Samantha LeBeau Contributing Writer
The UMF Women’s Basketball team had a successful season overall, despite recently losing to Husson during the North Atlantic Conference Championship (NAC) game. This year’s outcome leaves the team with a somewhat disappointed, but determined mindset as the season comes to an end and they look towards the future.
The women’s team traveled to Husson for the weekend to play at Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) and Husson for the NAC Championship title. In the NAC final four, UMF faced MMA winning 70-63, then challenged Husson for the title, losing 70-60.
The team finished in fifth place last year in the NAC. This year, however, they stood in third. “Every season is different and we will face new challenges a year from now,” Head Coach Jamie Beaudoin said. “Our group is certainly excited about the opportunity to see if we can take the next step and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.”
Although Husson was undefeated this year, UMF anticipates a fight for the title in the next season.
Beaudoin, who has been head coach for 20 years, reflects on the progress from last season. “We made improvements in our record from a year ago, but we also raised our level of competition,” he said. “Improved players and giving our best effort in practice led us to be more prepared for our games.”
Assistant Coach Noah Carroll said, “The girls played really well this weekend and throughout our playoff run. I think they really hit their stride, and the shots started to fall this weekend at a high percent.”
This left Carroll with high hopes and expectations for next season. Despite the loss to Husson, “I would say our season went really well,” Carroll said. “We doubled our wins and made it to the championship game, which the program hasn’t done since 2007, I believe.”
Beaudoin believes that the girl’s determination to improve is going to carry the team to next year’s NAC Championship, “We must have a great summer with individual development, and return to campus in the fall hungry for success,” he said. “Next year we’ll have sixteen girls returning in hopes to get back to the NAC Championship and to win.”
First year player Samantha Creech said, “We beat MMA for the first time this season, after losing to them twice in the regular season.” She said, “No one gave up during that game and that is what helped the team win.”
Many fans from Farmington traveled to Husson to support their home team in the championship game. “The atmosphere of the games this weekend were great, we had a lot of fans from Farmington at both games.” Creech said. “You could feel the intensity when the scores were close from the crowd.” Although the girls fell to Husson in the final game Creech said, “I can’t speak for the rest of the team and for Coach, but I thought the season was a success! We made it to the Championships!”
Jade Petrie Contributing Writer
The UMF women’s basketball team has been off to a great start in the NAC conference with a record of 7 wins and 2 losses.
The team is led by senior captain Sara Lamb as well as head coach Jamie Beaudoin and assistant coaches Noah Carol and Dylan Eustis.
Women’s basketball recently played one of their hardest games of the season against the Thomas College Terriers. The beavers put up a fight, keeping the win within reach the whole game with a final score of 58-53.
Junior McKenna Brodeur finished the game with a high of 12 rebounds and both Brodeur and Molly Folsum scored eight points. Sophomore Paige Brown scored the second most points, coming in with ten points and going 4-5 from the floor. Junior Alex Bessey was the leading scorer for the Beavers with 17 points.
Bessey said, “It was a hard fight and when we were down I knew we had to pick up our intensity and we gave it our all.” Bessey is a rookie to the Beavers this year but is not a stranger to the sport of basketball. She transferred from Central Maine Community College (CMCC), played on their basketball team and won a national championship her final year there. “It was hard at first to transition to a new type of play but the team helped me so much in adjusting and making sure I didn’t miss a beat.”
Senior Captain Sara Lamb: Lamb taking the ball into the paint for a shot. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Lamb Photography)
Beaudoin, a UMF alumni, has led the team to a successful conference season. Beaudoin has been a head coach here for the last twenty years. He went into the Thomas game with a set strategy that had to quickly be adapted when Thomas’s leading scorer was out for the game. He felt like he had made the right choice with the changes.
His look on the season has been positive, mainly focusing on effort and the beavers goal to have a home playoff game finishing in second or third place. Beaudoin sees his team this year as a well-rounded group of talent, “From top to bottom the team is more competitive, we as a team have an increased skill set where all players have high basketball IQ, being able to handle the ball, and being able to shoot the ball,” Beaudoin said.
The Beavers played most recently against State University New York (SUNY) Canton at Canton, NY.
Before the game, Beaudoin was concerned about the length of the trip wearing out her team and the new environment throwing them off. “We have five games to go,” Beaudoin said, “Playing in a gym we’ve never played in, and also playing against players we don’t know.”
SUNY vs UMF final score for their Friday game was 65 to 42 with the Beavers taking the win. The leading scorers of the game were Tia Day and Paige Brown both coming in with 14 points. Molly Folsom led the team with 8 rebounds.
Saturday at noon the Beavers faced off SUNY again for another conference game. The final score was 58 to 54 with the Beavers taking another win. The leading scorer of the game was McKenna Brodeur with 16 points and also lead the team in rebounds with 11.
The Beavers are now 9-2 in the NAC conference. Their next game is tonight against Husson University at 5:30pm in Farmington.