The U-Maine-Fort Kent soccer teams have opened preseason training camp over this past weekend as both teams prepare to open the 2013 season.
UMFK Director of University Relations & Alumni Affairs, Terence Kelly writes about the great success of both men’s and women’s teams and gives a look into the 2013 season below.
UMFK Soccer looks forward to National Championships in West Virginia
by Terence Kelly, UMFK Director of University Relations & Alumni Affairs
If you questioned any member of the University of Maine at Fort Kent’s men’s or women’s soccer squads as to where they hope to be in late October and early November, they likely will respond “Charleston, West Virginia.”
If that sounds like a slightly odd response coming from a Maine college student, consider that a trip to the West Virginian city represents the Bengals’ opportunity to once again reign supreme in national collegiate soccer. Charleston will serve as host to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championship Tournament, October 30 through November 2.
The Bengals have owned one or both of the men’s and women’s national titles during the past three years. Being without either title going into the 2013 campaign is a great motivator for Coach Bill Ashby’s men, and Coach Lucas Levesque’s Lady Bengals.
USCAA All-Americans, captain and midfielder Kevin Dionne (Sr., St-Andre D' Argenteuil, Quebec) and forward Kennard Brown (Jr., St. Elizabeth, Jamaica), return to the pitch in 2013 to lead the men’s soccer program back to the USCAA Championship. The Bengals won the 2010 national crown, and have reached the Final Four each of the last two seasons. The squad also will see the return of its Rookie-of-the-Year, midfielder Justin Soontiens (So., London, Ontario), to a deep line-up, which also will feature another large and impressive recruiting class.
The Bengals 2013 schedule will rival last year’s, which was among the toughest in the school’s history. Home contests versus in-state USCAA rivals University of Maine at Machias (October 9) and cross-county rivals, University of Maine at Presque Isle (October 22) sandwich a grueling eight-game road trip against top-level competition in New York City, West Virginia, Washington D.C. and New Jersey.
The Lady Bengals have appeared in the last three USCAA national championship games, winning back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011 before bowing out in last years’ final, 1-0, in overtime.
The 2013 Lady Bengal team will feature the largest recruiting class in UMFK history, including Mainers Alexis Desjardins (Fort Kent), Sadie Gosse (Richmond), Natalie Michaud (Madison), and Kalee Kershner (Newport).
The class also will include five very talented first-year players from Canada and two teammates from Kingston, Jamaica. The new recruits will join a strong group of returning players including forward Katherine Ferland (So., Montreal, Quebec) and keeper Kimika Forbes (Sr., Trinidad & Tobago), both of whom were USCAA All-Americans in 2012. Ferland scored 34 goals as a freshman, while Forbes posted an impressive eight shutouts on the year.
The Lady Bengals schedule features a re-match of the 2012 USCAA Championship game vs. Daemen College (September 7) in Amherst, New York, as well as several late-season, high-caliber road games against National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) schools.
Look out, Charleston. Here come the Bengals!!!