Jocelyn Mitchell spent her lunch hour Thursday helping the University of Maine field hockey team sell baked goods as part of a team fundraiser for women’s cancer awareness.

“We’re taking it slowly, and we’re baking a lot,” said Mitchell, whose team is selling cookies, cupcakes and candies at Maine’s Memorial Union through the end of next week. “A lot of the team has been together doing this, and even the freshmen are coming over and baking to help everybody out.

“Everybody’s putting something in and making an effort to do something.”

In a way, the process is a metaphor for Maine’s season to this point.

Ranked 10th in the Kookaburra/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I coaches poll and the poll — the highest national ranking in the program’s history — the Black Bears (11-1, 1-0 America East) host Boston University at 3 p.m. today in Orono.

Since a 3-2 loss to Northeastern in their season opener Aug. 26 in Orono, the Black Bears have won 11 straight games, including a 4-3 overtime win Oct. 1 against Albany in their conference opener.

“That first game, we sat back and we weren’t sure what to expect,” said Mitchell, a senior forward from Kanata, Ontario. “We have a huge freshman class and there were so many new people starting. But after that game, everyone knew where they needed to be and what their role was.”

Against Albany, Maine took a 3-2 lead at 55:54 on Mitchell’s goal, but Daphne Voormolen tied the game for the Great Danes with three minutes left in regulation. Then, less than three minutes into overtime, Kelly Newton tipped a rebound past Albany goalie Kristi Troch to give the Black Bears their 11th win in a row.

“As soon as it went to overtime, our energy was there,” Mitchell said. “Our team thrives on that.”

Newton was named America East field hockey player of the week after scoring two goals against Albany. Newton leads the Black Bears with 10 goals and 18 assists.

Now, Maine prepares for its most significant test in the early part of its America East schedule when it faces Boston University (6-5, 1-0 America East), which has won four of the last six conference championships. Mitchell considers it one of the Black Bears’ most pivotal games so far this season.

“It’s a huge game for us,” said Mitchell, who has eight goals and three assists. “We’ve been on a winning streak and we’re on a high right now.

“We need to face teams like BU, Albany and New Hampshire for us to keep the momentum going.”

WILL O’NEILL, a senior defenseman on the men’s hockey team, is one of 20 Division I hockey players nominated for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, given annually in 10 NCAA sports to a senior who excels in the community, in the classroom and in character and competition.

The Division I hockey candidates will be reduced to 10 finalists midway through the season, and media, coaches and fans will vote for the winner.

The hockey Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award will be presented in April at the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: rlenzi


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