BANGOR — In a quiet moment Sunday, right before the first of three University of New England turnovers set up another score for Husson University’s junior varsity football team, a female fan in blue-and-white Nor’easters gear bellowed out from the Winkin Sports Complex bleachers, “There’s a storm coming!”

Perhaps she foresaw the brief outburst of hail that sent fans scrambling in the fourth quarter. Or maybe she was taking the long view with a new Nor’easters program that would lose, 34-21, to drop to 0-2 in its inaugural season.

The latter is how Coach Mike Lichten is choosing to look at things as his players, the vast majority of them freshmen, try this fall to come together as a team while also navigating campus life, keeping up in the classroom and learning how to eat right and bulk up in the weight room.

There will be stumbles on the field, such as the giveaways, bobbled kickoffs and long passes completed behind the secondary in Sunday’s loss. But winning, while preferable, is not everything to Lichten in the first year of the program.

“We will push to win. We want our players to gain development so when we’re playing in our conference next year, we’re ready,” he said. “But becoming a family is the biggest thing. You can’t do that without competing together.”

An hour before kickoff, close to 100 fans, many of them related to UNE players, grilled burgers and tossed beanbags in the parking lot. Beneath their blue metallic balloons was a full-size cardboard cutout of the head coach.

“Yeah, I got introduced to that last week. That was a first for me,” said Lichten, hired 19 months ago after five years as the head coach at Becker College. “I’m getting used to that kind of support, which is obviously tremendous.”

The excitement continued through the opening kickoff, with UNE fans rattling cowbells after third-down stops and grumbling about a shortage of Husson penalties. But after Husson reached the end zone on its first possession and increased the lead to 21-0 late in the second quarter, the buzz started to subside.

Before halftime, quarterback Brian Peters tossed a 30-yard touchdown to Biddeford native Austin Dutremble to get UNE on the scoreboard. But Husson tacked on a couple more touchdowns in the third quarter to make it 34-7.

Two fourth-quarter touchdowns by UNE made the final score respectable.

“It’s tough because we have all those freshman struggles, but we all have to sort them out at the same time while also playing in competitive games,” said wide receiver Haelin Roberts, a first-year player from Washington state.

Before the Nor’easters climbed on their cramped bus for the trek back to Biddeford, a couple players grinned while acknowledging the team had a long way to go on the field, too. This is what everyone signed up for, a chance to be the foundation of what they hope will one day be a powerhouse.

“We’ve been together for like 20 days and are playing these established programs,” said freshman linebacker Jordan Jawdat of Topsham. “But we’re a very young team, and I think the future is really bright, honestly.”

The Nor’easters, who lost their inaugural game, 36-30, to the Curry College JVs on Sept. 3, play nine games this season against JV or prep schools teams. In 2018, the team will make its varsity debut.

If you ask Lichten, his young players and that loud lady in the bleachers, a storm is coming eventually.

“I want us to know who we are (at season’s end). I want us to know what our culture is and to be able to instill into the next group that comes in what our culture is going to be,” Lichten said. “Good things come to those who wait. But better things happen to those who work hard to get them.”