MADAWASKA, Maine — Former Madawaska star Ian Lee, who set the record for career goals by a Maine schoolboy soccer player before graduating in 2014, plans to continue his career in the sport at Husson University in Bangor this fall.
Lee spent the 2014-15 academic year at the University of Maine where he studied chemical engineering but played only intramural soccer as the Orono campus does not field a men’s varsity program in that sport.
“I missed soccer quite a bit actually, a lot more than I thought I would,” said Lee, who is playing in a men’s soccer league just across the Canadian border in New Brunswick this summer.
“But it was easier for me to make the move considering that chemical engineering really wasn’t the major I wanted to be in.”
Lee began to think more seriously about transferring early in his second semester at UMaine and contacted Husson coach Jeff Gettler.
“Husson was always an option for me from the start,” said Lee, who now plans to study chemistry with a pre-pharmacy track. “So I went over to visit Gettler and he was excited about it and I guess that gave me the extra push I needed to make the move.”
Lee was a four-year starter in soccer at Madawaska who totaled 127 goals, including 38 as a senior while leading the Owls to the Eastern Maine Class C championship.
Lee surpassed the previous state schoolboy mark of 107 goals set by Bradley Wilcox of Bangor Christian in 2011.
“He sees the game, he understands the game and he’s got a soccer brain,” said Gettler, who recruited Lee during his final two years of high school.
“He sees things a little before they happen, which is special, and technically he’s got fantastic technique. I’d call it more skill because it’s the application of his technique at the right time that gets him in and out of situations. Then he has a nose for the goal.”
Lee was named All-New England after his senior season at Madawaska and selected as one of five Maine Sports Hall of Fame scholar-athletes.
He also was a two-year team captain for the Owls, an All-Aroostook selection, an Eastern Maine Class C all-star and an Eastern Maine state team representative each of his last three years at Madawaska, as well as the state’s Class C player of the year in both 2012 and 2013.
“We’re adding a kid that is in a different class, he’s special,” said Gettler. “He’s got all the qualities a coach would look for in a college player and he’s going to dramatically impact our team right away.
“Plus he’s a fantastic person. He’s someone who’s going to improve us in many, many ways.”
Lee is one of just four recruits being added to a Husson team that went 13-8 last season and won the North Atlantic Conference championship to earn a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Also joining the program will be goalie Cody Gross, a transfer from Southern Vermont, and freshmen Rod Ghanayem of Orlando, Florida — whose older brother Saker had three goals and two assists for Husson last fall — and Connor McGehee of Sanford.