Maine Soccer wins America East Championship for the first time in history

Published: Nov. 5, 2023 at 6:59 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 5, 2023 at 7:01 PM EST
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - On Sunday the Maine Black Bears hosted UMass Lowell for the 2023 Women’s Soccer America East Final.

14 minutes into the match Kayla Kraemer and the Maine Black Bears struck first.

With roughly 5 minutes to go in the first half Lara Kirkby scored off a penalty kick giving Maine the 2-0 lead.

UMass Lowell was able to bring the game within a single score after Julia Edholm scored with 13-seconds to go in the first half.

Maine led for a majority of the second half until Calliste Brookshire leveled the game off a penalty kick with roughly 6 minutes to go.

In extra time Lara Kirkby found the top left corner of the net to give the Black Bears the lead once more.

“Oh, I think that was just the most surreal moment of my entire life to be completely honest. But I’m just so proud of this team. And I’m so proud of the coaching staff and everything we’ve done this season. And I think like this award is like a testament to that,” Kirkby said.

“It’s a final so I think we all came in here and like, I’m so glad we went up first, but we knew we had such a long stretch. UMass is a class opposition and they showed that tonight they were going to fight to the end. So obviously they got one in and then we went into overtime, but I had no doubt. I mean, our team fights as we’ve showed it time and time again, we always score in the last seconds of the game. I think it’s been a common theme. I think we keep everyone on the edge of their seats. And I’m just so happy that I could contribute and do that tonight,” Kirkby added.

The 3-2 victory marks the first time in program history that Maine Soccer has been crowned champions of the America East.