The University of Maine women’s basketball team announced Thursday it will lose a starter from its America East championship team but gain two international recruits.

Sophomore guard Julie Brosseau plans to transfer from the program. Brosseau, from Repentigny, Quebec, was third on the team in scoring last season with an 11.3-point average and second in 3-pointers with 68. She started on a team that went 23-10 and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time in 14 years.

“I had two amazing years spent here at the University of Maine that I wouldn’t trade for anything,” Brosseau said in a university press release. “My desire is to continue my college career at another university.”

Two hours later, Maine announced it had landed two recruits.

Doga Alper, a 5-foot-11 guard from Istanbul, Turkey, and 5-8 point guard Rongomai Timson of Hamilton, New Zealand, will join the team next season, according to Coach Amy Vachon.

Alper may compete for a starting spot. Alper, 17, has competed in the under-16 and under-18 European championships.

“Doga (pronounced Door-ah) is not only very skilled offensively, her length allows her to defend a variety of positions,” Vachon said.

Timson played on the boys’ basketball team at her high school in New Zealand before moving to the U.S. two years ago and playing for Life Preparatory Academy in Wichita, Kansas.

“Rongomai is a true point guard,” Vachon said. “She can score from the 3, hit the midrange shot and take it to the basket strong. Her best asset may be her ability to deliver the ball to her teammates at the right time.”

Maine returns its starting point guard, freshman Dor Saar, who was the America East Rookie of the Year.

No reason was given for Brosseau’s departure. She is the only player to announce her intention to transfer since the end of the season, but the fifth to leave from UMaine’s touted international recruiting class of 2016. Of those seven players, only two remain – guard Blanca Millán and forward Fanny Wadling.

Last spring, four freshmen and one sophomore transferred, all of them international players.

Brosseau’s departure appears amicable.

“Julie is a tremendous basketball player but an even better student and person, and we loved having her at UMaine,” Vachon said in the release. “We wish her nothing but the best as she pursues a new challenge.”

Maine had only one senior on this year’s roster – backup forward Kirsten Johnson. Brosseau’s starting spot likely will be taken by 5-8 Parise Rossignol of Van Buren. Rossignol returned to the program after a year off and was a surprise contributor off the bench, earning the America East Sixth Player of the Year award.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH