Southern Maine Fall Athletics Opening Weekend: 17 Contests in Three Days

Southern Maine Fall Athletics Opening Weekend: 17 Contests in Three Days

Story by Christina Cracolici, Assistant Director of USM Athletic Communications

  

GORHAM, Maine  – All eight of the University of Southern Maine Huskies' fall intercollegiate sports will kick off their 2017 seasons this weekend as the Husky Athletic Department is set to host 17 contests from Friday, September 1 through Sunday, September 2. 

Husky student-athletes officially being the 2017-2018 season of competition at 9 a.m. on Friday, when the Southern Maine golf team, featuring 2016 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year Greg Kalagias (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy), hosts local rivals St. Joseph's College and University of New England at the Gorham Country Club. 

Men's soccer will host the next contest of the day facing off against Castleton University (11:00 a.m.) at Hannaford Field on the Gorham campus in the first game of four as part of the 2017 Husky Challenge.  USM drew even with Castleton in 2016, finishing with a 2-2 overtime tie.  The Huskies are hosting Castleton, Westfield State and the United States Coast Guard Academy as part of the tournament.  Westfield State will face Coast Guard on Friday (1:30 p.m.) in the second game of the tournament.  On Saturday, USM will take on Westfield at 1 p.m., before Castleton challenges Coast Guard at 3:30 p.m.  Huskies' men's soccer returns 17 players from 2016 roster, and with an additional 16 first-year players the Southern Maine bench is deep with talent.

Women's tennis and women's soccer will open up their seasons against Thomas College at 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively.  Huskies' tennis features a bevy of returning athletes from last season's squad and will count upon their experience in their home opener at the Gorham HS tennis courts against the Terriers.  In 2016, Huskies' women's soccer traveled to Thomas College for its season-opener and handed the Terriers a 5-0 loss.  Returning student-athletes senior Hana McNally (Burlington City, N.J./Holy Cross) and junior Ally Little (Stoneham, Mass.) each scored goals in USM's win over TC.

Huskies' volleyball, led by three-time All-LEC selection senior Jess Williamson (Goffstown, N.H.) kicks off its season at 6 p.m. in Hill Gymnasium.  USM will face local rival St. Joseph's College in the first of six volleyball matches spanning Friday through Saturday. Featuring fast-paced play, Huskies' women's volleyball earned its first win over St. Joseph's College since 2014 with its 3-0 win over the Monks in 2016.  Williamson finished her junior season in the top 10 of NCAA Division III volleyball in kills per set.

Defending 2016 Little East Conference champions, the men's cross country team will start its season with one of its most competitive races, challenging its Husky alumni at 6 p.m.  The Huskies' 2016 title was the team's fifth, all since 2006, in the 29-year history of the program.  USM was led by LEC Rookie of the Year Nicholas Harriman (Lisbon, Maine) and Michael Aboud (North Waterboro, Maine/Massabesic). Harriman finished fifth overall covering the 8000-meter course in 25 minutes, 42.78 seconds. 

Action continues for USM athletics on Saturday with four volleyball games beginning at 10 a.m. with the Huskies taking on Maine Maritime Academy, with matches following at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., before USM returns to the courts for its match against University of New England at 4 p.m..  The final day of the Husky Challenge men's soccer tourney continues with Southern Maine starting at 1 p.m. against Westfield. 

A 2016 United States Track and Field, Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) All-Academic Team, the Huskies' women's cross country team begins its season at 11 a.m. against its alumnae.  To earn the academic distinction the Husky harriers compiled a team cumulative grade point average through the Fall 2016 semester of 3.17 or higher on a 4.0 scale, and competed and scored in a NCAA Regional Meet. USM finished as the LEC runner up in 2016, and return two of its top five runners from that race in senior Lauren Beganny (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill) and junior Kelly Lynch (Harpswell, Maine/Mt. Ararat).

The Huskies' big weekend of games concludes on Sunday as the Huskies' field hockey team hosts Husson University (11 a.m.) in their home opener, while the women's soccer team plays its second game of the weekend against Elms (2 p.m.).  USM field hockey advanced to the championship game of the 2016 LEC Championship tournament, and returns its top scorer from a season ago in senior Tayla Smedberg (Oxford, Maine/Oxford Hills).  Smedberg, a nursing major, is a third team All-LEC forward and a two-time William B. Wise Scholar Athlete and LEC All-Academic team selection.  Huskies' field hockey also returns senior Lindsay Jackson (Readfield, Maine/Maranacook), sophomore Maggie Redmen (Alfred, Maine/Massabesic) both of who earned 2016 NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad honors. 

Admissions to contests are free of charge.  Huskies' volleyball, field hockey and soccer games will have an internet broadcast at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/usm/

 

Friday, September 1

9 a.m.

Huskies' Golf vs. St. Joseph's College & University of New England

Gorham Country Club

11 a.m.

Huskies' Men's Soccer vs. Castleton

Hannaford Field (Gorham)

1:30 p.m.

Men's Soccer: Westfield vs. Coast Guard

Hannaford Field (Gorham)

4:00 p.m.

Huskies' Women's Tennis vs. Thomas College

Gorham HS Tennis Courts (Gorham)

4:30 p.m.

Huskies' Women's Soccer vs. Thomas College

Hannaford Field (Gorham)

6:00 p.m.

Huskies' Women's Volleyball vs. St. Joseph's College

Hill Gymnasium (Gorham)

6:00 p.m.

Huskies' Men's XC vs. Alumni

Gorham

8:00 p.m.

Women's Volleyball: UNE vs. Maine Maritime

Hill Gymnasium (Gorham)

 

 

 

Saturday, September 2

10:00 a.m.

Huskies' Women's Volleyball vs. Maine Maritime

Hill Gymnasium (Gorham)

11:00 a.m.

Huskies' Women's XC vs. Alumnae

Gorham

12:00 p.m.

Women's Volleyball: Maine Maritime vs. St. Joseph's

Hill Gymnasium (Gorham)

1:00 p.m.

Huskies' Men's Soccer vs. Westfield State

Hannaford Field (Gorham)

2:00 p.m.

Women's Volleyball: St. Joseph's College vs. UNE

Hill Gymnasium (Gorham)

3:30 p.m.

Men's Soccer: Castleton vs. Coast Guard

Hannaford Field (Gorham)

4:00 p.m.

Huskies' Women's Volleyball vs. University of New England

Hill Gymnasium (Gorham

 

 

 

Sunday, September 3

11 a.m.

Huskies' Field Hockey vs. Husson

Hannaford Field (Gorham)

2:00 p.m.

Huskies' Women's Soccer vs. Elms

Hannaford Field (Gorham)

 

–cac–