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UMFK soccer players receive national honor

December 23, 2005

NR05207

Three University of Maine at Fort Kent students from the women and men's soccer teams have been named 2005 Daktronics-NAIA Soccer All-America Scholar-Athletes.

Senior Polly Pelletier of Belgrade, Maine; Junior Donatas Sumyla of Vilnius, Lithuania and Senior Nick Thibodeau of St. Francis, Maine have all earned the prestigious national honor from the NAIA.

All-America Scholar-Athletes are nominated by their institution and must be a junior or a senior, maintain at least a 3.5 grade point average and have a significant positive impact on their respective school and community.

Pelletier was a steady force at fullback for the Lady Bengals who made their third consecutive trip to the Sunrise title game this past fall. She helped lead a Lady Bengal defense which produced a school record nine shutouts including six straight as UMFK finished the season with a 12-6 (5-3 SC) record.

Pelletier is planning to graduate in the spring of 2006 with a degree in behavioral science. Currently, she is exploring the possibility of going overseas to practice French and Spanish in Paris, as well as pursuing a master's degree.

Sumyla played defense and midfield for the Bengals this past fall and was tied for first on the team in scoring. He was a team captain and controlled play on both sides of the field as the Bengals (6-7-1) won the Sunrise Conference Regular season title with a 3-2 record before dropping the title game to Lyndon State.

He was named to the Sunrise All-Conference team for his play in the midfield. He is pursing a baccalaureate degree in E-Commerce.

Thibodeau completed an impressive career ever in goal for the Bengals this past fall. He saw the most shots and made the most saves of any of his previous three years in net. He had three shutouts and gave up just under two goals per game (1.75 GAA).

His efforts did not go unnoticed by the other conference schools as Thibodeau was named 2005 Sunrise Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He is pursuing a degree in computer applications and will graduate in May of 2006. He plans to pursue a career in that field as well as continue involvement on the soccer field in any capacity possible.

Pelletier, Sumyla and Thibodeau will be honored for their achievements at the annual Sunrise Conference banquet in Lyndonville, Vermont on Saturday, February 25, as well as the UMFK annual athletic banquet planned for the spring.

To learn more about the award and its recipients please visit www.naia.org and search under men and/or women soccer honors.