Delaney LaBonte of York and Sophia Santamaria of Kittery are among eight student-athletes who have committed to play for the University of Maine women’s soccer team.
There also are five international players, including three Canadians and three Division I transfers, in this year’s recruiting class for coach Scott Atherley.
UMaine also will welcome Tiana Bucknor of Milton, Ontario, Karin Kronberg of Tibro, Sweden, Carla Morich of Hamburg, Germany, Darby Dupuis of Hookset, New Hampshire, two women from Waterloo, Ontario, Kayla Kraemer and Tegan Morrison.
“We are adding quality experience and talent to a seasoned group of returning players,” Atherley said. “These young women are all outstanding players, students and citizens. We look forward to the impact they will all have on our program”.
LaBonte is a 5-foot-6 midfielder/defender who played three years at York High School and twice earned all-conference recognition. She was a part of a Seacoast United team that received a top 20 national rank.
“We have known Delaney and her family for many years and are excited to finally welcome her to our program,” Atherley said. “She is a tenacious competitor and someone who is willing to impose herself physically.”
Delaney LaBonte’s sister, Addie, played on the UMaine women’s soccer team for four seasons (2012-2015) and their father, Rich, was a quarterback for the UMaine football team (1981-84).
Santamaria, a 5-8 defender, was a four-year starter at Traip Academy where she was a three-time, all-conference choice and a two-time all-state honoree. She helped lead the Rangers to the 2019 state title and also excelled in ice hockey and track and field.
“Sophia is a tremendous athlete with great potential to develop into a sound defender at our level,” Athlerley said. “We really feel like she will bring important intangibles to our team.”
Bucknor, a 5-foot-8 defender, is a transfer from the University of Dayton, where she played in 30 games, making 11 starts, in two seasons.
“Her athleticism, passing range and communication skills will impact our team immediately,” Atherley said. “Tiana is a natural leader and someone who I anticipate being equally impactful on and off of the field”.
Kronberg is a 5-3 defender who is a transfer from Louisiana Tech where she played in eight matches with three starts as a freshman in 2019. Her Lidkopings FK Elitettan club team played in the second highest league in Sweden.
“Karin is a seasoned player having played at an elite level in Europe. As a first-year player at LA Tech, she started key games and helped lead her team to 13 wins despite missing a month of the season,” Atherley said.
Morich, a 5-6 forward/midfielder, is a transfer from Old Dominion University, where she was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team in 2017. She was a third-team, all-league selection in 2018 and played on three U15-U17 German national teams.
“Carla is a proven player at many levels,” Athlerley said. “Carla will impact our attack immediately as she can effectively assume a number of roles in midfield and up front.”
Dupuis is a 5-7 midfielder who was a four-year performer at Londonderry High School, where she was an all-state pick and team captain last fall. She was a starter on the Futsal team that won the New England Regional and was a finalist at the US Youth Futsal National Championships in 2016.
“She is skillful and industrious. She can get forward in attack and she is conscientious as a defender,” Atherley said.
Kraemer is a 5-8 forward who attended Resurrection Catholic Secondary School. Her 2019 squad was an Ontario Regional Champion finalist and as a senior Kraemer was a first-team all-star.
“Kayla is a skilled winger and someone who is very confident in 1v1 attacking situations,” Atherley said. “She has very good speed and has the necessary qualities to become a powerful forward at the Division I level.”
Morrison, a 5-6 forward, attended Sir John A Macdonald High School. She was part of the 2019 Western Region Soccer League championship team and 2019 regional champion team. She was the league’s leading goal-scorer in 2018 and 2019.
“Tegan’s ability to separate from defenders with her pure speed make her a dynamic and dangerous attacking threat,” Athlerley said. “She will be a dual-sport athlete at Maine (track and field) and will be equally impactful at both sports”.