College sports update

Mustang Boulay, Lion Bruns buoy UNE field hockey

Boulay named conference's top defender, Bruns best rookie of 2019
By Mark Haskell | Nov 12, 2019
Courtesy of: University of New England University of New England's Lindsay Bruns, middle.

Biddeford — Though it is located more than 100 miles south, Waldo County has been well-represented in field hockey this season at the University of New England.

That is because two stick-wielding stalwarts from rival schools — junior Reanna Boulay and freshman Lindsay Bruns — have made their presences felt on both sides of the ball from the start to the finish of the 2019 campaign.

Boulay was voted as the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) defensive player of the year and Bruns, a forward, as CCC rookie of the year.

“Boulay is the key component of a UNE defense that posted a goals-against average of 1.62, which was the second best in the league,” according to the CCC website. “Boulay's presence on the field is felt in both the defensive and offensive ends of the field as the junior defender is a primary player on both defensive and offensive corners. A staple in the Nor'easter lineup, Boulay has played in every game for the past two years. She is instrumental in shutting down some of the opponents' best players. Boulay had three defensive saves in the regular season and was named CCC defensive player of the week twice (weeks ending Sept. 29 and Oct. 20)."

This season, Boulay started all 22 games she played and finished with 13 goals and eight assists. A Liberty resident, Boulay is a health, wellness and occupational studies major.

Boulay said it “was a great honor” to be named as defensive player of the year, but it took her by surprise as she came in as a freshman planning to be a forward before coach Danielle Collins moved her to right back.

“I didn’t have a whole lot of experience as a defensive player, but was just excited that I was getting playing time so I stuck with it and practiced really hard to get better,” she said. “This season she moved me to center back and even though it felt a little different than the right back position, I adjusted and made it work. I wouldn’t have been able to receive this award if my coach didn’t push me out of my comfort zone and have faith in me that I would be able to play as a defender.”

While at Mount View, Boulay, an All-State selection, ended her high school career with 46 goals and 21 assists.

“Bruns stepped into the UNE starting lineup in the fourth game of the season and established herself a solid contributor for the Nor'easters,” according to the CCC website. “She got her name onto the scoresheet this year a few times as she scored four goals and had five assists for 13 points. Three of her goals were game-winners. Bruns factored into multiple goals on two occasions with her best game coming against Nichols. She had a career-high five points that game and it was her first multi-goal contest. She was named CCC rookie of the week twice, once in the week ending Sept. 22 and then again a week later in the week ending Sept. 29."

This season, Bruns started 17 games and appeared in 21 as she logged six goals and five assists. Two of those six goals were in the CCC championship game against No. 1 Endicott College of Beverly, Mass., as the Nor’easters lost 3-2 on Saturday, Nov. 9.

A Belfast resident, Bruns is an applied exercise science major.

While at Belfast, Bruns ended her high school career with 57 goals and 24 assists.

"I'm very grateful to be able to continue playing at the next level," said Bruns. "UNE is an amazing program with the most supportive coaching staff and teammates. It hasn't been easy coming in as a first-year [player]. Preseason was nothing like I expected, but it prepared me for what the season had in store. I had to work very hard to keep my starting spot and my team, including my coaches, were so supportive and encouraging and helped me to find the player that I currently am."

UNE ended the season with a 12-10 record.

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