UMaine-Farmington midfielder and Monmouth Academy graduate Audrey Fletcher takes a shot during a Sept. 10 game against Husson in Farmington. Contributed photo/UMaine-Farmington Athletics

It’s a new year with a revamped roster, but the story is still the same for the University of Maine at Farmington women’s soccer team.

Thanks to a strong back-end to their regular season, the Beavers (7-5-2, 5-1-2 in the North Atlantic Conference) enter the postseason with some momentum. They are 6-1-2 in their last nine games.

“We know going (into the season) that we’ll have to battle our way through the whole season, and we play a tough non-conference schedule (early in the season) intentionally,” UMF head coach Molly Wilkie said. “Sometimes that means our wins and loss record isn’t looking great in September. I think the biggest thing is our team understands is we’re not trying to be our best team right away, it’s a process. So they buy into that process. I think what we’re seeing now is they’ve stayed together, they’ve stayed focused, energized, excited and have put the work in. We’re kind of seeing that now.”

The Beavers entered 2022 with a new-look roster. McKenna Brodeur, one of the top players in program history and last year’s NAC Player of the Year, graduated. This season, UMF has eight freshmen, along with seven sophomores. Midfielder Emily Boyle is the team’s lone senior.

“Maybe eight of our normal starters are sophomores or freshmen,” Wilkie said. “It can go either way. It’s normal for first-years to take a few tough situations and kind of build into who they’re going to be. But this group has progressed pretty quick, and I think that’s also because the leadership on our team has really welcomed them and given them permission to shine. We value that. There’s no one saying, ‘Oh, they’re a first-year, they shouldn’t be playing that much.’ People have bought in, our team wants to do well. We’ve really welcomed those new players with open arms and I think that shows (on the field).”

UMaine-Farmington midfielder Emily Boyle looks down the field during a Sept. 10 game against Husson in Farmington. Contributed photo/UMaine-Farmington Athletics

The Beavers have shown a well-rounded offensive attack. Junior Audrey Fletcher, a Monmouth Academy graduate, leads the team with seven goals and five assists, followed by sophomore Grace Mahmood (six goals, one assist). But six different players have found the back of the net for UMF this season.


“It’s been really awesome that we have different players who can score, get assists on any given day, it’s not necessarily going to be the same person every day,” Wilkie said. “I think that helps us. It’s given our players a lot of confidence that it doesn’t have to be one person scoring, it can be any of them.”

UMF is currently third in the NAC East Division, just two points behind Maine Maritime (6-7-1, 6-2 NAC) and four points behind Husson (8-6-1, 7-0-1 NAC). The Beavers made it to the NAC quarterfinals last year before falling 5-2 to Husson.


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The Husson field hockey team, the defending New England Collegiate Conference champions, is off to another strong season.


With two games left in the regular season, the Eagles (7-5, 4-0 in the NECC) sit atop the conference, which also includes Thomas College, UMF and New England College. Husson is on a three-game winning streak, outscoring opponents by a 13-0 margin.

“We’re incredibly excited about (the season),” Husson head coach Diann Ramsey said. “They really work hard at understanding how to play together as a team. They value the relationships they have as a team, how to work together to be successful. That’s truly been some of the big differences for us.”

The Eagles boast a diverse roster of veterans (they have eight seniors) and underclassmen.

“It’s extremely valuable (t0 have a good roster mix) not only right now, but for the future,” Ramsey said. “When we consider the next four to five years of experience that the underclassmen are getting, they can then contribute in the future, but also teach future generations. The balance of each class is really going to continue the expectation of the program, the success of the program. It’s going to continue the culture.”

The roster is loaded with central Maine players, including former Winthrop standouts Katie Perkins and Maddie Perkins. Maddie, a freshman, has eight goals and three assists. Katie, a senior, has four goals and four assists. The sisters both earned awards on Monday, as Katie Perkins was named the NECC Player of the Week, while Maddie Perkins received Rookie of the Week honors.

“They really know how to work with each other,” Ramsey said. “They just really fit together with the entire team. I think the team comes together very well. It’s really fun to see (Katie and Maddie) interact with each and work off of each other on the field.”


Husson goalkeeper Kimmie Goddard was also named Defensive Player of the Week.

Husson wraps up the regular season with games against NEC (Saturday) and UMF (Oct. 30) before the start of the NECC tournament.


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A Colby College track and field standout is receiving national recognition.

Senior Sharde Johnson was recently named one of the top 30 finalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. The selections were based off 577 nominees that span all three divisions of NCAA sports. Selections are made based off excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership, according to a news release from the NCAA. The list will be narrowed to three finalists in each division, but all 30 will be celebrated when the 2022 Woman of the Year is announced in January in San Antonio, Texas.

Johnson was the 2021 Division III outdoor national high jump champion, as well as a three-time U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-American. She is also a three-time All-New England Small College Athletic Conference selection.

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