BANGOR, Maine — Grace MacLean has had a remarkable career at Bangor High School with the outdoor track season yet to come.
The senior has helped lead Bangor to three straight Eastern Maine Class A soccer championships and its first state championship in 2011 and won three events (long jump, 55-meter hurdles and high jump) to guide the Rams to their first state Class A indoor track championship earlier this month.
She became Bangor’s second girls soccer All-American this past fall after a season in which she had 33 goals and 12 assists, giving her 59 & 36 over her past two falls.
The first All-American was Ashley Robinson, who earned the distinction two years ago, and Robinson is looking forward to being reunited with MacLean next fall when MacLean joins Robinson at the University of Maine.
Robinson played in 13 of Maine’s 17 games and had a goal and three shots on goal.
“I’m really excited about it. I’ve known Grace since kindergarten. We work really well together,” said Robinson. “She is going to be a great addition to our team.”
Robinson acknowledged that the jump to Division I soccer is significant but said MacLean will be able to adapt.
“She has a great work ethic,” said Robinson.
Robinson noted that going from playing regularly to seeing limited time as a freshman was an adjustment.
“You have to stay positive. But it’s all worth it,” said Robinson.
“Ashley told me she liked it. It’ll be a lot of fun playing with her again,” said MacLean.
MacLean won’t be a scholarship athlete but said she is “super excited” about the opportunity.
“I love soccer and want to continue playing,” said MacLean, who intends to study engineering. She said she won’t run track so she can concentrate on soccer and her academics.
“I love the school. I have visited it a lot. They have a good engineering program,” said the 5-foot-8 MacLean, who has exceptional speed and can shoot with power and precision with both feet.
“It will be fun to compete at a higher level and see how the defenses and goalies are,” said MacLean. “I feel I’ll be able to compete at Maine.”
She said she really likes coach Scott Atherley and her future teammates.
The upcoming outdoor track season will help keep her in shape and she is hoping “we can do the same thing [state title] in outdoor track. It will be fun. Winning the indoor title was special. It was a real good day.”
Because of NCAA regulations, Atherley can’t comment on MacLean.
But Bangor High School girls coach Joe Johnson expects MacLean to be a good fit at Maine.
“On top of being a great soccer player, she’s a great athlete,” said Johnson. “I think she could do very well. She’s very competitive. And she works very hard.”
He said she has gotten a lot stronger physically over her four-year career and it will just be a matter of adapting to the speed of the game and the physical play.
“She’ll adapt well,” said Johnson.
Maine will return 14 players who appeared in at least 12 games a year ago. Maine went 7-7-3 and lost to Stony Brook 2-1 in the America East semifinals.