ORONO – Maine soccer head coach Scott Atherley knows no matter what your non-conference slate looks like in America East women’s soccer, it often can be inconsequential to what is to follow.
“You attack it day by day, and you try not to get too far ahead of yourself,” Atherley said Monday, admitting that can be a challenge at times.
The reason he is looking ahead? The Black Bears released their 2017 schedule Monday, opening up Aug. 20 against LIU Brooklyn in Orono. Their first road contest will be Aug. 25 against Brown, and will also host UMass Sept. 3 at Thornton Academy in Saco. The non-conference slate wraps up Sept. 16 at Cornell, before America East play gets underway Sept. 24 against Stony Brook.
Atherley has been here before though. UMaine has found itself in the mix at the end of the year fighting for a top 4 seed, but fighting to cement that home playoff game. He believes America East will be a minefield once more, where anyone can beat anyone.
“There may be one or two teams that have a particularly good year,” Atherley said. “But historically, the season hinges on the last weekend of the season. And quite frankly, six or seven teams can win the conference championship. And that’s the truth. And that will be the case again this year.”