Presque Isle, ME – The 2018 UMPI Owls men's soccer team enters their first season as a member of the North Atlantic Conference with optimism running high. The Owls return 7 starters from last year's team and Coach Gordon is very excited about the addition of some talented recruits that should immediately help the Owls compete for a conference playoff spot.
Leading the list of returning players are 2nd year defender Paul Kaplan from Embden, Maine and forward Chris Udobi from Nigeria. Both were selected to the ACAA all-conference team a year ago and will once again be looked upon to lead the Owls as they take on the challenges of the very competitive NAC opponents. As a freshman Kaplan stepped in as the Owls Center Back position and immediately showed he has the athletic ability and skill to compete at the collegiate level. Udobi shared the team lead in scoring up front last season and with a year of experience under his belt will be a difficult match-up for opposing teams. His speed and skill with the ball creates numerous chances for both himself as well as his teammates.
Third year midfielder Chad Bartlett from Bradley, Maine as well as 2nd year forward Ansumana Morrow from Presque Isle, Maine will return to the Owls starting lineup in 2018. Both players have outstanding strength and athletic ability that should help control the middle of the pitch. Second year players Lucas Husser from Biddeford and Jacob Worthley from Houlton both earned significant playing time during their freshman seasons and will play at both midfield and in the back for the young Owl team who have 18 first and second year players on their roster. Sophomore Caleb Thompson from Washsburn will step into the goal for the Owls and replace 2 time all ACAA conference player Matt Manter who graduated last spring. Third year players Parker Thompson from Washburn and Allen Stanback from Salem New Jersey as well as 2nd year players Michael Brown from Easton and Gabe Hunnewell from Princeton all will compete for playing time at both midfield and in the back line.
First year players Andre Rossignol from Van Buren, Zach Boyle from Brunswick, Dominic Green from Bath, and Dakota Patterson from Pittsfield will all immediately step into the starting lineup and have an impact on the team's success this season. Each of these players bring outstanding soccer experience and athletic ability to the squad and will allow the Owls to solidify both their back line as well as the attacking third of the field. Also looking to make an immediate impact for the team are 1st year players Stephen Cochrane from Deer Isle, Jack Harrington from Bath, Cameron Lahey from Presque Isle, Mason Moro from Ashland, and Theodore Snow from Casco.
Coach Gordon, who is entering his 27th year as the Owls head coach and first year assistant coach Michael Guerrette are both extremely excited about their young Owl squad and their ability to take on the challenges of the competitive conference schedule. If the Owls can stay healthy and come together as a team quickly they could definitely turn some heads during the 2018 campaign.