Shelby Pickering, an all-state soccer and basketball star at Lee Academy, is transferring from Division I University of Maine to Division III Husson College in Bangor.
Pickering, who will be a sophomore this fall, plans to play soccer and basketball for the Eagles and will major in occupational therapy.
According to Husson women’s soccer coach Keith Bosley, Pickering brings not only offensive prowess to the table, but an outstanding overall personality.
“She’s just a great person, an outstanding student, a natural-born leader,” Bosley said. “She brings athleticism and determination.”
Pickering, who is Maine’s all-time schoolgirl scoring leader with 178 goals, adds a spark to a Husson front line that includes Keene State (N.H.) transfer Katie Nickerson of Belfast, Dani Billings of Hampden and Alyssa Gordon of Bucksport.
Pickering, who could not be reached for comment, will add a key dimension to Husson’s attacking offensive scheme.
“We’re happily in a position now where we’ve got four or five girls who can work what really is a two-man attack, which we run,” Bosley said.
Pickering, who has been an attacker most of her career, will most likely play that same position with the Eagles.
“That’s kind of her natural position, that’s where she’s been traditionally when at Lee,” Bosley said.
Pickering, who attended UMaine last year on an academic scholarship, played in 13 games for coach Scott Atherley’s Black Bears. She registered one goal in 13 games.
In addition to her soccer talents, the 5-foot-8 Pickering should be an imposing presence on Kissy Walker’s women’s basketball team.
“I’m excited, I think its going to be a great fit for us,” said Walker, who had recruited Pickering while she was playing at Lee.
Walker said now is a good time for Pickering to join the team, as the Eagles are returning a nucleus of young players that includes guards Carmen Ballard, Laura Archer and Jenny Rollins and forward Stephanie Noyes.
“I think she will [fit in nicely], it’s a good time for her to come in,” Walker said. “Watching her in high school, she can step right in and be an impact [player].”
Pickering, a two-time BDN All-Maine choice, walked on to the UMaine women’s basketball team last year as a practice player. That experience should pay dividends from a physical standpoint.
“The biggest step in college is physical [play], just the fact that she practiced with the UMaine girls all year long, she should be used to that,” Walker said.
Walker said that Pickering will mainly play up front, and has the ballhandling skills to lead Husson’s uptempo offense.
She added a lack of playing time was the main reason for Pickering’s decision to transfer.
“From what I’ve heard, that was the case,” Walker said.
Pickering, who scored 1,700 career points in high school, brings much-needed scoring to a Husson offense which lacked that last year.
“Shelby brings some scoring in, we lacked some scoring last year,” Walker said. “Hopefully we can play a pretty up-tempo game.”
UM volleyball picked sixth
The UMaine volleyball team was picked to finish sixth in the America East preseason poll.
Defending regular-season champion Albany earned the top slot while defending conference champion Binghamton was picked second.
The Black Bears return 10 letterwinners and four starters from last year’s team. They begin their season Friday at the Cincinnati Tournament in Ohio with games at noon and 3:30 p.m.
UMPI hires Huntley
The University of Maine-Presque Isle has hired Harriet Huntley as its volleyball coach.
Huntley has two seasons of college coaching under her belt as an assistant with the Owls, who were 17-8 last year.
The UMPI graduate played one season with the Owls.