ORONO – In her first three soccer seasons at the University of Maine, Gorham’s Kelsey Wilson had six goals and seven assists in 48 games.
She was a holding midfielder on the team and her primary responsibility was defense.
With the graduation of 13-goal scorer and America East Striker of the Year Laura Martel, Maine coach Scott Atherley thrust Wilson into the role of attacking midfielder and she has responded in dramatic fashion.
Wilson already has six goals to go with two assists through seven games and all of those goals have come during her current four-game goal-scoring streak entering Sunday’s America East opener at Binghamton. Binghamton eliminated Maine in penalty kicks in the America East semifinals a year ago.
Wilson is tied for 19th in the country in goals per game (.857) and is tied for 28th in total goals.
Maine has won three straight to improve to 4-3 and the former high school All-American and Maine Gatorade Player of the Year has scored the game-winners in the last two. Binghamton is 2-7.
Wilson downplays her accomplishments.
“I don’t look at individual accomplishments. It’s all a matter of our team working really hard. It’s not a one-person show at all. People are getting down the line and getting off crosses and I’ve been lucky enough to get on the end of a lot of them,” said the humble Wilson, who scored 85 goals in her high school career.
She also said being an attacking midfielder has made a big difference.
“When you’re a defensive midfielder, you don’t get as many chances to score. So that has definitely contributed to it,” said the Maine captain. “Then again, our team is playing really well all-around so we’re getting contributions from everybody.”
She acknowledged that scoring goals “had always been in the cards for me” up through her high school career.
“If that’s what it takes to win games, (that’s what I’ll try to do),” she said. “If it takes someone else stepping up (that’s good, too). It’s nice to have different people stepping up because that makes it difficult for other teams to defend us.”
Atherley hasn’t been surprised by Wilson’s start.
“She has great instincts and great soccer sense,” said Atherley. “She reads the game exceptionally well and can strike a ball better than anyone on our team.”
Wilson feels she is playing the best soccer of her career and said being a senior has played a role in her performance.
“The fact it is my senior year means it’s the last shot I’ll have,” said Wilson. “So I’m giving it all I have. It’s not that I wasn’t giving it my all before. But when you know you’re one of the seniors, you know there’s no reason to save anything in the tank.”
She credits her Scottish-born father, Douglas, for being instrumental in her development and said she is proud of the team’s play and current win streak.
“Our team has had a great start. We had never beaten URI at URI. That’s a big accomplishment for our team,” said Wilson who had the game-winner in the 3-2 triumph. “If we can keep our confidence up going into conference play, it’s going to be really difficult for teams to play against us.”
Maine field hockey hosting Quinnipiac
The University of Maine’s 6-2 field hockey team has also been on a torrid streak and the Black Bears will look to extend their winning streak to six games and raise breast cancer awareness today at 5 p.m. when they host 2-5 Quinnipiac (Conn). at the Maine Field Hockey Complex.
The Maine women will wear pink-colored shirts and will be raffling off a shirt and pink field hockey stick to raise money for the Breast Cancer Foundation. The team will also collect donations during the game.