Mark Bolding, the women’s hockey coach at Norwich Academy in Northfield, Vt., wasn’t sure what he would get from his Maine recruits. But after the Cadets recently lost to Amherst in the NCAA Division III national championship game, Bolding had only this to say:

“My Maine kids are awesome.”

Norwich, which set a school record for wins with 20, has three Mainers on its roster: junior forward Brittane Michaud of Lewiston (St. Dominic), sophomore forward Melissa Rundlett of Saco (Kents Hill) and sophomore defenseman Mollie Fitzpatrick of Portland (Cheverus).

“Those kids have a consistently great attitude, which they bring all the time,” said Bolding. “They’re not my most skilled kids, but they are consistent and have a love for the game.

“I think the Maine kids are a lot of the glue on our team. They’re good, down-to-earth kids. They never seem grumpy or upset and they love hockey.

“That’s what makes those kids so special. They come to the rink and it rubs off on the other kids.”

Rundlett, he said, may be the most talented of the three. She had 11 goals and 11 assists this year, with six of the goals coming on the power play. “She plays left wing, right wing, center,” said Bolding. “She’s the first kid on the ice, the last one off.”

Michaud added 10 goals and six assists, while Fitzpatrick had two goals and three assists in 19 games. All had an adjustment to make.

“It’s a faster game and the girls are a lot stronger,” said Rundlett. “But it didn’t take long to get used to it.”

Nobody expected the Cadets to make a run to the championship game. It was their first appearance in the semifinals.

Norwich lost 3-2 to Elmira in the quarterfinals last season. This season, the Cadets beat Elmira 3-2 in the semifinals. Rundlett, who has 22 goals and 22 assists in 60 career games, had a goal and assist in that game, and Michaud had a goal.

Although the team lost to Amherst 7-2 in the final, the memories are not tarnished.

“We overcame so much this year,” said Fitzpatrick. “We all learned so much about the sport and each other. It was just a good, all-around year. And no one thought we’d get that far, so that showed our character.”

The Final Four was something to experience.

“It was really motivating,” said Fitzpatrick. “You’re sitting there, with all those NCAA people, and they’re all there for your team. It’s all set up for your team. It was mind-boggling.”

And so was the response after the loss.

“Right after the game, people were congratulating us for our season,” said Rundlett. “A couple of days later, the loss still stung but we were still getting congratulations. It was awesome that we made it that far.”

Rundlett will begin her offseason training program this week. Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, is already into her second sport.

She jumped onto the lacrosse team two days after the championship-game loss.

“I love it,” she said. “Otherwise I’d just be bored, sitting around and doing homework. This helps take my mind off things.”

BASEBALL

Vanderbilt senior catcher Andrew Giobbi of Portland (Deering) is one of 10 catchers on the official watch list for the Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award.

Giobbi is hitting .314 for the Commodores (21-4) with two home runs, 24 RBI, 19 runs and six stolen bases in six attempts. He also has thrown out 14 of 27 runners attempting to steal.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Vassar senior center Emily Haeuser of South Portland recently was named to the D3hoops.com All-East Region first team and the ECAC Division III All-East Region second team. Haeuser averaged 15.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.

She leaves Vassar ranked fourth in career points (1,273), first in rebounds (866) and first in blocks (167).

MEN’S LACROSSE

Junior midfielder Ryan Oakes of North Yarmouth (Cheverus) scored his first career goal for Susquehanna University in a recent 15-5 win over Lebanon Valley College.

Oakes also won 10 of 13

faceoffs and collected a team-high six ground balls. The following game, Oakes had a career-high 14 ground balls.

n Junior defender Bryan Ertz of Yarmouth has appeared in four games for Lafayette, which is ranked 11th nationally in Division I.

TENNIS

Freshman Michael Hickey of Yarmouth had a first-singles 6-4, 6-3 victory for Susquehanna in a 5-4 win over Lycoming College. It was Hickey’s first appearance at No. 1 singles.

Freshman Mats Haaland of Brunswick contributed to the team victory with a win at No. 1 doubles.

In addition, sophomore Matthew Quadrini, who graduated from Brunswick High in 2008, had a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win at No. 5 singles.

Haaland also had two No. 2 singles victories and two No. 1 doubles wins in the team’s most recent matches. Hickey and Quadrini teamed for a victory at No. 2 doubles.

TRACK AND FIELD

Wheaton freshman Sam Fear of Bath (North Yarmouth Academy) was named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference field athlete of the week after setting a school record in the javelin at the Shamrock Invitational.

His throw was 179 feet, 2 inches.

• Stonehill sophomore Pak Lul of Portland (North Yarmouth Academy) won the 400 in 50.13 seconds in last week’s Worcester City Championships.

• Keene State junior Allison Chamberlain of Scarborough ran an NCAA-qualifying time of 4:29.55 in the 1,500 meters at last weekend’s Raleigh Relays. She was fourth in the event.

 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]