WATERVILLE — Thomas College and the University of Maine at Farmington share a heated rivalry on the pitch, with the men’s soccer programs going back and forth in the regular season and playoffs the last two seasons.

So after a 1-1 draw Tuesday night, Thomas coach Kyle Fletcher summed up the game with this: “I think a draw is kind of fitting.”

Indeed, not much separated the teams Tuesday night, and not much has separated them the last two seasons. The Terriers and Beavers have split their regular season and North Atlantic Conference playoff games the last two falls.

“The last four games prior to (Tuesday) has been a win or a loss, vice versa, alternating,” Fletcher added.

UMF (3-3-1) struck first Tuesday, with an early goal by freshman forward Mohamed Adow. Thomas (1-2-4) responded with a goal from junior forward Joshua Joseph 32 minutes later. Both teams played to a stalemate in the second half.

But there was no shortage of physical play that often marks a rivalry game.


If players weren’t inadvertently running into one another, they were quick to use a slide tackle into an opponent. The game got a little chippy early in the second half, with both teams needing to be separated by coaches and officials at one point.

Red cards were handed out.

“I love (the rivalry),” UMF head coach Blake Hart said. “It was a very chippy and good game. I think (in previous years) we kind of lost that and we’re kind of bringing that back. The last three or four years have been really close (scores).”

“It’s a fun (rivalry) for sure,” added Thomas forward Hunter Smith, a graduate student and Messalonskee High School alum. “You know UMF’s going to come out and put 100% in the whole game, and we’ve got to match that. It’s a fun one to play.”

University of Maine at Farmington’s Mohamed Adow (27), left, and teammate Cade Mchugh (4), center, battle for the ball in front of Thomas College’s goal Tuesday in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Staff Photographer

Both teams differ in roster makeup. UMF has one of its more veteran rosters of recent memory, Hart said. Adow, an Edward Little graduate, leads the team with five goals, while junior and Scarborough graduate Zach Chaisson has four goals.

“We have either 11 or 12 seniors,” Hart said. “Our leadership is really good. We also have some pretty good young guys. I would say this is probably the biggest depth we’ve had on our team. We have guys that we know can get off the bench and give the same kind of energy. We started slow with a couple of hard losses, but we’re bringing it back. Getting into the heart of our schedule, I think we’ll be flying and making a push toward the NAC championship.”


Thomas, on the other hand, features a young roster, with just three seniors or graduate students. Joshua, a junior and a native of Devonshire, Bermuda, leads the team with six goals.

“We’ve struggled with our approach to games, we’re still young,” Fletcher said. “It seems lately it takes us about 15 minutes (into games) to get going. We’ve got to approach games a little bit better. If we approach (Tuesday’s) game better, that ball doesn’t bounce in the box (for UMF). But I’m proud of the effort. Last year, we dealt with kind of the same thing. I don’t think we would have dug our heels (in the same situation) last year.”

“We’re a young team,” Smith added. “Last year, we were the kind of team that would go down 1-0 and kind of drop our heads. To come back this year and have that mentality of, going down 1-0, we need that goal to come back and tie it is pretty important for us.”

Both teams feature an abundance of central Maine players, which only adds to the rivalry.

“You know a lot of guys on the (other) team,” Smith said. “It’s kind of fun playing against guys you grew up playing against. It’s fun, for sure.”

The two teams will meet again on Oct. 4 in Farmington.

“To have that rivalry, you feed off of it and you love it,” said UMF senior midfield Aric Belanger, a Maranacook High School graduate. “It’s something you really enjoy, and that’s why you play the game, and as a local player, I love that.”

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