Beavers Battle for NAC Championship
Leanna Farr Contributing Writer
For the second year in a row, the UMF women’s soccer team has made it to the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) championship game. The beavers won the NAC championship last year for the second time in program history. The championship win last season was unexpected after the beavers had a rough start to the season.
McKenna Brodeur, junior psychology major, and leading goal scorer on the team with 52 career goals, said in an email interview “Winning the NAC was surreal. I think since it was so unexpected, it felt like a dream. There was so much energy in the air that day.” Brodeur comes from Oakland, Maine and is one of the key players in the offense.
On Nov. 10, the team made it to the championship game once again. “As a team, making it to the NAC championship again showed how much we have progressed. We were successful in areas that we have not been in the past,” Brodeur said “I knew how good we could be and how far we could make it. There is always pressure when you win one year and come back the next year. People do expect certain things to work out.”
The sophomore returning player Adriana Novella, a community health major, said, “Just making it to the NAC final proved what type of team we are and how hard we fight for each other and what we want.” Novella plays center back and is a crucial part of the beavers’ defense.
During the regular season players always have another game to do better, but post-season playoffs become so much more important. Brodeur said, “It’s win or go home. The energy is different.”
In the audience, the energy and atmosphere at the game was a level up with all the UMF students and parents yelling and cheering with airhorns every time they made a good play. The Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) men’s team, who were playing next, yelled and cheered for their women’s team before leaving at half time to prepare for their game.
When it comes to being a UMF beaver, “I have never been part of such a close-knit team before. Everyone has your back and wants what is best for you. We are best friends on and off the field,” Brodeur said. “Our goal was to make it back to the championship game, and although we hoped to win, just being there felt like a huge accomplishment.”
“This season we all truly embraced our vision of family over everything. We overcame a lot of things that we did not think we could at the beginning of the season,” Novella said. “Just making it to the NAC final proved what type of team we are and how we fight for each other and what we want.”