Mary LaRochelle leads the Thomas women’s soccer team with four goals on the season. Photo provided by Thomas Athletics

Entering her senior year at Morse High School, Mary LaRochelle had yet to record a goal at the varsity soccer level.

Oh, how things have changed at the collegiate level.

The Thomas College freshman scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Northern Vermont University-Lyndon earlier this month, including the eventual game-winner in the 87th minute.

“Scoring those two goals didn’t feel real, it still doesn’t,” said LaRochelle, who leads the Terriers (3-5-1) in goals with four. “Coming into college soccer and having that (scoring) opportunity has been incredible.”

LaRochelle was at it again in a’ 1-0 over SUNY Canton on Sunday, when she scored in the 88th minute to help lift the Terriers.

Despite the early success, LaRochelle said it’s been a challenging transition to the collegiate game.

“The college level has a faster pace and more intensity to it,” she said. “It has taken some time to adjust to the increase in physicality, but it’s exciting to improve.”

 

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Former Mt. Ararat field hockey player Emma Lapreziosa was recently named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Field Hockey Defensive Athlete of the week.

A goalie at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, Lapreziosa went 3-0 with just one goal allowed while stopping 83% of the shots she faced.

Former Lisbon standout and current University of Maine at Farmington goalie Jonah Sautter is one of the leaders on the team this fall. Photo provided by UMF Athletics

“It felt amazing, I never expected something like that,” said Lapreziosa. “I was in complete shock. But this gives me validation on how hard I have worked and the amount that I’ve improved.”

In eight games, Lapreziosa is 4-4 with a .770 save percentage with 14 goals allowed on 47 saves.

“You have to keep a positive mindset, which is something we focus on,” said Lapreziosa. “We want to show everyone that we’re better than where we were ranked, it drives us everyday.”

Wheaton was ranked last in the NEWMAC preseason rankings, but has since moved up to fifth.

 

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Former Brunswick standout long-distance runner Tyler Patterson has begun his college career running cross country at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Patterson participated in his first collegiate race on Sept. 18 at the Yellowjacket Invitational at Genesee Valley Park in Rochester, New York. He finished the 8,000-meter race in 26:51.8, good enough for 26th overall.

“Running eight kilometers against college runners is a whole different beast than anything I did in high school,” Patterson wrote in a message to The Times Record. “I wasn’t super satisfied with my performance, but it’s a good learning experience. … I’m running more miles and doing harder miles than ever before,” he said. “That’s the kind of stuff that makes you a better runner.”

Another adjustment? Not being the best on his team, let alone the state.

“Senior year, I was the top guy on the team and in most of the races we had,” said Patterson. “Now, I’m training with 15 to 20 guys at an intense level and I’m in the middle of the pack in races. It’s nice to have that atmosphere and hopefully it makes me a better runner.”

 

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The University of Maine-Farmington men’s soccer team (6-1-0) is off to its best start in a few years. After a 2-1 loss to Husson on Sept. 11, the Beavers have won five straight games and have allowed just seven goals.

“The biggest thing is the excitement level on the team,” said third-year head coach Blake Hart, a former Mt. Blue High School standout. “The guys are excited to be competing against other teams and not themselves.”

James Pelletier, a Messalonskee graduate, has scored four goals this season for the University of Maine at Farmington men’s soccer team. Photo provided by UMF Athletics

The Beavers have been anchored in goal by Lisbon graduate Jonah Sautter. Hart says Sautter has reached new heights this season.

“I don’t think I’ve seen him play better,” said Hart. “Two years ago, he wasn’t even a starter and now he’s one of our leaders.”

The Beavers are led offensively by Yusaf Mohammed, a former Lewiston standout, who has five goals. James Pelletier, a former Messalonskee standout, and Gracien Mukwa of Portland each have four.

“Our depth is a major key for us,” added Hart. “The commitment we have to match with our balanced attack is a good recipe for success.”

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