BANGOR — Standout Bangor High School left back Lauren Young, who returned to play a couple of games in October after breaking the tibia and fibula in her right leg on July 21, will continue her soccer career at the University of Maine in the fall.
Young announced her decision on Wednesday at the school.
“It’s very exciting to be able to play so close to home and at the highest level I can,” said Young, a tenacious and tireless defender who was a three-year starter.
Young won’t be a scholarship player initially, but she can earn scholarship money if she is able to crack the lineup.
Under NCAA regulations, UMaine head coach Scott Atherley can’t comment at this time.
Young said she didn’t know whether she would be able to realize her dream of playing at UMaine after she broke her leg playing in a national tournament for her Seacoast United club team in Indiana.
“I had my doubts. But when I realized how quickly I came back and how strong I came back, it was pretty clear to me that I still wanted to play at the highest level I could. It’s exciting to know I can pursue that,” said Young.
The speedy 5-foot-3 Young said she has always admired UMaine’s style of play and is anxious to begin her career.
“They are very organized and they are always super intense. They never back off. Some schools don’t have that but Maine always maintains its intensity throughout the whole game,” said Young.
Young said her leg is getting close to 100 percent and that she has been playing for Portland-based Seacoast United since November.
She knows there is a sizeable jump between high school and Division I soccer but she is ready to make the adjustment.
“Obviously, adapting to the speed of play is going to be a huge factor. It’s something I need to work on. But that comes with experience. Once I start playing with the team, that will come naturally as it does for other players as well,” she said.
Young previously had been the point guard for the Bangor basketball team but isn’t playing this season in order to pursue her soccer career.
She said soccer is her first love and she is adjusting to focusing on one sport.
“I’m adapting to that kind of lifestyle playing for my Premier League team (Seacoast United) … playing and lifting weights … strength and conditioning and all that,” said Young.
Young, who helped lead Bangor to the Class A state championship in 2015, will join former Ram teammate Anna-Marie Dagher at UMaine.
Young will be the fourth Bangor High player in recent years to attend UMaine, following Ashley Robinson, Grace MacLean and Dagher.
Bangor coach Joe Johnson said it was nice to see her get the opportunity to play at UMaine and feels she has a legitimate shot to eventually earn playing time.
“She has the intestinal fortitude to compete with anybody,” said Johnson. “The work she put it to come back from the broken leg was amazing.
“She’s one of the best players we’ve had and I was so sorry we missed seeing the jump she was going to make from her junior to her senior year. I’ve seen players come back to have incredible senior years and that would have been her,” said Johnson. “She gives 100 percent all the time.”
He said when he learned she had broken her leg, he visualized how it happened.
“She competes so hard for the ball, that’s the risk you take when someone plays as hard as she does,” said Johnson.
Young’s parents, David and Shauna Young, and her grandparents, Skip and Sandy McIntosh, were among those in attendance on Wednesday along with her brother Christopher, Johnson and some of her friends.
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