The University of Maine women’s soccer season has come to a conclusion, and it did not end the way they wanted it to. The Black Bears ended the season with a record of 5-10-1. Of the 16 games this season, the Black Bears brought six games into overtime. However, the team failed to win an overtime contest, posting a 0-5-1 record in overtime. The Black Bears were 1-6 on the road this season, and 4-3 at home. Strong defense against the Black Bears was in strong supply this season as the largest lead for the team this season was one goal.
Leading scoring duties for the Black Bears were shared among five team members. Fourth-year midfielder Kendra Ridley, third-year defender Mikayla Morin, second-year midfielder Kayla Brace and second-year defender Priscilla Domingo each scored two goals on the season. Second-year midfielder Emilie Andersen and first-year defender Olivia Bamford chipped in with one goal each for the year. Second-year Annalena Kriebisch and third-year Samantha Cobotic shared goaltending duties this season. Kriebisch recorded four shutouts in the goal while Cobotic had one. Kriebisch improved on last season’s total of 34 saves by recording 67 saves. She collected a season high eight saves in a shutout victory against Stony Brook.
Ridley, in her third year as captain, managed to lead by example once again. Both on and off the field, the Ontario native was a model student athlete. Ridley tied the team best two goals scored on the year, but both goals were game-winning shots. Off the field, Ridley compiled a 3.99 GPA in Maine’s nursing program. Ridley and second-year midfielder Nicole Bailey were recognized as members of the America-East All Conference team. Bailey, a bioengineering student, recorded a 3.97 GPA. The midfielder Bailey scored two goals and two assists this season. She played 1,145 minutes for the Black Bears. Ridley was the team leader in the category, with 1,464 minutes played.
Going forward, the Black Bears can expect promise from Andersen, who flashed plenty of talent throughout the course of the season. The Norwegian midfielder led the team with four assists on the year, as well as being one of the seven players to score this season. After starting in just three games as a first year in 2016, Andersen saw her fair share of minutes this season starting in all 16 games. Andersen was fourth on the team for minutes played and one of five players to start all 16 games.
Head Coach Scott Atherley, in his 19th season as head coach, can hope for more offense in the next season. Though scoring was scarce in the division, there will have to be a larger focus on capitalizing on goals. The team will face a significant setback in losing Ridley to graduation, and will look to Bailey to fill the void. Bailey’s role will be expected to increase in the 2018 season. Bailey started 12 games as a first-year in 2016 and started in all 16 games in the 2017 season. Black Bear fans can also look forward to the rise of midfielder Emma Cossette. The first-year from Quebec was another one of the five players who started in all 16 games. An impressive debut season for certain as she saw the fifth most minutes on the team. Going forward with that much experience in her first year, Cossette will be looked upon to translate those minutes into much needed offense next season.
The Black Bears had a rough season, but with the amount of talent this team has, they have plenty of reason to look forward to 2018.