April 29, 2005
Three University of Maine at Fort Kent soccer stand-outs will join 15 other women from across the country participating in a soccer tour of Aruba this summer.
Jess Gagnon and Megan Foreman of Fort Kent and Sara Quint of Hodgdon, who have all enjoyed successful careers on the soccer field in UMFK Bengal green and gold, will play for the red, white and blue when they travel to Aruba in July as part of a USA Athletes International team.
USA International is a non-profit organization that recruits athletes from different sports and ages to represent the United States in international play.
Gagnon, Foreman and Quint will be members of Team USA competing in the 2005 Aruba Soccer Series. They will also spend part of their time coaching and running soccer camps for children on the island.
"I am so excited to play soccer on a competitive team again. I have missed that experience since my days playing at UMFK ended," said Gagnon. "This is a chance for me to do what I love most, teach the game of soccer to kids and of course compete on a team again. I feel extremely lucky and honored to have been chosen for the team."
Gagnon and Foreman both joined the UMFK soccer team in the fall of 2000, the first year the women's program was recognized as a varsity team, previously, women's soccer was a club sport.
"We came into a struggling program that at times did not even have enough girls to fill all the spots on the field and with girls on the field who had never played the sport before. We served as captains our junior and senior years and by our last season we were part of a strong and successful program, losing to Lyndon State College in the Sunrise Conference championship game to end our careers," said Gagnon.
The final season for both Gagnon and Foreman with the Lady Bengal team was fall 2003.
During their career, both received school, conference and national honors.
Gagnon was named 2003 Sunrise Conference player of the year, conference scoring and total points leader, and statistical leader for the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.
She is currently the all-time leading women's goal scorer and total points leader for UMFK.
Gagnon was named to the all-conference team in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and received UMFK most valuable player honors in all three years as well.
In 2003, she was named to the all region team for region ten of the NAIA and an NAIA scholar athlete.
Foreman was voted Co-MVP for the Lady Bengals in both her junior and senior years.
In 2003, she earned national soccer player of the week honors by the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, was named to the Sunrise Conference 1st team, the National Small College Athletic Association (NSCAA)/Adidas National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-Region team for Region X, and was named NAIA Women's Soccer All-American honorable mention.
She also earned Sunrise Conference Player of the Week honors numerous times throughout her career. Also in her senior season, Foreman led the Sunrise Conference in assists. At UMFK, she holds the record for number of assists in women's soccer and is second in over-all points.
Gagnon and Foreman both played soccer together for Fort Kent Community High School prior to playing for UMFK. Both will graduate from the University on May 7.
Quint, a third-year education student at UMFK, graduated from Hodgdon High School in 2002, where she played on her varsity soccer team for four years.
In her freshman year of college she was named honorable mention for defensive player of the week in the Sunrise Conference.
The following year she was named UMFK's most improved player, defensive player of the week, to the second conference team, all region team and All-American honorable mention, scholar athlete, and defensive player of the year nominee.
In the most recent season, Quint battled her way back from a knee injury and was awarded all-conference honorable mention.
"I feel very honored to have the opportunity to represent the United States while playing the sport I love most. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Quint.
The successful sweeper for the Bengals will not be returning next season as she will be completing her student teaching in Hodgdon.
For Gagnon, Foreman and Quint, preparations for the upcoming summer soccer tour of Aruba includes fundraising.
Each must raise approximately $2,400, and the trio is working together to fundraise.
"This trip will definitely not be possible without the generosity of our family, friends and community, who we hope will help us raise the money," said Gagnon. "We plan on asking for donations and/or sponsors. All of the money we raise will go directly to the organization and our fee will then be deducted accordingly."
For more information on the soccer experience or fundraising efforts, contact Gagnon at (207) 834-5431.