Emma Gutheinz (right) is congratulated by Charlotte Messer after scoring a goal against Bangor during their soccer game in September 2015 in Bangor. Credit: Ashley L. Conti

Former Camden Hills of Rockport high school All-American Charlotte Messer is leaving the University of Maine’s soccer program after two seasons.

She intends to take a year off from school to work before transferring to another school and resuming her soccer career.

After appearing in 13 games, including one start, as a freshman at UMaine and registering one assist, Messer had an injury-marred sophomore campaign last fall due to recurring ankle issues. She played in just two games and scored two goals during an 11-0 victory over the University of Maine at Machias.

During the spring semester of her freshman year, she also suffered a concussion and rib injury in an auto accident.

Messer said her decision was academically motivated.

“I wasn’t ready to make a decision on my academic career, I wasn’t ready to declare a major,” Messer said. “I would have been going into my junior year without having it figured out yet. I thought that I would have by now.

“I didn’t want to pay for another year of school when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in the long run. I didn’t want to commit for two more years not knowing what I was going to do on the academic side,” said the 20-year-old Messer, who was on a partial scholarship.

“I felt rushed [to make an academic decision] so I needed to take a step back. I’m going to work and save some money.”

Messer, who works at Anglers Restaurant in Hampden, said she had a great experience overall in her two years at UMaine and made major strides as a player.

“I met some of my best friends, and I got along with each and every member of the team,” she said. “I have great respect for the coaching staff. It was a very competitive environment, which I love. Our training sessions were always competitive, but they were also able to keep it light-hearted.”

Messer, who played striker at UMaine, said she enjoyed the possession style of game used by head coach Scott Atherley and his staff, and took pride in the fact that last year’s soccer squad had the highest grade-point average among all UMaine teams (3.55).

Atherley praised Messer’s decision to take a year off in order to make a sound decision about her long-term future.

“She is a terrific person who worked extremely hard,” he said. “She is a great student and a great teammate.”

Messer, who concluded her Camden Hills High School career with 67 goals and 50 assists and led the Windjammers to their first of three Class A state championships in 2016, said she would like to continue her career at another Division I school in the fall of 2020.

“I definitely have my eyes set on the Division I level because I know I’m capable of playing at that level,” she said. “So I’ll be going back into the recruiting process. But as long as I’m happy, I’ll be willing to play at any level.”