UMaine-Farmington’s McKenna Brodeur, left, fields a pass while working inside against Thomas defender Charlene Butera during a women’s basketball game Jan. 25 in Farmington. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

FARMINGTON — University of Maine at Farmington senior McKenna Brodeur just wasn’t satisfied.

So when the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to student-athletes whose teams were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Brodeur pounced at the opportunity.

“I just couldn’t be done the way that we finished,” Brodeur said. “Especially after COVID (began), we didn’t know if we would have a season in the fall, then the winter. Then it was ‘OK, we didn’t have a season.’ I just feel like I wouldn’t have been satisfied and I would have regretted it if I didn’t come back.”

Her decision to return gave the the UMF soccer and basketball teams a big boost, too.

Brodeur — a Messalonskee High School graduate — finished third on the women’s basketball team in scoring, averaging 11 points a game. Brodeur led the Beavers in rebounds, averaging 6.2 a game.

She scored her 1,000th career point in a 63-61 overtime loss to the University of Maine at Presque Isle on Jan. 30.

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“I can’t speak highly enough of her,” UMF interim women’s basketball coach Nate Carson said. “Her engine, her drive to win, she really is always trying to do the right thing for the team, whether it’s right or wrong in that moment, her intentions are always good. She’s been a tremendous asset for me as a new (head) coach as well.”

The Beavers finished 10-10 and fell to Northern Vermont-Lyndon in the first round of the North Atlantic Conference tournament.

Messalonskee graduate McKenna Brodeur returned for a final season with the UMaine-Farmington women’s soccer team, leading the Beavers with 14 goals and eight assists. She was named the North Atlantic Conference Player of the Year. Contributed photo/University of Maine at Farmington Athletics

UMF interim athletic director Jamie Beaudoin, who was the women’s basketball coach during Brodeur’s first four seasons, was impressed not only with her progress on the court over the years, but off it as well.

“McKenna, first and foremost, is just a great person,” Beaudoin said. “She’s a great role model our campus, our community, my own children. But everything that she does, she does it with a really big heart. She loves to play and I think this extra year has given her that chance. To remain in college and be a young person, she’s taking full advantage of it. This past year, her fall season was practice. Basketball last year was three (local) games. For her to be able to come back and compete with her teammates that she really enjoys and still do all the amazing work she does in the classroom. She’s one of those special kids that will forever be enriched in our UMF history.”

Brodeur was just as valuable on the pitch last fall. A key member of the 2018 team that won the second NAC title in program history, Brodeur had another standout season for the UMF women’s soccer team. She led the Beavers in goals (14) and assists (8) en route to a 7-11 season, including a 6-2 stretch over the final eight games of the regular season after a 1-8 start. Brodeur hit career marks while netting a hat trick in a 4-0 win over SUNY Polytechnic Institute on Oct. 10, notching her 60th career goal and 150 career points. She finished her career with 34 assists, a program record, while tying the program record for career points (166). She also finished with 66 career goals, second all-time at UMF.

Brodeur was named the NAC Player of the Year at the end of the season and also selected for the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Soccer Association (NEWISA) Senior Bowl, an all-star game that pits the best women’s soccer players from Division I, II and III programs around New England.

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Brodeur said she couldn’t have been more happy to decide to come back for one more season.

“I’m so glad I did come back (for soccer), same for basketball,” Brodeur said. “It’s been really fun to finish out with kids I’ve been playing with (for years).”

 

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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