UM Fort Kent men ready to defend title

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Fort Kent, Me (WAGM) - The University of Maine Fort Kent men's soccer team begins the quest for back to back titles this weekend in Prince Edward Island. The Bengals lost some of their top offensive players to graduation, but Coach Bill Ashby thinks they can fill the holes

(Bill Ashby):"We lost some good players in Willie Monthe, Ross Downie and Phil Dionne. We have a great group coming back. We have 25 coming back and have added 10 newcomers. We have raised the top end and have raised the bottom end. We have 20 players who will challenge for a(FORT KENT) starting spot so i think we are in great shape."

The Bengals played two exhibition games against Canadian opponents last week and Ashby walked away from the games impressed with the way the team played

Ashby:" We played a couple of exhibition games in New Brunswick last week. We played the Montreal Impact Academy team and the New Brunswick Academy team. The defense was great. We won 2 nothing and tied 1-1. We got a great base to build on. The offense will come, but as long as the defense is sound we will be in great shape this year."

The Bengals won the National Championship in exciting fashion last year when Butch Forbes made several saves on penalty kicks to seal the Championship.

(Ben Kluvers):" It was very emotion you could feel in that National final last year. All the good emotions are back again this year so we are excited to get the season started and get to Virginia Beach this year."

Forbes is back in goal for another year for the Bengals. He says the team is focused on another title, but he knows it is a long season and every game is important

(Butch Forbes):" The most important game is the next one. We don't want to rush it and focus on the National Championship. We are not there yet. We have to take it one step at a time. and focus on the next game. Each game is the most important."

The USCAA has scheduled all the fall championships in Virginia Beach in the same week. That should provide quite an environment for the Student Athletes. Also the soccer playoff format has changed this year.

Ashby:"Quite excited about it. It is pool play like World Cup play. There will be twelve teams in the National Tournament four pools of three. It is regular World Cup format and it should be a very exciting and rewarding experience for our Student Athletes.