Lewiston native Cece Racine is in her third year starting in goal for the University of Southern Maine women’s lacrosse team. She ranks fourth in NCAA Division III in save percentage and ninth in saves per game. James Liebowitz photo

Senior Cece Racine has been the starting goalkeeper for the University of Southern Maine women’s lacrosse team since her sophomore season.

During that time, the two-time All-Little East Conference selection has 24 career wins, which is two away from the USM program record.

She was named Little East Conference Goalie of the Week on Monday, which is the sixth time in her career receiving the award. The Lewiston native currently ranks fourth in NCAA Division III in save percentage and ninth in saves per game.

Racine said her biggest motivator for playing lacrosse in college is former Lewiston High School coach Tracy Blaisdell.

Blaisdell became the Blue Devils’ coach Racine’s junior season, but she also coached Racine in middle school and the Lewiston Rec program.

“My coach in high school was my biggest fan in the world,” Racine said about Blaisdell. “My confidence just went through the roof every time I made a save because she had my back all the time. I think she was the one that really pushed me to play in college, just because she kept just being that voice in my ear saying, ‘You can do it.’ She just really boosted my confidence to go play at the next level.”


Racine grew up playing multiple sports, including basketball, lacrosse, cross country and soccer. Her athleticism and ability to play outside of the crease is something Huskies head coach Angela Mallis said sets her apart from other college goalies.

“I think one of the biggest things is as a goalie, she’s equally probably one of our best athletes all-around,” Mallis said. “She’s actually a couple of times played field and scored goals, and again, she’s just an incredible all-around athlete too, and that translates to her being a goalie.”

Mallis described Racine’s playing style as aggressive and unafraid, which she said may surprise some people since Racine is more of an introvert off of the field.

University of Southern Maine goalie Cece Racine, a Lewiston High School graduate, has been named Little East Goalie of the Week six times in her career. Submitted photo

“She’s one of those that sometimes she’s quieter, but when she speaks, everyone listens and is really impacted by it,” Mallis said. “She deserves recognition always, and she’s one of those people that wants to be the best, but you would never take it that she’s trying to step on anyone’s toes. She’s just really dedicated and disciplined.”

Racine was the second-string goalie her freshman season, behind Edward Little graduate Mariah Vaillancourt. Racine appeared four games her freshman season, which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Racine’s save percentage remained consistent her first two seasons as the Huskies’ starter, with save percentages of 55% in 2022 and 51% in 2023. This season, her save percentage sits at 57% after five games. In the Huskies’ 19-4 victory over UMaine-Farmington last week, Racine made 11 saves.


Mallis also said Racine is not afraid to step out of the crease to get ground balls, and some games even leads the team in ground ball pickups. She also makes interceptions and sets up goals with long clears down the field to attackers.

“She can hit those long clears right into someone, as well as some one-on-ones out of cage to get a clear off every once in a while, if they send pressure to her,” Mallis said.


Since being a lacrosse goalie requires a lot of mental toughness because of the responsibility and the difficulty of making saves. Racine said she analyzes her statistics and sets goals to make sure she remains consistent and focuses less on the shots that went in and more on the impact she had. Stat-tracking is something Blaisdell taught Racine at Lewiston.

“I’m super fortunate that I like obviously at Lewiston, I had a coach that was super adamant about how great she thought my save percentage was then,” Racine said. “I developed this super crazy, high, unrealistic standard for myself, and then my save percentage luckily always falls around like the 50%, which I’m told is, like, right where I would want to be. I think setting super high goals for yourself will bring you to a place that you didn’t think you could be in the first place.”

According to Mallis, Racine is the Huskies’ most mentally strong player, and she has a “really good attention to detail,” which is important as a leader on the field.


“The capability to be able to calm yourself down has grown a lot — obviously, like, my sophomore year was extremely stressful all-around,” Racine said. “It’s just gotten better and better each year, which I’m super fortunate for, but I’ve just kind of been able to channel my emotions and channel that pressure a little bit more.”

The Huskies do not elect captains, instead they have a season-long leadership group, which Racine was elected to her junior and senior seasons. Racine said being a member of this group has allowed her to grow into using her voice on the field more and motivate and cheer on her teammates.

Racine said her teammates have helped her succeed on and off the field, as well. She singled out junior goalie Lydia Laslavic (an Oceanside graduate) and former USM players Maeve McGarrity (Cheverus) and Evelyn Hinkley (Gardiner).

“Lydia was a freshman when I was a sophomore, and she’s been there, always pushing me to get a little bit better as well,” Racine said. “She’s obviously been fighting for that spot just as much as I have, and it’s just nice to be battling next to someone who’s not your enemy, but your teammate. We’ve been working together and making each other better.”

Southern Maine assistant coach Nicole Kennedy works with the Huskies’ goalies. She first met Racine she visited campus as a high school senior for a prospective player clinic, and the pair instantly connected. Racine appreciates that Kennedy checks in on her and Lydia’s headspaces after a tough practice or game.

Mallis said that Racine isn’t afraid to chase greatness.


“She has conversations with Nicole, our assistant, and she’s like, ‘I want to be the best. I want to be the top goalie in the conference,’” Mallis said, “and I think people are afraid to admit that they want that. I love that she’s someone who has no fear to admit that to herself and not be afraid to fail. She’s the number one lead-by-example person on our team.”


Aside from dominating in the cage for the Huskies, Mallis said she admires how much Racine balances school, lacrosse and family.

While Mallis said she never has doubts that Racine will put in the work on the field and in the classroom to succeed, she appreciates how much of a role model she can be at having a life outside of lacrosse and school.

“She has a big family in Lewiston and she does things for herself outside of lacrosse,” Mallis said. “I think I’m always a big supporter of like, they have to make sure they’re enjoying your time off and different things like that, so she’s someone who finds ways to kind of make her life outside of just school and sports, spending time with her family and working.

“She can come off as an intense player, but she’s truly one of the kindest and most approachable people on the team, which I think is a really cool quality about her.”

Racine said it’s a surreal feeling knowing this will be her last season between the pipes. Mallis said she catches herself taking Racine for granted because she’s been such a consistent, dominant player, and it’s hard to imagine next year without her.

“She is always solid, there’s never any hesitation, she’s just not someone you have to be on all the time because she’s just always doing the right thing, which makes a coach’s job so much easier in that way,” Mallis said.

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