(PRESQUE ISLE) -- In 2011, the University of Maine-Presque Isle women's soccer team posted a 10-4 record, narrowly missing out on an invitation to the 8-team United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national tournament.
The winning record was the only one posted by an UMPI team in 2011-2012, the school's first season as members of the USCAA.
Nine players from that team will be in uniform on September 1st when the Owls begin the 2012 campaign at Vermont Tech, including Lainey Herring (Sr./Houlton, ME), the leading returning goal scorer. Herring led the Owls by scoring 14 goals in 2011 and finished the season with 29 points.
Trevor Parent will move over from the sidelines of the UMPI men's soccer team, where he served as Alan Gordon's assistant last year, to head up the women's program. He takes over for Dan Williams, who announced his resignation after two seasons at the helm.
In sports, the transition from a coach that had success to a 1st year coach can be tricky. However as Parent prepares his team for the beginning of the season, he seems to have a clear idea of what will be needed to continue the program's recent success.
"Consistency," said the UMPI grad Parent. "I didn't want to come in and change the working wheel. We expect consistency in the way we train, and how we train, in regards to effort. We want to be consistent but not predictable. There is a difference."
When talking about key stretches in the season, Parent makes it clear there is no point in looking too far ahead.
"September 1st against Vermont Tech. We have six matches in 15 days' time; the first of those six is against Vermont Tech. We have tailored our training to the facts that we have several games in a short amount of time, as well as the fact that class will be starting immediately following our first game."
One thing that continues to be a struggle for an UMPI program now two years removed from being in a conference is finding teams willing to come to Presque Isle to play. It is a fact that is illustrated by a 2012 women's soccer schedule that features only 4 home games out of 17 contests.
To succeed this year, the Owls will need to be "road warriors". And while it's still early, Coach Parent believes he has a group with the ability to maintain focus on the field.
"This group of future alumni are accountable, believe in the process, have shown great character, and are making several large sacrifices for the betterment of the program. We need to continue to get better every day, and control what we can control."