Kelly Newton described the Maine field hockey team’s overtime win at Boston College as the height of emotions in the sport.

“That’s why we play field hockey,” the forward said of Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the No. 14 Eagles. “For that kind of competition.”

Newton, a returning All-American and one of eight seniors, scored a goal and assisted on Annabelle Hamilton’s winner at 2:21 of overtime.

“It’s going to help the team atmosphere,” Newton said. “Everyone is so excited about it. It’s always big for a team to come back. We were down by a goal in the game, and then to come back and win it in overtime, it was great for the team to know they can do that.

“It was, honestly, such an exciting game.”

The Black Bears (2-1) host Bryant at 3 p.m. today. Maine’s roster has a Canadian accent. Newton is one of 12 Canadians who plays for the Black Bears, and one of three players from Crofton House School in Vancouver, British Columbia, joining senior midfielder Stephanie Gardiner and senior goalie Brittany Fleck.

“Canada is definitely one of the regions we’re targeting, and in Western Canada, the caliber of field hockey is quite strong, and in Ontario as well,” Maine Coach Josette Babineau said. “Many of those athletes are looking to go to the U.S. Maine is a large recruiting area for us, as well.

“It’s definitely helped me to be from Canada, but you witness that in other programs on campus. Soccer, with a large number of players from Quebec, and men’s basketball has a few international players. But, basically, we’re looking for the best players that we can get to come to Maine.”

The Black Bears hope to use the win over the Eagles as a springboard for the season. Newton outlined two of the goals the Black Bears have set for this season: to make the America East tournament, and to host the tournament as the league’s top-seed and regular-season champion. The winner of the America East tourney earns an automatic berth in the 16-team NCAA tournament.

“It’s very promising,” Babineau said of her team’s start. “We learned a lot of lessons from the Northeastern game (a 3-2 loss Aug. 26) and a lot of bigger concepts. Bigger defending concepts, bigger attack concepts, and the players have done a really good job of learning things at a fast pace. To turn around from that game and be able to elevate their game to that level is tremendous and promising.”

AMERICA EAST released its men’s and women’s preseason cross country coaches polls this week. Maine’s men’s team was picked to finish third, and the women were tied for fourth.

The Black Bears received 44 votes in the men’s poll. Boston University, the defending champion, was atop the nine-team poll with 64 points and eight first-place votes, followed by Albany (56 points and one first-place vote) and Maine.

Maine received 38 votes in the women’s poll, tying for fourth with Vermont. Stony Brook, the defending champion, led the nine-team poll with 62 votes and six first-place votes, followed by BU (54 points, two first-place votes) and New Hampshire (50 points, one first-place vote).

The Black Bears opened the season Saturday, the men in a triangular meet with New Hampshire and Providence in Durham, N.H.

THE MEN’S HOCKEY team has seven freshmen listed on this season’s roster: Jake Rutt, a defenseman from Scarborough; Andrew Cerretani, a forward from Pelham, N.H.; Bill Norman, a defenseman from Stockholm; John Parker, a forward from Greenbrook, N.J.; Stu Higgins, a forward from Troy, Mich.; Connor Leen, a freshman from Chester, N.Y.; and Pietro Antonelli, a forward from Blainville, Quebec.

The Black Bears open the season Oct. 7 at Alfond Arena against Merrimack.

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at:

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