By Sara Lamb Contributing Writer
UMF Men’s and Women’s soccer teams gear up for the opportunity to compete against other schools and work on their skills during the offseason.
“A playday is basically the culmination of our spring season,” said Tristan Price, a junior who plays on the Men’s team. “The result doesn’t count for anything but how you play can tell you a lot about what you need to work on in the summer.” Most collegiate soccer teams participate in a spring season where they get together once again, workout, and practice for the regular season in the Fall.
This is the Men’s first spring season with a new head coach. “Coach Kronewetter has brought a different style of play,” said Price. “He has really emphasized being structured defensively.”
With the help of the new coach, the team was more successful in their defensive effort this season as compared to previous ones, and they were able to better compete with the teams in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC).
The Men’s and Women’s team each have around 12 members who are able to participate in the spring season. Others are either injured or involved in another spring sport. Both teams are looking to get stronger with team workouts made by the athletic trainers on campus, and by playing Futsal, a small scale modified version of soccer.
Lydia Roy, a junior soccer player, said, “I think we are looking to be in a very good position.” Roy spoke about the teams regular season goals in an email interview and said, “Overall, it looks like we have pretty good chance at competing for the NAC Championship.”
The Women’s head coach, Molly Wilkie, who has been coaching here for 10 seasons, pushes her team to be the best. “Our coach pushes us to be accountable and to do the hard work on our own time. It pushes us to be better players as well as better individuals,” Roy said.
This year the Women’s playday will be held on Saturday, April 21 at St. Joseph’s college in Standish, where they play four 45 minute games against Husson, Saint Joe’s, UNE, and Thomas. The Men’s team will play at the University of Southern Maine in Portland on Sunday April 29.
By Sara Lamb Contributing Writer
The Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams are ready to start their spring season after a slow and snowy start. Senior captain Shane Hathaway is excited to start his last season with the Beavers. Hathaway acknowledged the delayed start, saying it’s “Pretty tough to have a meet with 5 inches of snow still on the track, it was sad to cancel but we would have had to race in our snowshoes.”
Hathaway has been a key contributor in the Beavers’ past success, having won the 110 meter hurdles during his freshman year. Hathaway is a three time hurdle champion in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC), which is the conference that UMF participates in with all of its athletics. Hathaway is also a two-time New England qualifier for the hurdles.
Captain Shane Hathaway finishes an intense race. (Photo by Jeff Lamb)
“I’d say hurdles is probably my favorite event, it’s something that came naturally when I first started the sport,” Hathaway said.
Sophomore Throwing captain Jessica Brink is also eager to start the season, saying that the Women’s team “will be strong competitors” in all events, giving Castleton State and Colby-Sawyer a run for their money. Brink is a returning team member but is not as new to the sport.
“Track [and Field] means a lot to me and has given me many opportunities that I otherwise would not have,” Brink said. “I love to throw and it feels great when you work so hard on your technique and you get a personal record. But I think what feels even better is when you get to share in that experience with you teammates.”
Senior Sprint captain Kaitlin Virgin is a great team player and can always find the positive in situations. Virgin said in a online interview, “I think our biggest strength as a team is our ability to overcome adversity. Not having an actual track to work out on or not having a lot of space and equipment that a team of our size really needs actually benefits us in a lot of ways.”
Hathaway believes that the Beavers “have a good shot at winning the NAC this year.” After the Beavers were defeated by Colby-Sawyer by eighty-nine points last spring, winning the NAC would be great for the team.
Virgin said that the Women’s team “has a lot of talented athletes who work really hard, so a win would be incredible and is very possible.”
The first meet scheduled earlier in March was canceled due to snow still covering the track. Instead, their season is scheduled to start Saturday, March 31, at Southern New Hampshire University for the Springtime Invitational.