Vivien Beil, the America East Rookie of the Year two years ago and a two-time first team all-conference midfielder, has decided to leave the University of Maine and transfer to the University of Connecticut.
Under NCAA guidelines, she can play immediately at UConn without having to sit out a year, which is the case for several other sports such as basketball and ice hockey.
The German standout led the Black Bears in scoring last fall with three goals and two assists for eight points in 14 games. She had three goals and five assists for 11 points two years ago and was second on the team in scoring. She led the team in assists.
Beil played for the German Under-16, U-17 and U-19 national youth teams teams and started for the European Championship U-17 team in 2012 that went on to finish fourth in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The Black Bears went 16-17-5 in her two seasons.
She will be leaving a program that is looking for its first NCAA Tournament appearance to one that has earned 31 NCAA Tournament berths. UConn went 19-3-1 last fall and won its second American Athletic Conference championship in three years.
“Vivien came into the office in February and expressed her ambition to play professional soccer,” UMaine coach Scott Atherley said. “She felt it was in her best interest to be part of a top 25 program where she could train among the best players in the country and compete against the best players in the country.
“We very much wanted her to stay. She is an important part of our program. She is a great player who gave us everything we asked of her. At the same time, our philosophy is we only want players to be part of our program who sincerely want to be here,” Atherley said.
UConn head soccer coach Len Tsantiris called Beil “a versatile player that can influence the game from a number of positions,” in a report on the UConn website.
No. 13 UConn beat America East champion Albany 4-2 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before being ousted by No. 16 Auburn (Alabama) 4-1 in the second found.
UConn went 19-4 in 2015 and reached the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen where it was eliminated by No. 9 Rutgers 4-0.
Atherley said the difficult part was that since Beil didn’t make her decision until February, “it didn’t leave us an opportunity to find someone to replace her. There wasn’t a rich talent pool available so I’ll just wait until we find one who is the right fit for the program.”
He said he isn’t going to “dwell on what we don’t have.
“This leaves an opportunity for someone else to emerge,” Atherley, who listed sophomores Emilie Andersen and Kayla Brace as two of the prime contenders to fill the void, said.
Each appeared in 16 games last season. Brace started seven games and Andersen had three starts. Neither registered a point.