GORHAM, Maine – The academic honors continue to roll in for the University of Southern Maine Huskies' field hockey team. Coming off of earning the National Field Hockey Coaches (NFHCA) Division III National Academic Team Award, and having 11 members of its roster named to the 2018 ZAG Sports Tours/NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad, Huskies' field hockey can also say it has a 2018 NFHCA Division III Scholar of Distinction.
Just the third Husky in the seven-year history of the NFHCA's Scholars of Distinction program, Southern Maine freshman Abbie Sprague (North Berwick, Maine/Noble) joins an elite group of NCAA Division III field hockey players to earn the academic distinction. To achieve the academic honor, Sprague earned a grade point average of 3.9 or higher while participating as a member of Huskies' field hockey team. Out of nearly 150 NCAA Division III field hockey team, Sprague is one of just 268 student-athletes to excel academically with a 3.9 or higher GPA during the first semester of the 2018-2019 year.
A first-year defender for the Huskies, Sprague is in the Nursing program at the University of Southern Maine. She is one of 35 USM student-athletes majoring in the field of Nursing, and one of three Nursing majors who are on the Huskies' field hockey team. Sprague joins former Huskies' Lindsay Jackson and Casey White who earned the NFHCA Scholar Athlete of Distinction honor in 2015 and 2012 respectively.
Sprague had a tremendous first season for the Huskies, quickly acclimating to the collegiate level playing and starting in 19 of Southern Maine's 21 games. Sprague recorded her first collegiate point with an assist in the Huskies' 7-1 win over Little East Conference opponent Salem State (September 8). With Sprague as part of its defense, Southern Maine had the Little East Conference's third-best goals against averaging (1.84).
Southern Maine finished the 2018 season with a 13-8 overall record and a 9-3 mark in the Little East Conference, and advanced to the semifinals of the LEC tournament before falling to eventual champion Keene State. During the season, veteran head coach Bonny Brown-Denico recorded her 200th career win.