By Kaitlyn York Contributing Writer
UMF Senior Milani Hicks (22) looks to make a lay-up between two defenders (Photo by Jeff Lamb Photography)
Dearborn Gymnasium buzzed with excitement as dozens of fans piled into the bleachers to support the men’s basketball team during their home opening game against the University of Maine at Machias (UMM) Clippers. Months of preparation for the new season paid off as the Beavers pulled off their first win of the season.
Riley Robinson, a junior on the team, came ready to play with an positive attitude. “I felt confident. We expected a challenge,” said Robinson. “We knew they were a good team, but I was confident in my guys.”
Anthony Owens, also a junior on the team, entered the gymnasium with confidence. “I felt great about what we were going to do, and that’s all that we can control.”
As the team ran onto the court sporting their new uniforms, the crowd roared with enthusiasm. Just twenty seconds into the game, Robinson scored the first two points for the Beavers. For the first seven minutes of the first half the teams were scoring back and forth until the Beavers began to take over both offensively and defensively.
Head Coach, Richard Meader, said that he was very pleased with the way that the Beavers played. “We really played well defensively and got a lot of fast breaks,” said Meader. “We played the way we had hoped to play.”
Coming into the second half of the game the Beavers were up 46-27 over the Clippers. “I felt confident, but I knew there was still a lot of game left and we needed to execute,” said Robinson. Execute they did, the Beavers checked back into the game stronger than before. They continued to secure their lead as they scored repeatedly throughout the half.
The team managed to pull off their first win of the 2018-2019 season with a score of 96-64 over the Clippers giving them a 1-0 record.
Though they won the game, the team recognizes that they have some work to do during their practices leading up to their next games. “We can always become better on the defensive end, though we do play solid defense,” said Meader. “Any team can always shoot better. We need consistency with the shooting. You gotta make shots to win.”
Robinson was the leading scorer for the Beavers with 24 personal points in the game. Robinson was followed in points by Milani Hicks, a senior, who scored a total of 15 points. Overall, the Beavers made 41 out of the 76 shots they attempted during the game, creating a 53.9% average.
Meader has been coaching for UMF for 26 years and has found this years team to be exceptionally special. “They practice well, they listen in practice and try to do what you ask them to do,” said Meader. “They are a good group of guys who are excellent students and they have skills.”
As they look forward to the rest of the season, they have high hopes for their team. “We got a great group of guys and if we keep working together, the goal has to be a NAC championship,” said Owens.
The teams next home game will be Tuesday Nov. 27th at 7:30 p.m. in Dearborn Gymnasium against the Polar Bears of Bowdoin College.
By Lucas Dwornik Contributing Writer
UMF Men’s Soccer coach, Nathan Kronewetter (Photo courtesy of UMF Athletics)
Two years ago Coach Thomas Dinuzzo, who was essentially the sole reason I came to UMF, announced he was leaving, which made me heavily consider transferring. However, UMF has a very democratic way of selecting a new coach, wherein the athletic department narrows the list of candidates, then the players interview and vote on their pick for the next coach. After the first four candidates, I had an idea that UMF men’s soccer would be in good hands. I was certain of it after meeting Nathan Kronewetter, whose experience and knowledge was impressive.
Fast forward to now. This season we were able to make playoffs for the first time in three years and the record in conference doesn’t show that three of the losses were in overtime. While in a slump this year, Kronewetter tried everything to get us out of it which he successfully did. He changed formations, personal, and did what he could to give the team confidence we desperately needed. I trust Coach Kronewetter at the helm.
A team is obviously composed of its players, however, and there is reason for expectation. All of the Freshmen this year, first and foremost, are kind and well meaning student athletes and don’t mean to exclude any of them. That being said, there are a few players worth
New Goalie Bradley Neal successfully blocking a shot (Photo courtesy of Lucas Dwornik)
After Matt Wilson’s time at UMF it’s frankly hard to imagine any other keeper wearing the strange #77 worn by our starting goalkeeper, but I don’t fear for our strength in the position. All three freshmen goalies this year have drive and will push each other, but Bradley Neal (Monmouth) stands out. He’s confident, has good reflexes, has a good goal kick (very important for D3 Soccer). His only flaw is that he’s a Manchester United fan.
This year our back line (Defense) had a different look with two newcomers playing big roles this season. Silas Mohular (Readfield), a state champion last year with Maranacook Community High School, is a “hidden gem,” in assistant coach Blake Heart’s mind as well as my own. Silas is good in the air, on the ball, and is overall dedicated to athletics, playing basketball for the Beavers as well. Jacob Atwood (Edmon), shows great potential at outside back which was relatively new to him this year, playing in a majority of the games at the position. It was also nice to have another vegetarian/vegan on the team to share the banter from the rest of the guys.
Sawyer Deroche (Fairfield), Yusuf Mohamed (Lewiston), and Ilyas Abdi (Portland) are the three freshmen this year who scored goals and I anticipate more to come from them. All are quick, and know how to beat a defender on the dribble. The transition from high school soccer to college soccer is particularly difficult for offensive players, and they’d agree that there’s room for growth. However, I can’t imagine a scenario in which these guys aren’t successful at UMF under a coach who teaches technique so effectively.
My time playing for UMF has been a mixed bag of sorts, but I find comfort in knowing the young men I’ve mentioned (and the ones I didn’t have space to mention) are the future of the program.
PS: Congratulations to the Women’s team on winning the North Atlantic Conference, and thank you to everyone in the athletics department (especially the athletic trainers) for all your hard work. Go Beavers!
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 Emily Thibodeau Contributing Writer
The UMF softball team recently returned from their spring training trip in Kissimmee, Florida, and played eight games in the surrounding area. Out of the eight games, the team came out with one win.
Kiana Thompson, UMF Senior Community Health major and minor in Coaching, said, “the
The team played eight games over the course of their trip. (Photo by Makao Thompson)
score didn’t show how well the team played.” The Beavers played other college teams that play year round. “We had plenty of chances to pull through with a win but we fell short,” Thompson said. “Throughout the week, we made huge improvements and minimal errors and that’s what we were looking for.”
Thompson didn’t take these losses to heart, but appreciated “this experience going down and hitting the dirt before our conference play starts up was so important and beneficial.”
Brianna Dugan, a Community Health and Education major, has been playing softball for over 12 years and looks forward to playing for UMF. Dugan said, “I’ve been impressing myself since I haven’t played softball in two years.” Dugan plays right field and said she’s “impressed with the teams dynamic, good connection with the ball.”
As the Beavers got away from the snow, Dugan said the weather was “always sunny but windy which made for good playing conditions.” The team was ready to be back on dirt as, as Thompson put it.
“The sun was shining and we weren’t in snow or the gym. Wasn’t the typical warmest Florida weather we were looking for but it was perfect to get outside and play in dirt,” Dugan said. “Considering this was the first time we saw dirt [this year] I think we did decent, and it was relieving, and nice to not be in the cold and snow.”
Their free time away from the field was spent at the shopping and relaxing. The team was able to spend a lot of time getting to know each other; Thompson said they “did a lot of team bonding which was good because of our team being so young.” The te
The Softball Team hit the beach in between practices in Florida. (Photo by Makao Thompson)
am cooked every meal together at the nine-bedroom house they stayed at.
Team manager and Early Childhood Special Education major Alyssa Morin assisted the team with bat checks before the game and kept the playbook during the game.
“The bats used during the games can only be certain ones on an improved list.” Morin said. “I feel good about the upcoming season.”
The team is looking forward to the upcoming season. “We have a lot of potential and room for growth,” said Dugan. “Since there’s only five returning players and 22 total players on the team, I’m excited to see where this season goes, with all the newbies.”
“Having Coach Kat come in last season, we made improvements that I haven’t seen in awhile, and with another year under her belt with returners, I am so excited for what our potential is going to be this year,” Thompson said. “Our conference play is going to be tough but I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people because of what we have to show. I’m looking forward spending my last season as a Beaver with this group of girls.”
The Beavers’s first game was March 23 in Newbury, Massachusetts. You can support them at their first home game on Saturday, April 21, versus Lydon State.
By Keely McConomy Contributing Writer
Ryan Smith, one of the new assistant coaches for the UMF Track and Field team, is excited to help train student athletes. His goal as the assistant coach is to “make this sport a tradition” and “to elevate Maine running,” Smith said.
Smith competes in professional running as well as coaching at UMF. Smith mostly works with l
New Assistant Coach Ryan Smith. (Photo Courtesy of UMF Athletics)
ong distances runners, supporting head coach Daniel Campbell. Smith and Campbell work together to help the student athletes improve as runners and people.
“Dan helps me coach the big picture,” said Smith.
Though Campbell has an outstanding reputation for his coaching career, Smith has brought some newer ideas to UMF that could help the team improve in many ways. Smith’s philosophy on coaching is all about planning for the future.
Chloe Kenyon, a sophomore and second year Track and Field athlete at UMF, said Smith “goes from [the month of] May when we want to be at our peak and builds the workouts backwards from there.” Smith “is always excited at practice,” said Kenyon.
Running is a mental and physical sport; helping the athletes prepare for the outdoor season is vital to their success. Smith loves coaching so much that he tells all his athletes that he will always be happy to help them continue the sport, even after they are done running for UMF.
“For me, I’d love to stay here,” said Smith.
He hopes to coach at UMF as long as he can and continue putting his best efforts into helping student athletes become the most successful they can be.
Smith is a recent graduate from Goshen college in Indiana, where he was an All-American runner. He started competing in Track and Field in high school, and his goal from the first day was to beat the high school’s record for the five kilometer. He was told beating the record was impossible. By his senior year he proved his doubters wrong by beating the record by one second. At UMF, Smith wants to bring a similar legacy.
UMF will be competing in the Maine State Open at the University of Southern Maine on February 24th. The meet is important to Smith and the UMF team because teams from nearby states will also be competing with all the Maine teams. “It’s an effort to draw people from out of state and show them, ‘Hey we can compete too,’” said Smith.