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2010 Men's Soccer Season Preview

August 23, 2010

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The University of Maine at Fort Kent men’s soccer team will open their season this Thursday August 26 at Alumni Memorial Field in Fort Kent, Maine at 5pm vs. Roberts Wesleyan College (NY).  The Preseason NAIA #11 Bengals are looking to win their fifth straight Sunrise Conference Championship and will attempt to return to the NAIA postseason for the fourth straight year.  Coach Bill Ashby’s Bengals will put a 53 game regular season unbeaten streak on the line Thursday when they begin their 2010 season verse RWC out of the NAIA American Mideast Conference.

The Bengals, 17-1-1 in 2009, return nine of eleven starters led by NAIA All-Americans Andre Anderson (F Manchester, Jamaica) and Barrington Blake (D St. Elizabeth, Jamaica). Anderson has scored 175 points (68 goals & 39 assist) in his three-year career including 15 & 5 last year while Blake anchored a defense that gave up just six goals last season and was the Sunrise Conference Defensive Player of the Year. The Bengals bring back plenty of experience from a year ago to team up with Anderson and Blake including their top two scores in juniors Keith Williams II (15 & 7 Trinidad & Tobago) and Jermaine West (15 & 6 St. Elizabeth, Jamaica).

Senior Luka Odak (Kutina, Croatia) who led the team and Sunrise in assists last season with 15 returns for his final season while senior Walford Stewart (St. Elizabeth, Jamaica) and sophomores Spencer Jacoby (Johannesburg, South Africa) and David Girouard (GK St-Eustache, Quebec) should have increased roles. Jacoby has the versatility to move to the middle of the field while Stewart has plenty of offense with 63 career points (19 & 25). Girouard is expected to start in goal for the Bengals with the departure of Giovanni Sinclair. Coach Ashby will also call on sophomore local products Russ Mortland (Presque Isle, Maine), Shawn Parker (Madawaska, Maine) and  Shane Theriault (Fort Kent, Maine) and a very deep bench for more production this season.

With great balance, experience and depth the Bengals will be poised to make another run in the NAIA National Tournament in 2010. Seniors Damion Stone and Oniqueky Samuels from St. Elizabeth, Jamaica were regular starters the last three years and have been solid on defense and Sophomore mid Jarryd Phillips (Johannesburg, South Africa) was a key contributor in the midfield last season. Henley Comrie (St. Elizabeth) adds a knack for finding the back of the bench as he enters his final season and also returning to the Bengals from a year ago will be midfielder Pierre-Luc Couturier (Edmundston, New Brunswick).
 
The Roberts Wesleyan College Raiders finished third last season in the AMC with a 9-8-2 mark. Five of their eight losses were by one goal in the extremely competitive American Mideast. The Raiders tied Rio Grande and defeated Notre Dame (Ohio) who were both NAIA Top 25 teams during the season and made appearances at the NAIA National Tournament.
 
Following Thursday’s game, the Bengals will travel to Bangor, Maine on September 1 to take on Husson University at 3pm. They will host a double header Friday September 3 vs. St. Thomas University (Canada) with the UMFK women. On Saturday September 11, the Bengals will begin defense of their Sunrise Conference title when they host Vermont Technical College.
 
All UMFK home soccer regular season matches are free admission. For a complete schedule go to:  http://athletics.umfk.maine.edu/schedule/2/. The UMFK women’s soccer team will be previewed next week.