Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Windham’s Thornton to play college soccer for UMaine-Orono

By Matt Pascarella

In front of friends, family, teachers, coaches, and other supporters, senior Abbey Thornton signed a letter of intent at Windham High School on Nov. 18 to attend the University of Maine Orono on a scholarship to play Division 1 soccer for the Black Bears and major in nursing.

Thornton recently broke Windham High School’s record when she scored 34 goals in a season. With all the success she has had over her high school soccer career, you might never know it as Thornton is very humble.

Jill Thornton, left, Troy Thornton and Tyler Thornton
watch as Windham High senior Abbey Thornton signs
her letter of intent on Nov. 18 to play Division 1 women's
soccer for the University of Maine-Orono.
She made the All-State team, was the Southern Maine Activities Association’s Offensive Player of the Year, All-New England team and the Class A Player of the Year, just to name a few of her accomplishments during her time playing for the Windham High School varsity girls’ soccer team.

It felt really good for Thornton to sign her national letter of intent. It was satisfying and rewarding for her with all the hard work she’s put into the sport, she’s happy to have reached this point.

Like many athletes, she began playing soccer when she was very little. Her brother and her cousin already played, so Thornton followed their lead. She began at the recreation level and from there a passion was ignited which made soccer a part of Thornton’s life and one which she is excited to continue to pursue.

“Abbey would never tell you ‘I am the best soccer player.’ She’s been a standout since her freshman year,” said Windham varsity girls’ soccer coach Deb Lebel. “She’s been playing center midfield – the strongest position – and really led our team to states last year and a really great season this year.”

Lebel said Thornton will bring a strong work ethic to UMO. She’s quiet but will be a consistent hard worker every day and someone who is super talented, can play all over the field and should be able to score some goals for them.

Lebel is excited she’s staying in Maine because there are many little girls in the community who are excited to see a Windham athlete play at the Division 1 level.

The atmosphere at UMO is what drew Thornton to the school. She likes the program the women’s soccer head coach Scott Atherley has created; it’s just like a family.

Windham senior and teammate Ashley Clark has played with Thornton since they were 10. They’ve played both travel soccer and high school soccer together.

“She’s selfless on the field, a great friend and a great teammate,” said Clark. “Obviously she’s incredibly skilled, she finishes, she passes well; she’s amazing.”

Thornton would like to thank everyone in her life who helped her reach this accomplishment.

Windham High School gave Thornton the chance to play with her best friends and taught her that in the end, soccer is all about having fun. She says that she’s looking forward to continuing to play a game she loves so much. <

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