Messalonskee graduate McKenna Brodeur leads the University of Maine at Farmington women’s soccer team with nine goals and seven assists this season. Contributed photo/University of Maine at Farmington Athletics

October has been kind to the University of Maine at Farmington women’s soccer team.

After starting the season with 1-8-0, the Beavers have turned it around, going 4-1 in their last five games. UMF is 5-9-0 overall, but 4-2-0 in North Atlantic Conference play.

The Beavers certainly had strong competition in September, which included losses to Bowdoin, Colby, Husson and Plymouth State (N.H.).

“We intentionally play a tough schedule so we’re prepared for our conference games,” UMF head coach Molly Wilkie said. “It would be nice to win some of those early games, but we also understand as a team that we’re trying to get better so we’re the best team we can be by the end of the season.”

The Beavers are led once again by Messalonskee graduate McKenna Brodeur, who returned to UMF for a fifth year after losing last season to the COVID-19 pandemic. Brodeur — who is also a member of the UMF women’s basketball team — has nine goals and seven assists this season. She has 61 goals and 33 assists in her career.

But it’s not just Brodeur whois contributing. A strong group of freshmen and sophomores are playing well, including Lisbon graduate Kiley Merritt (three goals, two assists), Monmouth Academy graduate Audrey Fletcher (six goals, two assists), Medomak Valley grad Abby Lash (three goals, three assists) and Morgan Thompson (three goals, one assist).

Lisbon graduate Kiley Merritt has been among a group of young players that has helped the University of Maine at Farmington women’s soccer team to a 4-1 record over the past five games. Merritt has three goals for the Beavers this season. Contributed photo/University of Maine at Farmington Athletics

“We have a mix in class years that are contributing,” Wilkie said. “We have some first year players playing really big roles for us. Our sophomore class are really first years as well, because they didn’t compete last year. So really, we’re a little roster than it even looks, but most teams are. We’re growing together, I think that’s the biggest thing. The learning curve can be steep for first year college players, but they’re developing, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

Wilkie said she appreciates the veteran leadership of Brodeur, as well as the rest of the seniors, in helping the young players adapt.

“McKenna and Callie Hammer, our goalie, Adriana Novella, Haley Fletcher, Leah Stevens, there’s a bunch of our players who are back,” Wilkie said. “I think they have taken all the first years under their wing, for lack of a better term. They support them and want them to do well also. That’s huge, to have them looking out for our younger players and being excited when our younger players do well. That’s huge for us as a team.”

UMF has three games remaining in the regular season, all against NAC competition. The Beavers host Maine Maritime on Saturday before they visit Northern Vermont-Johnson on Sunday. They will host rival  Thomas College in the regular season finale on Oct. 23.

 

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Despite missing a full 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Thomas College men’s soccer team seems to be picking up where it left off.

Entering their game Wednesday night against Husson, the Terriers are 8-1-0 and 6-0-0 in the NAC. They’ve won five straight since a 2-1 overtime loss to the University of Southern Maine on Sept. 21. Thomas entered Wednesday as the No. 1 team in the NAC.

Senior forward Zenawi Bowen has led the Terriers with seven goals. But a collection of young talent has also played big roles for Thomas, including freshman Joshua Joseph (four goals, six assists), junior Eric LaBrie (five goals, three assists), as well as junior and Winslow graduate Jake Warn (four goals, four assists). Thomas has also been strong defensively, allowing seven goals in nine games. Senior Jonathan LeClair has done the bulk of the goalkeeping for the Terriers, registering 29 saves.

With no official season last year, Thomas is still the defending NAC champion. The Terriers won back-to-back conference crowns in 2018 and 2019. The Terriers beat Maine Maritime 4-1 to win the NAC title in 2019, before falling 6-1 to Amherst in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Head coach Chris Parsons has led Thomas to six conference championships in nine seasons.

 

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The Bowdoin field hockey team has enjoyed a successful season. With three games remaining in the regular season, the Polar Bears own a 9-3 mark, including 5-3 in New England Small College Athletic Conference play.

Junior forward Faith Jennings leads Bowdoin with 11 goals and five assists. She’s followed by sophomore Bailey Prete (seven goals, two assists) and senior Manveer Sandhu (six goals, four assists).

Bowdoin is currently fifth in the NESCAC standings, with league games against Connecticut College (Saturday) and Tufts (Oct. 26) left on the schedule, along with a non-conference game against Husson on Oct. 21.

 

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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