By Jeni Wallingford, Staff Writer
The University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) Women’s Soccer Team is preparing for their first play-off game of the season. They will be taking on the New England College (NEC) Pilgrims at Prescott Field. Excitement is building for players and fans. The team has worked hard all season to get to this point.
Senior team captain Keli McLellan, who plays outside midfield, believes the team is prepared and will do well in the play-offs. “I believe that our team has the capabilities to make it to the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) finals. I expect that our team is going to work hard for the win,” said McLellan. “Personally, I expect myself, along with others, to give everything I have to win this game.”
Coach Beth Lebel, a former UMF goalie, also has high hopes for the team and is excited to experience the playoffs as a coach. “Playoffs are like a second season. I think we play some games in the regular season that might not have been the result we wanted,” said Lebel. “Now the girls have a chance to get those games back when it counts.” Her role as an assistant coach this year is much different than being a player on the field. Lebel finds that her experience as a goalkeeper helped her to be a vocal leader on the field. Coaching has brought Lebel a new love for the game.
With the play-offs approaching, Junior Angelica Horne said that NEC could be a potential threat. UMF recently played NEC in a game that ended ended in a tie, after double overtime, with a score of 0-0. “They are going to want to come out and beat us,” said Horne. “But we are the better team, we are the stronger team, and we know that,”
The team’s record overall is 8 wins, 8 losses and 1 tie. The team is confident that they will win this battle between the two teams in the play-off game. One of UMF’s strengths is that they are an aggressive team. “We don’t take any competition lightly,” said Horne. “We always try to play every game like it’s our last, and leave everything on the field.”