Last year, the University of Maine was introduced to Vivien Beil, a power-forward coming fresh out of an elite German youth soccer program. In her first season, Beil led the Black Bears with five assists while tallying three goals.
She found her flare for the dramatic early on in her career, registering the game-winning goal versus Fordham University. Her talent brought attention to our school when she won the America East Rookie of the Year award. Beil is the third Black Bear to receive this award. She, along with teammate Noelle Leon-Palmer, was a first team selection by the America East conference. She was the only freshman on the team of all-stars. She also made the all-rookie team for America East. She and Beil were the two Maine representatives on that team. That was the year Beil placed 10th in America East for shot and seventh in the league for assists.
Flash-forward to the 2016 season and we are right where we left off, Beil dominating the field and the stat sheet. She has started in all 13 games and recorded three goals, a team high and two assists. That combined with her 26 total shots this season makes her a force to be reckoned with. Only second-year Anetra Byfield has more shots (29) than Beil.
Beil is Head Coach Scott Atherley’s go-to forward. She’s played the most out of any offensive player. That is because she comes up big when it matters. In their game versus the University of New Hampshire (UNH) this year, the score was knotted at zero. The game went into two overtimes before a hero emerged. Off a pass from first-year Kaitlyn Ball, Vivien was all alone right outside the 18 yard-line. Her shot sailed past the UNH goalkeeper, giving Maine its first conference win in nearly three weeks.
“When the moment was big, she really stepped up,” Atherley said.
A strong offensive player like Beil is exactly what a defensive team like Maine needs to keep opponents guessing. Even as a sophomore, Beil leads the team by example. She is looked up to as a leader and as a captain.
“She sees the field very well, wins all of her tackles and can strike the ball from anywhere,” co-captain Kendra Ridley said. “She is also a phenomenal teammate. She picks people up when they are struggling and always expects the best out of people.”
It is rare to see such a young captain, but Maine’s team is full of youth. On a team of mostly freshmen, it is reassuring to see a leader who will be around for at least another couple of years.
Other players have noticed her commitment to the team.
“We can always count on her to do great,” second-year Genaya Loftis said. “I can speak for the whole team when I say her hard work is contagious.”
Beil leads off the field as well. She was named America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll for her academic achievements. She was also a Maine Scholar-Athlete rising star for the 2015 season.
On top of her work ethic, Beil is very a well-rounded player. She is able to work the entire field. When Coach Atherley recruited her, she was playing midfield for the U17 Germany National Team. Last year she played a mix of forward and midfield.
“She’s been playing out of position all year, and ultimately she has just made a lot of sacrifices,” Atherley said.
She has obviously made a lot of transitions but for Beil, Maine already feels like home.
“I really like being a Black Bear, because we are one big family and support each other and that makes it so much more fun,” Beil said. “I love Maine as a state and I’m very happy to live here for 4 years now.”
Right now, Beil is simply giving all her attention on the upcoming week. She wants to dial in and really concentrate on what she has to do.
“I am very superstitious when it comes to soccer,” Beil said. “I definitely think about our match plan for a bit, but in the locker room I try to have a good balance of focus and distraction.”
Headed into the postseason, Beil is Maine’s top point producer. Look for her to put the team on her back when playoffs start up next week.