November 10, 2003
The University of Maine at Fort Kent Bengals were named the Sunrise Conference Men's Soccer Champions last Saturday afternoon on a windy and cold UMFK Alumni soccer field.
The Bengals played a solid game on defense while blanking the Fighting Saints of the College of St. Joseph from Ruttland, Vermont by a 4-0 score.
"It was poetic justice that my player's performance and execution of our system of play was demonstrated in our 4-0 defeat of St. Joe's. I am proud of my boys. This is a feeling we will not soon forget," said an ecstatic Melik Khoury, head men's soccer coach.
Midfielder Juan Murphy of Buenos Aires, Argentina, scored the final two goals of his outstanding career for UMFK late in the second half. The Bengal's lone first half goal was kicked in by Aadil Mootassem of Tangiers, Morocco. Andrew Clavette of Madawaska made it 2-0 in the second half. Gintaras Lenkutis of Vilnius, Lithuania; Charles Bard of Fort Kent; and Cesar Carrizo of Buenos Aires, Argentina, each had an assist.
The strong Bengal defense was led by keeper Nick Thibodeau of St. Francis; Charles Bard of Fort Kent; Derrick Cooper of Madawaska; Donatas Sumyla of Vilnius, Lithuania; Sadat Abdulkarim of Bronx, New York; and Murphy.
Coach Khoury's Bengals finished the exciting and successful 2003 fall soccer season with an 11-3 overall record and ended Sunrise play with an impressive 7-2 conference mark and the championship plaque which was presented by Rene Cloukey of Presque Isle, Sunrise Conference sports information director.
UMFK will lose five starters to graduation. Seniors on the team are Clavette, Lenkutis, Mootassem, Murphy, and Carlos Jara of Buenos Aires, Argentina.