UMaine-Farmington freshman midfielder Gracien Mukwa, who was named the North Atlantic Conference Rookie of the Year, will be one of the many returners next season, after falling just short of winning the NAC title. Contributed photo/University of Maine at Farmington Athletics

The University of Maine at Farmington men’s soccer team may still be recovering from last weekend’s loss to SUNY Polytechnic Institute in the North Atlantic Conference championship game, which was decided in penalty kicks. The Beavers were playing in their first NAC title game since joining the conference in 2003.

UMF (11-4-2) has plenty to look forward to next season.

UMF had five seniors on its roster this fall, three of which are starters: midfielder James Pelletier, goalkeeper  Jonah Sautter and defender Silas Mohlar. Backup goalies Bradley Neal and Josh Castonguay are also seniors. Sautter was named an NAC first team all-conference member.

The NCAA granted an additional year of eligibility for student-athletes whose sports were halted because of the coronavirus pandemic. Sautter, a Lisbon graduate, Mohlar, Neal, a Monmouth graduate, and Castonguay could all return next season.

“It’s really exciting,” UMF coach Blake Hart said. “We have a lot of guys that are going to be staying another year, too, because of what happened last year. Those could be seniors that we have this year as well.”

Whether all, or none, return, the Beavers are still loaded with weapons among their underclassmen. Freshman midfielder Gracien Mukwa was named the NAC Rookie of the Year after leading UMF with eight goals and six assists. He was also named as an NAC first team all-conference. Forward Yusuf Mohamed, a Lewiston graduate who finished with seven goals, is a junior, as is forward Cade McHugh, who finished with five goals.

Hart is also excited about the youngsters on the roster.

“The last two years, recruiting for us has been huge,” Hart said. “We’ve brought some guys that can come in right away and contribute. I think, especially in the position that we’re in now, we can just do that year to year. We just have a very competitive environment on our team. The future is very exciting. … We definitely have the guys in the locker room right now to build a program.”

UMF WOMEN’S SOCCER player McKenna Brodeur enjoyed a standout season. A Messalonskee graduate, Brodeur was named the NAC Player of the Year after leading the Beavers with 14 goals and eight assists.

A forward, Brodeur ends her UMF soccer career with 66 goals, 34 assists and 166 points. Brodeur’s best season came in 2018-2019 when, as a sophomore, she scored 22 goals and had eight assists. UMF would go on that season to beat Thomas College in the NAC title game, the first conference title for the program since 2003.

Messalonskee graduate McKenna Brodeur returned for a final season with the UMaine-Farmington women’s soccer team, leading the Beavers with 14 goals and eight assists. She was named the North Atlantic Conference Player of the Year. Contributed photo/University of Maine at Farmington Athletics

After fall and winter sports were canceled last season in the NAC, Brodeur knew she’d be coming back for another year.

“Some (seniors) don’t have the possibility of coming back, and my parents do support me if I want to take an extra semester and play next year, which is kind of what I want to do,” Brodeur said last year. “I don’t want it to finish it like this, I’ve been playing since I was 3.”

Brodeur isn’t finished with her athletic career just yet. A multi-sport athlete at UMF, Brodeur is also a forward and leading scorer on the women’s basketball team. Through two games this season for the Beavers (2-0), Brodeur is averaging 10 points per game.

This season, the UMF women’s soccer team finished 7-11-0, falling to Husson in the NAC East Division quarterfinal. After starting the season  1-8-0 in their first nine games, the Beavers went 6-3-0 in October. They finished 5-3-0 against conference competition during the regular season. The turnaround helped head coach Molly Wilkie earn the NAC Coach of the Year award. UMF defender Elena Guarino was also awarded first-team all-NAC honors.

Bates College first-year quarterback Colton Bosselait threw a game-winning touchdown with four seconds left and set a school single-game record with 372 yards in Saturday’s win over Hamilton.

BATES COLLEGE FRESHMAN quarterback Colton Bosselait was honored by the NESCAC for his rec0rd-breaking performance in the first start of his college career.

Bosselait was named the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week after stepping in for longtime starter Brendan Costa, who missed his the final game of his career due to illness, and led the Bobcats to a 27-21 win over Hamilton on Saturday. Bosselait completed 23 of 26 passes for a team-record 372 yards as well as four touchdowns. His final pass was caught by senior Christian Olivieri in the end zone with four seconds left, breaking a 21-21 tie with four seconds remaining.

Bosselait, who is from Westminster, Massachusetts, is Bates’ first NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week since Frank Williams in 2016.

Costa also finishes his career as a school record holder. In Bates’ (3-6) win over Bowdoin on Nov. 6, Costa passed Hugo Colasante as the program’s single-season passing leader, finishing with 1,680 in 2021. Costa also set the Bates record for single-season total offense record with 2,063 yards.

The three wins are the Bobcats’ most since 2016.

THE BOBCATS’ CROSS COUNTRY teams will both compete in the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive year.

The championships are Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Bates women are led by former Edward Little High School standout Jillian Richardson, a junior who is a two-time All-NESCAC and two-time All-Region selection. She has been the Bobcats’ top finisher in ever race during her two college seasons. Seven other Bates women runners will travel to the NCAA Championships.

Jackson Donahue and Eli Boesch are the only Bates men making a return trip to nationals. The other six runners are first-timers.

The Bates men’s highest NCAA finish is sixth place in 2012. The top finish by the Bates women so far was 14th at the most recent NCAA Championships in 2019 (there were no nationals in 2020 due to COVID-19).

BATES’ RILEY BURNS was named the NESCAC Field Hockey All-Conference Second Team last week. The senior captain finished with five goals and five assists in 16 games.

Burns, a midfielder, was one of three Bobcats (7-9) with 15 or more points this season. Sophomore forward and St. Dominic Academy graduate Paige Cote finished with 19 points and senior forward Emily Gianunzio had 18.

 

Sun Journal sports editor Lee Horton contributed to this report.

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