Meaghan Johnson is certain her voice carries a long way when she’s in goal for the St. Joseph’s field hockey team.

By any account, she is being heard.

Johnson has helped the Monks to a 6-2 record this season, has twice been named North Atlantic Conference goaltender of the week and boasts a competitive 1.22 goals-against average and .885 save percentage this season.

“It’s one thing I’m known for. I’m a little bit obnoxiously loud,” said Johnson, a Portland native and former Cheverus goalie. “I’m constantly talking and I think the forwards can hear me from the other end of the field.”

That’s just fine by Coach Rupert Lewis.

Lewis, who was inducted into the University of Southern Maine’s Husky Hall of Fame on Saturday for his soccer career as a player, said he counts on Johnson’s leadership. The Monks appear poised to make their first NCAA tournament appearance if the season stays on pace, and Johnson is a key component.

“I like it,” Lewis said. “If I can hear her, the rest of my team can, too. She has really matured into a very vocal and strong leader for the team both on and off the field.”

The Monks graduated several key players last year and entered this fall not really sure of their potential.

Johnson said she and her teammates have all kicked it up a notch.

“I think we’re surprising ourselves,” she said. “Everyone has picked up their game. There were some big shoes to fill, but I’m really confident in our team.”

Johnson’s game has evolved considerably since she first put on the pads in the eighth grade. A former ice hockey player, her early days were filled with mimicking a butterfly goalie in net, dropping to her knees when staying on your feet is key for a field hockey goaltender.

“An ice hockey goalie was the only thing I knew,” said Johnson. “I was constantly dropping to the ground, covering the ball with my hand. But I had a coach (Christine Lane) along the way who taught me everything I do now.”

Her game, said Lewis, has come a long way.

“In field hockey it’s not the big, hard blast that scores, it’s the small one,” said Lewis. “It’s proper technique, being patient and finding the ball so your angles are there.

“She’s really come into her own and is a force to be reckoned with.”

Johnson has started 33 consecutive games, with 16 straight complete games.

The Monks play tonight against Colby at Deering’s Memorial Field at 7 p.m.

ST. JOSEPH’S

The women’s soccer team lost leading scorer Jessica Needham to an knee injury last week. Needham, a senior, had seven goals and five assists in the Monks’ first five games. She holds the school record with 11 career game-winning goals.

Needham injured her knee early in the first half in a game against Suffolk last Wednesday.

Alyssa Dunn of Standish, Natasha Howard of Farmington, Madylan Kluna of Standish and Maria Labbe of Lewiston were named captains for the softball team this week.

SOUTHERN MAINE CC

Tommy Stirling of Gorham became the first golfer in school history to qualify for a national tournament.

Stirling qualified for the USCAA national tournament Oct. 10-12 at the Penn State University Blue Course. He is ranked 11th.

BOWDOIN

Forward Tim Prior was named New England Small College Athletic Conference men’s soccer player of the week after helping his team to three wins last week.

Prior had three goals and four assists in wins against Colby, Connecticut College and St. Joseph’s.

The Polar Bears play an important conference match against Wesleyan at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Junior forward Ellery Gould was named NESCAC women’s soccer player of the week after scoring four goals with two assists as the Polar Bears went 3-0 last week.

She moved into sixth place on the program’s career goal-scoring list with 27 and leads the NESCAC in goals, with seven through eight games.

Bowdoin (5-2-1, 2-2-1 NESCAC) will host Wesleyan (1-2-3, 0-1-3) in a key conference game at 3 p.m. Saturday.

UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND

For the fourth time in five weeks, cross country standout Brandon Mulligan has been named The Commonwealth Coast Conference rookie of the week.

Mulligan ran a 26:58 Saturday at the 8K Pop Crowell Invitational hosted by Gordon College, finishing ninth in a field of 252 runners.

UNIVERSITY OF MAINE

Jared Turcotte is 14 yards shy of reaching 1,000 rushing yards in his career. The junior fullback has done that in about a season and a half after missing all of 2009 with a lower abdominal injury.

Freshman defender Lisa Bijman was named America East women’s soccer rookie of the week after scoring the winning goal against Vermont last Thursday.

Bijman also earned the award Aug. 23 after scoring a goal in the team’s 4-0 win at Iona. She has started all nine games for the Black Bears, scoring two goals on six shots.

Tickets are on sale for men’s and women’s basketball games. The men’s season opens Nov. 12 at Utah Valley State and the women’s season opens Nov. 13 with a noon game against Harvard at home. Reserved season tickets are $99 and general admission season tickets are $88. Call 581-BEAR (2327).

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MAINE

Tegan Talbot of Topsham and Sarah Moody of Scarborough were recognized by the Little East Conference this week.

Talbot was named tennis player of the week after a 3-0 week in singles and three more wins in doubles.

Moody was named rookie of the week after winning at No. 1 singles over Thomas and at No. 3 singles against Rhode Island College and Worcester State.

The USM tennis team is 5-4 overall, 2-4 in the LEC.

Men’s soccer goalie David Kreps, a senior, is second in career shutouts with 19 following a 0-0 tie against Colby on Sept. 29. He is 2-7-1 with two shutouts this season.

On Nov. 20 USM will invite back members of the women’s basketball teams that have helped the program to 30 seasons with 20 or more wins. Last year was USM’s 30th consecutive season with at least 20 wins. Nov. 20 is the second day of the USM Tip-Off Classic.

USM will be updating its mascot and plans to hold a contest to name its new furry friend. The contest will begin on Oct. 15 and the winning name will be announced during the first basketball doubleheader Nov. 15.

 

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at: [email protected]