Derek Taber Contributing Writer
The last home game of the year for the UMF soccer teams welcomes family and friends as the team recognizes senior leadership, and accomplishments. The women’s and men’s teams celebrate “UMF Senior Day” in front of a home crowd, where all seniors will get to have their names introduced at half time. After a sub-par starts to the season both teams have rallied recently to win three of their last four games.
There are playoff implications in the women’s game. Fern Calkins, the junior defensive midfielder, is ready to defend the NAC title while honoring the seniors. “We are all super excited for our conference match-up this weekend against SUNY Canton and looking forward to recognizing our seniors,” said Calkins. “Our seniors have definitely played a big role in our success these past years and we really want to get this win for them.”
The women’s team started the year having lost their first five matches, but have turned things around as of late. The women have put themselves in a position to defend the conference title they won last year. Currently holding on to the sixth and final playoff seed, a win against a conference rival will greatly help the chance of defending the title.
SUNY Canton is coming to Farmington with losses in four out of their last five games, and will try to defend the fifth seed in the conference matchup. A win would further cement their place in the standings. The UMF team is honoring four seniors at the game: Libby Ouellette F, Morgan Tortorella D, Eden Leblanc D, Mikayla Cameron GK.
The men will also play SUNY Canton in their last home game of the year and have an opportunity to climb back into the playoff hunt to grab the final seed in the conference tournament. A record of 1-4 in the conference and 7-7 overall, the men’s team will need this win to stay alive as the last four home games have ended in a loss.
Andrew Longhurst, a senior and center on the team, is looking for a victory in his final home battle. “If we win this game we are almost guaranteed a spot in the playoffs which will give us a chance to go for the NAC championship,” said Longhurst in an email interview. “I am expecting a win in my last home game. The guys have been working really hard over the past 3 weeks in preparation.”
“It’s also exciting to have my family up here for the game because I live in Delaware so I don’t get to see them too much during soccer season and throughout the year,” said Longhurst.
SUNY Canton is sitting comfortably in the fourth seat, and could wind up playing spoiler to the Beavers if they leave town with a win. However, SUNY has struggled of late losing three out of four games, so the momentum could be on the side of the Beavers.
The team is practicing hard with the season on the line. Longhurst knows the importance of preparation. “We are doing everything we can to give ourselves an advantage on them by studying film, getting our injuries taken care of, staying on top of our academics, and working incredibly hard every practice,” said Longhurst.
The Men’s team carries seven players on the roster that will be honored with their families on senior night. The team seniors are Nick Marshall C, Jake Heimlich C, Jon Randolph C, Nate Campbell D, Derek Mclaughlin D, Hunter Michaud C, Andrew Longhurst C.