Lincolnville native Kristina Kelly, the state’s third-leading purpose scorer of all time amongst each girls and boys, has transferred to the College of Maine.
Kelly, who scored 159 targets for Camden Hills Excessive Faculty of Rockport, left Central Connecticut State College and has already joined this system this semester together with College of Oregon switch Lara Kirkby.
She led Camden Hills Excessive Faculty to 4 Class A state championships and was named the US Coaches Nationwide Participant of the Yr in 2019. She was a three-time highschool All-American.
“I didn’t switch as a result of I needed to play at a better degree. I needed to go someplace the place I might do effectively and make an affect on the group. That’s what I’m hoping to do right here,” Kelly mentioned.
UMaine posted its first successful season since 2015 this previous fall because it went 9-3-5 general, 4-0-4 in America East. In its first playoff berth since 2016, UMaine beat the New Jersey Institute of Expertise 4-1 within the quarterfinals earlier than shedding within the semifinals to eventual champ New Hampshire 2-1.
Kelly was a two-time All-Northeast Convention first group choice at Central Connecticut State and an All-Rookie Staff decide.
The Blue Devils went 29-13-2 in her three seasons and made the NCAA Event in 2021 after successful the Northeast Convention title.
This previous fall, she shared the group lead in targets for the Blue Devils with six and was second in factors with 14 as she additionally had two assists in 17 video games.
Kelly notched 9 targets and had 5 assists in 40 profession video games at Central Connecticut State.
She can have two years of eligibility remaining at UMaine.
“I needed to be nearer to residence so it got here all the way down to New Hampshire and Maine and once I obtained right here, I cherished the work ethic, the group, the neighborhood feeling and the entire environment. It was a simple choice,” mentioned the 20-year-old Kelly who can play within the midfield or up entrance.
Kelly is quick and in addition sturdy, courtesy of her time on the Camden Hills boys wrestling group.
“She has loads of attacking qualities and he or she is ideal for our fashion of play. She is sweet at working at folks, she has loads of distribution expertise and she will additionally end,” Atherley mentioned. “She is exceptionally sturdy and athletic.”
Atherley added that Kelly’s time at Central Connecticut State made her an much more versatile participant.
“I used to be a utility participant. I’d play three or 4 completely different positions every recreation,” Kelly mentioned. Throughout state championship video games in highschool, Camden Hills coach Meredith Messer moved Kelly again to protection late in video games to guard a lead.
Kelly mentioned she loved her time at Central Connecticut State however she felt it was time to maneuver on.
“Twelve gamers have left and it was a problem,” mentioned Kelly, who admitted she had misplaced a few of her ardour for soccer.
However she mentioned she has since regained her love of the game.
“A change of tempo is precisely what I wanted. I adore it right here. All the pieces has been tremendous. I take pleasure in lifting weights and understanding with the group, even at 6:45 within the morning. It’s enjoyable,” she mentioned. “Everyone has a team-first angle. I can’t think about a greater surroundings.”
Kelly needed to come back right here for the second semester reasonably than ready till the autumn so she might get to know her new teammates and perceive Atherley’s system.
The Black Bears strain the ball everywhere in the discipline and look to power turnovers and create transition scoring alternatives.
Final season the Black Bears scored practically two targets a recreation (1.88), essentially the most in a number of seasons.
Kelly, who’s a pre-med scholar majoring in microbiology, mentioned their fashion of play fits her recreation properly.
“I like to assault and defend,” she mentioned.
The group’s different switch — Kirkby from Adelaide, Australia — additionally has two seasons of eligibility remaining and performed in 10 video games for the Geese final fall after showing in a single the earlier season and choosing up an help.
Like Kelly, she is a flexible midfielder.
“She has nice imaginative and prescient and her distribution expertise are off the charts,” Atherley mentioned.
Kirkby performed within the W-League (Nationwide League Australia) for Adelaide United in 2018 as a 16-year-old and was named one in every of Australia’s prime 20 age group gamers within the 2019 nationwide championship.
She plans to main in biochemistry.