When arriving on campus as a newcomer to the University of Maine Fort Kent women’s soccer team, there are only two goals, a college degree and National Championships. Winners of three of the past four USCAA National Championships, UMFK will once again look to return to the pinnacle of the sport at Nationals in Charleston, West Virginia. Coming off a 17-1-1 season, highlighted by the third National Championship in school history, the goals are as lofty as ever for the 2014 season. Coach Lucas Levesque called last year’s schedule “the most difficult in school history” as it featured six games against NAIA and Division II competition (UMFK was 4-1-1), however this year’s schedule appears to be just as difficult.
Eight starters return for Levesque’s squad highlighted by the dynamic duo up front, junior Katherine Ferland and senior Ariane Laberge-Pelletier. Both were honored as USCAA First-Team All Americans a season ago as they accounted for 42 of the teams 68 goals. Ferland finished second in the country with 28 goals and had a team leading eight assists. Laberge-Pelletier’s 14 goals and six assists were good for second and third respectively in each category. The other returning USCAA First Team All American is sophomore defender Brianna Mills. She will anchor a defense that allowed the fewest goals in the USCAA last season (6). UMFK was the only team to allow single-digit goals in 2013. The Bengals will return five other starters at various positions, but any of those could be challenged as depth will be a strong suit for the team. The 2014 recruiting class is one of the best ever assembled by Coach Levesque and he believes that several incoming players will be expected to challenge for starting positions.
The aforementioned schedule once again will be one of the toughest in recent seasons. Highlighted on the calendar is a date with 2012 USCAA Champion and last year’s runner up, NCAA Division II Daemen College (Sept 7, 2014). Recently UMFK and Daemen have developed one of the best competitive rivalries in the USCAA, meeting in the last two National Championship contests. Also featured on the schedule are NCAA Division II School Roberts Wesleyan, NAIA schools (Rio Grande & Fisher College), two AUS Schools (UNB & Acadia) and seven matches against USCAA competition.
The UMFK Bengals will open the season against Ahuntsic College of Montreal, Quebec, Thursday August 21st at 3:00 pm. Click on UMFK Women’s soccer for everything including schedule, roster and player profiles.