Jasmine Phillips patrolled the University of Maine’s goal area for four stellar seasons.
And, according to Black Bear women’s soccer coach Scott Atherley, her 35 career shutouts are third highest in NCAA history.
So replacing Phillips was the prime objective of Atherley and assistant Jackie Gebhart and they have landed two goalkeepers to battle junior Elizabeth Deletetsky for the job next fall.
Iris Gunnarsdottir, who has played for Iceland’s Under-19 national team, and Megan Price-Leibenzeder from Surrey, British Columbia are the goalkeepers who have signed National Letters of Intent to play for Maine.
They highlight a nine-member class.
Midfielders Maddie Hill from Brampton, Ontario; Molly Folan from Gorham and Tierney Minte from Yarmouth; strikers Josee Descouers from Orleans, Ontario and Cozy Mitchell from Intervale, N.H.; midfielder-back Stephanie Frenette-Blais from Quebec City and fullback Megan Granfield from West Haven. Conn. join the two goalkeepers in the class.
Minte transferred from the University of Richmond where she sat out last year due to injury.
“This could be one of our best classes and I say that from an athletic standpoint, a technical standpoint and a mentality standpoint. They ooze with self-discipline; their work ethic is second to none and they are hard[-nosed]. They have a competitive fire I love,” said Atherley.
The 5-foot-10 Gunnarsdottir and 5-foot-8 Price-Leibenzeder have contrasting styles, according to Atherley.
“Iris is big, athletic and exceptional in the air. She has really good command and presence. Meg is a phenomenal shot-blocker who has very quick reflexes. She also distributes the ball exceptionally well with her feet,” said Atherley.
“I feel very confident that whoever emerges out of those three, we’ll be in very good stead,” said Atherley who considers Deletetsky the most “well-rounded” of the three.
Atherley said Hill covers a lot of ground in the midfield and is extremely athletic and intelligent and can score from [long] distance. He pointed out that her dad played for the Canadian National team.
He said Descoeurs can “punish the ball and is great in the air” and reminds him of former Black Bear star Heather Hathorn; Frenette-Blais is a speedster who has the “whole package”; Minte is a “great athlete” who possesses plenty of grit; Granfield is a “big, mobile back”; Mitchell is a natural goal scorer and Folan is a solid all-around midfielder.
All National Letters of Intent are contingent upon admission to the school and meeting NCAA academic guidelines.