As a sophomore with an undeclared major at Providence College, Brittany Ross often is often asked by her mother what she’s going to do.

“I’m not really sure,” said Ross. “Something liberal arts related, I think.”

Ross doesn’t have such issues on the field hockey field. When she gets the ball, she knows what to do with it.

Ross is the leading scorer on a young team with four goals and one assist in nine games. It isn’t so much what she’s doing, but how she’s doing it that most impresses Providence Coach Diane Madl.

“She is playing with so much improved confidence,” said Madl. “You can see that in the way she carries herself on the field.

“She got a lot of playing time as a freshman and as that season progressed, you could see she started to feel more comfortable. This year, her confidence is really making a difference.

“She prepares very well. She’s a fighter. She trained hard over the summer.”

Ross said her improved play is simply a matter of maturation.

“I think it has something to do with getting used to everything,” she said. “The transition from high school to Division I is very difficult. It’s a totally different game.

“Now I know the pace. I know how to work out over the summer, just how to work out in general. That all helps.

“I went home last summer and played once a week. I focused more on my fitness and lifting. I went to the gym a lot and ran a lot.

“In high school, I never lifted. I didn’t know how to lift. In college, being as short as I am, I need to get stronger.”

The Friars are only 2-7, but five of those losses have come against teams in the top 20 of the NCAA Division I poll. It doesn’t get any easier, with the next two games against No. 5 Syracuse and No. 8 Boston College, but Ross sees great potential.

“We’ve definitely played tough competition,” said Ross, who had a goal and assist in her freshman year. “It’s a lot different than in high school, but I think it can only make us better.”

Providence’s two victories came in games in which Ross scored. She had two goals in a 3-2 win over California-Davis and two in a 4-1 win over Pacific.

“I’m just trying to become more of an offensive threat in the circle,” said Ross. “In high school, all I did was dribble around (the defense). In college, I can’t do that. You have to take it in and shoot it.”

CROSS COUNTRY

Bentley junior Craig Robinson of Scarborough was 30th in the recent Codfish Bowl at Boston’s Franklin Park. Robinson completed the 8,000-meter course in 27 minutes, 1 second, and was 11th among Division II runners.

Gettysburg (Pa.) sophomore Mikaela Gerry of Springvale (Sanford) was third for her team in the Dickinson College Long/Short Invitational. Gerry finished the 4,000-meter run in 17:34, the 66th of 167 runners.

MEN’S SOCCER

Senior defender P.J. Burnette of Brunswick has two goals for Southern New Hampshire University. He has appeared in five games, starting three.

Junior midfielder/forward John Murphy of Yarmouth has a team-high four goals and one assist for Bates College, which is 2-3. He has scored two goals in the second half of each of the Bobcats’ victories, the latest coming in a 2-0 win over Thomas College last Sunday.

Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Gillespie of Arundel (Waynflete) is also on Bates’ roster, but has not appeared in a game.

Sophomore goalkeeper Peter Morrell of Brunswick is 2-0-1 with two shutouts for Williams College. He has a 0.31 goals-against average and an .833 save percentage for the Ephs.

Freshman striker Luke Pierce of Yarmouth has appeared in three games for Williams.

Sophomore midfielder Travis Merrill of Yarmouth has appeared in four games for Trinity College.

Sophomore defender Luke Booth of Cumberland (Greely) has appeared in one game for Tufts University.

Roger Williams University sophomore forward Trevor Hoxsie of Scarborough was named The Commonwealth Coast Conference offensive player of the week after getting three goals and an assist in a 4-1 win over the University of New England. Hoxsie leads the Hawks with nine goals, including four game winners, and four assists.

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH