Madison Michaud of Gorham, looks to control a pass during a Maine Footy game last season. Michaud, who plays collegiately at the University of Maine, is one of six players returning for Maine Footy’s second season. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

SOUTH PORTLAND — After having a good experience playing for Maine Footy in its inaugural season, Monmouth’s Audrey Fletcher was happy to rejoin the team this summer.

“Last year, I loved how everyone took it seriously and we were all there for the same reason. I grew as a player and a teammate and that encouraged me to come back,” Fletcher said.

Maine Footy, which goes by The Tide, opened the season on May 18 with a 3-1 loss to New England Mutiny in Ludlow, Massachusetts. Maine Footy takes on Worcester Fuel FC on Saturday night in Franklin, Massachusetts. The home opener is June 1 at Deering High’s Memorial Stadium against Worcester Fuel FC.

The Tide are a member of United Women’s Soccer, a league made up of 44 teams across the country, up from 40 last season. Maine Footy is one of 18 teams in the East division. Each team’s roster is made up of college players, and the league prides itself on being a pathway to professional soccer. On the league’s web page, it boasts that seven of the first 10 players selected in National Women’s Soccer League draft were United Women’s Soccer alumni.

Of the 22 players on the The Tide roster, eight are from Maine. Aside from Maine, seven states and six foreign countries are represented on the roster. Six players returned to the team from last season, including Fletcher, who transferred to the University of Southern Maine after previously playing collegiate soccer at the University of Maine at Farmington, and Gorham’s Madison Michaud, who plays at the University of Maine.

“Last year was a very good introduction to playing with people from outside of Maine. This year, I feel like we’re more of a diverse team. We have people from all over the country and international (players),” Michaud said. “We kind of have something to build on from last year. We’re all working towards that common goal, all trying to get better.”


Also back is head coach Will Pike. The men’s soccer coach at St. Joseph’s College, Pike said after learning the league last season, this season is about getting the team to jell quickly.

“Every player has their own (college) system. Getting them all on the same page is probably the hardest part. It’s not hard, but you have to do it quickly,” Pike said. “They’re all pretty professional. The biggest thing is, how fast can I get the chemistry of the team going, knowing the league now.”

Young players join Maine Footy players before their inaugural game last season. The Tide is entering its second season and will continue to make community outreach a priority. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

The Tide finished in fifth place in the 17-team East Conference last season, falling to Sporting Connecticut in the first round of the playoffs. While that was a strong season for a first-year program, Pike said the goal this season is to earn a top four regular-season finish and host a playoff game.

“I think we have a huge level of talent,” said Wells native Emma Badger, who plays collegiately at Florida Gulf Coast University. “I think it’s a really competitive environment. There’s a lot of potential. It’s exciting.”

Like last season, Maine Footy has a focus on community outreach. The club has a series of soccer clinics scheduled at St. Joseph’s College from June 17-21 for high school players. The Tide Rising girls camp for players U9 to U14 is scheduled June 24-28 at Cheverus High School.

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