honestly. Being here is euphoric. The girls that we have here make it so much better; we have a good squad.”

Whittemore’s tenure as a head coach got off to a fast start, with the Mules sinking the University of Maine at Farmington 7-0 in a non-conference game Wednesday night at Bill Alfond Field. Three Colby players — Jackie Hill, Lillian Kistner and Claire Welch — each scored two goals. Messalonskee High School graduate Kaitlyn Smith also scored.


“It was good that we finally worked together as a team and grew,” said Hill, a senior attack. “We have so much more to do, but it was nice starting off (with the win).”

“It was an eye-opener on what we need to work on,” Whittemore added. “I’m glad to have that (win) under our belt. Hopefully, they’re hungry for the next.”

Whittemore (then Allison Lancaster) never lost a game during her four years at Skowhegan, winning four consecutive Class A titles. The River Hawks won those four titles by a combined 15-1 score. She played under renowned head coach Paula Doughty, recording 138 points on 43 goals and 52 assists. She would receive the Miss Maine Field Hockey award, recognizing the state’s top senior player, in 2013, in which she scored 20 goals and added 24 assists.

Whittemore played under head coach Diane Madl at Providence, where she earned Big East weekly and all-academic honors.

Colby College’s Kaitlyn Smith (6) takes a shot on University of Maine at Farmington goalie Alicia Bridges during a non-conference game Wednesday nigh in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“She was a great player, there’s no doubt about it,” said Doughty, who’s won 19 state championships at Skowhegan. “She was one of the best kids to ever come out of Skowhegan. But not all great players can teach. That’s what they don’t understand. My kids go to colleges all over the place, I’ve had about 160 kids (play in) college. About two-thirds will come to me and say, ‘Coach, my coach was a great player, but they don’t know how to coach; I wish I was back with you.’ Allie knows how to teach.

“She’s also got a great sense of humor, she makes things fun. If you’re a great coach, you’ve got to be the whole package. I have no doubt that she will be the whole package. She’s so knowledgable of the sport.”


Whittemore praised Doughty and Madl for shaping her coaching career.

“I had some huge mentors,” Whittemore said. “I would say the one thing I learned from all my mentors is that, at the end of the day, this is a people’s job. We’re here because of the athletes. I don’t have a job unless the athletes are here. So, just really being able to make the impact that they had on me, to pass that legacy on to them. Just (build) high moral, high competitive, but just good-rounded people at the end of the day. I think that’s what made both programs, both Skowhegan and Providence, so special.”

Colby College’s Elizabeth Takoudes (29) redirects the ball between her legs as University of Maine at Farmington goalie, Alicia Bridges looks on during a non-conference game Wednesday night in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Whittemore quickly moved into the coaching ranks after graduation in 2018, joining the Colby staff as an assistant in 2019. Her quick rise is no surprise to Doughty.

“She had Diane Madl at Providence, and Diane Madl, to me, is the epitome of the best college coach there is,” Doughty said. “Allie is observant. She can see what worked, she can see what didn’t work. She can see what builds a great program, she can see what builds a great team. She was the captain of our team, she was the captain at Providence College. She’s always been a leader.”

The Mules finished 5-9 last season, 1-9 in New England Small College Athletic Conference play. Kistner returns as the team’s leading scorer, tallying 13 points last season. As shown Wednesday night, a variety of scorers may contribute this fall.

“We kind of had to start from the ground up,” Whittemore said. “They’re right on it. They hold each other accountable. They go really hard at practice. No one is considered better than anyone else. It’s an equal playing field. That’s what makes me so excited, you never know on what day who is going to show up and take that spot. It’s a cool competition to see.”

Hill said the team culture has improved with Whittemore taking over the program.

“It’s been great,” Hill said. “She’s a great coach. She’s really smart and she’s helped us in everything we’ve been doing. We’ve built a great team, hopefully one that will go all the way (to the postseason).”

Colby starts NESCAC play on Saturday, traveling to Middletown, Connecticut to play Wesleyan University.

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