By Morgan Clark, Staff Writer
This Fall 2015 marks the first season that the UMF soccer teams have played on the newly renamed Leib Field, and the Women’s Soccer Team is competing with spirit to honor the new name with a position in the playoffs.
Over the summer, work was in progress to change the name of the soccer field to honor Bob Leib, a local UMF soccer legend. Formerly Prescott Field, the name was officially changed during Alumni Weekend in early September.
“Coach Leib was here for several days before and after the dedication,” said Women’s Soccer Coach Molly Wilkie in an email interview. “He was able to come to a practice and speak to the men’s and women’s players so that our current student-athletes got a sense of his legacy and all he did for UMF and the soccer programs here.” Wilkie said Leib was touched by the ceremony to celebrate him.
“[The ceremony] happened between the men and women’s alumni games,” said UMF Junior Captain Katie Clark. “The field was renamed to honor Coach Leib since he contributed countless years and hours to the local Farmington soccer program, not just UMF’s program.”
Leib dedicated decades to the UMF soccer program, as both a men’s coach and a women’s coach in his time. Because of this hard work and contribution to the community, UMF felt it was time to give back to him. “He touched the community as well as the university system with his family and his coaching techniques,” Clark said.
So far in the season, the Beavers are 5-8-1. Their conference record is 2-4-1. They recently got their first conference win, and first win on Leib Field, which will prove to be big for the team if they want to continue their season into playoffs.
“The season has been a little up and down as we adjust to many new players as well as returning players in new positions,” Wilkie said. “I’m not satisfied with our results thus far, but I’m happy with how our team chemistry is developing and that our student-athletes have never quit.”
Although their record does not show it, the team has stayed positive and believes that their season will continue. “[The season] hasn’t been going badly but we haven’t found as much success on the field as we have in the past few years,” said Clark.
According to Wilkie the team will have to win all of their remaining conference games, but she is hopeful that the team can do this.
“I hope that fans see that we are developing each game and that the team genuinely cares about each other on and off the field.” Wilkie said. “I’m excited to see how we will respond to this pressure to keep our playoff hopes alive.”
Since the change in September, the new field name has served as a motivation to the players, which will only help the team more in the remainder of the season. Sam Regios, junior team player, believes it is this change that will push the team to work even harder and continue to playoffs.
“We have to put the work in, but I think we can do it,” Regios said. “[The name] inspires me to give 110% whenever I step onto the field.”
The team will have their final home game on October 24 against Lyndon State, which will also be their last conference game of the season.