ORONO — Take a look at Fanny Wadling’s statistics and nothing jumps out.

While other teammates fill up the score sheet, the 6-foot-1 University of Maine junior forward quietly goes about her business.

“We have a lot of scorers, so I’m trying to be everything that has to be done. Pass the ball, set screens, leadership,” Wadling said. “I enjoy doing all of that. It’s stuff that doesn’t show up in the stats.”

The native of Sweden will be a key for the Black Bears (24-7) when they host Hartford at 5 p.m. Friday in the America East championship game at Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center. A victory sends Maine to the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season.

Maine learned Wadling’s importance when she missed 10 nonconference games this season while recovering from a concussion suffered against Duke on Nov. 15. The Black Bears went 5-5 without her, including four consecutive losses before conference play began with a 67-46 win over New Hampshire. Wadling returned for that game, finishing with four points, three rebounds, two steals and two assists in 21 minutes.

“We won some games without her, but we really missed her. She was playing at such a high level when she went out, it was nice to see her come back at a high level,” said Maine Coach Amy Vachon.


In 21 games, all starts, Wadling has averaged 6.4 points and 8.9 rebounds. She has 20 blocks, 31 steals and 41 assists, showing her all-around value.

“She’s really aggressive in the post. She grabs a lot of attention. She’s really important to us,” said Blanca Millan, Wadling’s roommate and the America East Player of the Year. “Since she got back from the concussion, she’s done really well. She takes care of what she has to do. She’s a consistent player.”

With 13 rebounds in Maine’s America East quarterfinal win over UNH, Wadling had her ninth double-digit rebounding game of the season.

She’s had four double-doubles this season, most recently with 11 points and 12 rebounds in the regular-season finale against Binghamton.

Wadling chose to attend Maine because she felt a family vibe when she visited the team.

Coming from Sweden, Maine winters were not a drawback.


“Coach Amy said on my recruiting trip I was the only one she could say it was going to be warmer than home,” Wadling said.

Wadling and Millan roomed together as freshman. Being far from home (Millan is from Spain) and trying to communicate in English, a second language to both, the roommates barely said a word to each other the first week.

“Then a month later, we couldn’t be quiet,” Wadling said. “It evolved into a great friendship.”

“We talk in English. She knows some Spanish. We tried one year to learn each other’s language, but it never went so far so we stick to English,” Millan said.

“We understand each other, but not always in English,” Wadling said.

On the court, nothing is lost in translation.

“She really knows what she has to do. I know she sets goals for herself and wants to hit them every game,” Millan said.

Vachon expects bigger things from Wadling as a senior next season.

“She’s one of the best defenders on our team. She knows exactly where the ball should go at all times,” Vachon said. “Each year she’s grown in a different way. I think leadership-wise, she’s grown a lot. I think for her, a lot of the time it’s a mental game more than a physical game.”

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