Maine guard Julie Brosseau (10) and Texas guard Ariel Atkins, right, chase the ball during a first-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 17, 2018, in Austin, Texas. Brosseau, a sophomore guard, has announced that she plans to transfer to another school. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) Credit: Eric Gay | AP

ORONO, Maine — Only a year after the University of Maine women’s basketball team lost five players, including four freshmen, to transfer, another is following suit.

Sophomore guard Julie Brosseau, the Black Bears’ No. 3 scorer and second best 3-point shooter this season, has announced her intention to pursue other options.

Head coach Amy Vachon on Thursday announced that UMaine has granted Brosseau permission to talk to other schools.

If Brosseau transfers to another Division I school, she will have to sit out a year as mandated by NCAA rules. She could play immediately at a Division II or III institution.

“I had two amazing years spent here at the University of Maine that I wouldn’t trade for anything,” Brosseau said in a news release. “I had the chance to meet beautiful people and create a family with my teammates that I love so much. I know that those relationships are for a lifetime.”

Despite those sentiments Brosseau, of Repentigny, Quebec, is moving on.

“My desire is to continue my college career at another university,” said Brosseau, who UMaine said does not know what school she might attend next. “My decision wasn’t easy, but I had to follow my heart. I truly want the best for the University of Maine program. I know that coach Vachon and her coaching staff wouldn’t give anything but their best to make it happen. I am so grateful and thankful to have had the opportunity to play for them. Thank you again, Black Bear Nation, and to our awesome fans.”

Vachon took the defection in stride.

“Julie is 22 years old. She’s a grown woman. She made a decision she wanted to make,” Vachon said at a news conference. “She wanted to play at a different school. It’s as simple as that. I’m thankful for what she did for us.

“Transferring is a common part of college basketball,” Vachon added. “It wasn’t like that 20 years ago. But kids are more aware of it so it happens.

Brosseau’s departure follows the mass exodus from last spring when Laia Sole, Naira Caceres, Isabel Hernandez Pepe, Anita Kelava and Tihana Stojsavljevic opted to transfer.

Sole transferred to Duquesne, Caceres wound up at Butler, Kelava landed at Georgetown, Stojsavljevic is playing at Texas Tech and Hernandez Pepe is at Division II St. Edward’s University.

Vachon downplayed the defections, including Brosseau, and said she wasn’t surprised.

“People want to make it a huge deal but it isn’t a huge deal,” said Vachon. “It’s part of the landscape of college athletics now. There were 700 college basketball transfers (last year).

“It isn’t frustrating at all. Kids are kids. They want their own experience. If they don’t want to be here, that’s OK,” Vachon added.

Vachon said she didn’t anticipate any other defections but added “we’ll see what happens.”

Brosseau, a 5-foot-8 shooting guard, ranked 15th in America East while averaging 11.3 points per game. She was fourth in 3-point field goals (2.1 per game) and ranked fifth in 3-point percentage at .347 (32-for-68).

She averaged 27.4 minutes per game, contributing 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Brosseau was second on the team with 72 turnovers.

In conference play, Brosseau averaged 11.4 points and 2.3 3-pointers on 38 percent 3-point shooting (35-for-93).

Brosseau appeared in 66 games for UMaine, making 31 starts. She scored 594 points and hit 127 3-pointers while shooting 79 percent (59-for-75) from the foul line in her career.

She tossed in a career-best 29 points in an 83-70 loss at Ohio State on Dec. 3, 2017 and made four 3-pointers en route to 16 points to help spark the Black Bears to a 74-65 victory over Hartford in the America East championship game on March 9 in Bangor.