Kelsey Powers wasn’t sure what to expect when she left Naples and Lake Region High School for Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. A couple of weeks into her freshman year, she was ready to transfer.

“Field hockey kept me here,” said Powers.

Good thing. Powers finished her career for the Dutchwomen this fall with her best season, scoring 12 goals and seven assists. She was a major factor in any success Union had in her four years – the Dutchwomen went 46-25 over her career, including 10-8 this season – as she scored 35 goals. Fourteen of the goals were game-winners.

“I knew when she was coming in as a freshman that she would be a big part of our attack and generate goals that we needed,” said Coach Lacey French. “As a player, she can almost take control of a game. When we needed a goal, she would get us that goal.”

Powers, 21, said her goals were “a lot of lucky touches, being in the right place at the right time.”

French said that was only partially true. Powers got her goals because she wasn’t going to be stopped.

“Pure determination and competitiveness,” said French. “That was in her naturally and I don’t think a lot of players have it necessarily. She never gave up and was a bulldog.”

Powers was a captain this year and pushed her teammates to never give up. “We had some tough losses, a matter of a split-second, or one goal,” she said. “I had to keep everyone motivated and positive, to keep looking forward. I was trying to keep everyone positive when it would have been easy to give up.”

Powers scored five game-winning goals this year and was named to the second team of the Liberty League all-stars this fall for the third consecutive year. But it isn’t the goals or the honors that she will remember most when she graduates with a degree in Environmental Policy in June.

“Our class, as freshmen, all we heard about from the juniors and seniors was about how rough it was,” said Powers. “The program did a 180 in the last 10 years, going from winning only three games to winning records and beating nationally ranked teams.

“To know that you can make a difference, that you can help to keep it growing and going, was all the motivation I needed to play.”

And Powers wants to continue to make a difference. She just got an internship with the New York Attorney General’s office within the Environmental Protection Agency bureau. (Her interview for the internship was two days after her last game and, she thought, “Now I’ve got to focus on real life.”)

She wants someday to be a green consultant, helping to build environmentally-friendly buildings. For now, she just wants to enjoy her final months at Union. “I never thought that being at Union could be this good,” she said.

CROSS COUNTRY

Sophomore Matt Rand of Cape Elizabeth and freshman Liam Cassidy of Brunswick helped Tufts to a third-place finish in the recent New England Small College Athletic Conference championship. Rand was Tufts’ top finisher, in 11th, while Cassidy was 22nd, the third Jumbo finisher.

Keene State freshman Ryan Widzgowski of Camden was recently named the Little East Conference Rookie of the Week after placing 11th overall (27:30 on an 8-kilometer course) in the conference championship. That also placed him 15th in the New England Alliance regional meet.

FIELD HOCKEY

Junior forward Hannah Clark of Falmouth helped Middlebury College advance to the NESCAC quarterfinals. Clark had four goals and an assist.

Freshman Brittany Ross of Scarborough scored one goal (a game-winner) and had one assist for Providence College. Ross started 13 games for the 5-13 Friars.

Keene State goalie Meghan Ledoux of Standish (Bonny Eagle) has helped the Owls to the Little East Conference semifinals, where they lost to UMass-Dartmouth. She had a 16-6 record with seven shutouts, a 0.94 goals-against average and 131 saves.

GOLF

Daniel Webster College junior Emily Bouchard of Saco (Thornton Academy) earned second-team all-New England Collegiate Conference honors after shooting a two-day total of 157 in the conference championships. Bouchard finished seventh overall, 12 strokes behind the leader.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Senior center Kyle Robbins of Falmouth (Cheverus) is playing for the University of Illinois at Chicago. The 6-foot-11 Robbins, who previously attended Southwestern Illinois College – a junior college – averaged 4.0 points and 4.0 rebounds last year.

Thomas College was picked to finish first in the North Atlantic Conference preseason poll. The Terriers are led by senior guard Andrew Duncanson of Portland. He was the NAC 2009 Player of the Year, averaging 17.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists.

MEN’S SOCCER

Wentworth Institute of Technology senior defender Anthony Berntsen of Portland became the school’s first member to be selected to the CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District first team. Berntsen, a Computer Engineering Technology major, started 53 of the 68 games he played in his career, often drawing the opposing team’s top scorer. This year he helped the Leopards to a 9-8-1 record and earned The Commonwealth Coast Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and was named to second-team all-conference.

Senior midfielder Todd Shigo of Naples (Lake Region) helped Stonehill (7-8-2) advance to the Northeast-10 quarterfinals. Shigo started all 17 games, scoring one goal and four assists. Shigo had a goal and assist earlier when the Skyhawks upset nationally-ranked LeMoyne, 2-1.

Junior back Matthew Howard of Brunswick has played in every game in the two-year history of Wheelock College’s program. The Wildcats went 0-16 this year.

University of Cincinnati senior goalkeeper Matt Williams of Portland (Cheverus) was recently named the Big East goalkeeper of the week. Williams helped the Bearcats earn two big points, making nine saves in a 1-1 tie with No.19 USF and making five saves in a 0-0 tie at Villanova. He has eight shutouts, a 0.63 goals-against average and an .846 save percentage.

ROWING

Freshmen Christine Reighley of South Freeport (North Yarmouth Academy) and Katie Paige of Brunswick (North Yarmouth Academy) were members of the William Smith College novice eight that won a silver medal at the Head of the Genesee. William Smith, a Division III program, finished second in a time of 19:49.70, trailing only Division I Buffalo.

SWIMMING

Gettysburg (Pa.) College opened with a sweep of Messiah, aided by some local athletes. The men won 145-99 as junior Matt Libby of Freeport (Cheverus) finished first in the 50 freestyle (21.81 seconds) and was part of the winning 400 medley relay. The women won 151-94 as junior Kayte Dumont of Cumberland (North Yarmouth Academy) won the 50 backstroke (29.89).

WOMEN’S SOCCER

Junior midfielder Devon Leighton of Scarborough helped Roger Williams University to the first round of the NCAA tournament. Leighton, who started every game for 16-5-1 Roger Williams, had three goals and three assists. One goal was a game-winner.

VOLLEYBALL

Junior middle hitter Quintina Young of Portland (Deering) helped UMaine-Fort Kent to the 2010 Sunrise Conference championship. The Bengals beat UMaine-Presque Isle in the finals as Young pitched in with six kills and played strong defense.

 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]