UMF’s McKenna Brodeur (18) watches as teammate Hadlee Yescott (20) and Northern Vermont-Lyndon’s EmmaLee Smith go for the ball in a North Atlantic Conference regular season finale at Leib Field in Farmington last season. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal

FARMINGTON — University of Maine at Farmington women’s soccer coach Molly Wilkie sees all newcomers as a great resource, but another banner season will depend on how quickly this new crop of rookies gets up to speed.

“Large incoming first-year class will need to adjust quickly to the college game for us to be successful,” Wilkie, who takes the wheel for her 12th year, said. “We’re excited about our first-year class and expect many of them to contribute right away.”

Last season, the Beavers brought home a North Atlantic Conference championship with an 8-13 record. UMF returns a strong defensive line and has multiple scoring threats on offense.

“(We will) continue to focus on the mental side, defensive concepts and set-piece execution,” she said. “(We have) strong returning leadership and a core of players who experienced our championship run last season.”

Two senior center backs — Morgann Tortorella (Wilkie said: “Vocal field leader and defensive organizer”) and Eden LeBlanc (Wilkie: “Leader by example, excellent in the air”) — and junior forward McKenna Brodeur (top returning goal scorer) will play a crucial role in UMF’s strategy.

“We have the pieces to be successful. We have to dig in and work hard every day in order to reach our team goals,” Wilkie said. “We know we need to stay true to our team values of growth, grit, communication, respect, accountability and passion to reach our goals. Our league will be strong overall, with parity among the top five teams.”

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