May 12, 2006
During the University of Maine at Fort Kent annual athletics award banquet, two Fort Kent natives were recognized for their dedication and contributions made to the Lady Bengals' soccer program held Saturday, May 6.
Megan Foreman and Jessica Gagnon, both 2005 graduates, began playing for the Lady Bengals during the inaugural season in the fall of 2000. Foreman and Gagnon came to UMFK having played soccer at Fort Kent Community High School under Dan Cyr and graduated in 2000.
In honor of their success at UMFK both jerseys, #5 belonging to Foreman and #7 to Gagnon were retired. Each lady was presented with their home whites, which was framed by their former coach Eric Werntgen. The green away jerseys will be on display in the trophy case at the Sports Center for future Lady Bengals to see. Coach Werntgen chose to show appreciation of the University for their stellar careers.
"I could not be more proud of two former student-athletes. Jess and Megan made my daily job of rebuilding a once insignificant program a tremendous joy. They were talented players but more important, they were gifted individuals that brought so much more then just their on the field play to the program," said Werntgen. "Jess and Megan were leaders, recruiters and really just true UMFK Bengal student-athletes. By retiring their numbers they will always be remembered for the influence they had on womens soccer and women athletes as a whole here at UMFK."
After the official retirement of the jerseys, Gagnon said, "It is a privilege to know that no matter how many athletes come and go, the contributions that I have made to the program personally will be remembered by my jersey hanging in the trophy case."
During the 2000 season, womens' soccer was reinstated at UMFK after a five-year layover as a club sport under the coaching of Werntgen. The season has proved to be the foundation for what has become a new era for women's soccer at UMFK.
"So many people have watched Jess and I playing soccer together since we were really young. Many of our fondest memories are from that field. It really isn't only our contributions that we made to the Lady Bengal's program that is being recognized but the contributions to all of our past coaches, fans, and teammates," said Foreman.
During their tenure at UMFK, Foreman and Gagnon led the Lady Bengals to post season playoffs in all four years and reached the finals in 2003 and 2004. In 2003, the Lady Bengal's received national recognition for placing sixth in the United States Corporate Athletes Association (USCAA).
Foreman and Gagnon are current record holders at UMFK, Foreman for the number of career assists and Gagnon for the number of career goals. It is no surprise that they also hold records for the number of over-all career points with Gagnon as first and Foreman as second.
The Lady Bengal's reached many milestones during the ladies senior year. The soccer team beat Lyndon State College of Vermont on their home field after losing to them in the finals the previous year. They also recorded their greatest home win on Foreman and Gagnon's Senior Day, by beating the University of Maine at Presque Isle Lady Owls 3-2 for the first time ever in one of the greatest matches ever played.
Foreman and Gagnon also earned numerous individual awards during their career at UMFK. They both served as tri-captains of the Lady Bengals for two seasons.
Foreman was voted 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 USCAA, was named to the Sunrise Conference First Team as well as in 2002), 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 as a senior, Foreman led the Sunrise Conference in assists.
Gagnon was voted UMFK's Rookie of the Year for womens' soccer in her freshman year. She also was voted MVP for the Lady Bengals in her sophomore, junior, and senior years. Gagnon was selected to the Sunrise Conference First Team All Conference in 2001-2003 and was a Sunrise Conference Scholar Athlete in 2002 and 2003.
In 2003, Gagnon received NAIA All American Scholar Athlete accolades, was an NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, NSCAA/adidas NAIA All-Region team for Region X, and Sunrise Conference Player of the Year. She also earned Sunrise Conference Player of the Week honors numerous times throughout her career.
Now off the playing field, neither has strayed far from their roots. Foreman currently is employed as a mathematics teacher at Fort Kent Community High School and was the assistant coach of the Lady Bengal's soccer team this past season. Gagnon also is employed at Fort Kent Community High School as an ed-tech. She also is currently the junior varsity girls' soccer coach at FKCHS.