We’re breaking down each and every NCAA D1 team one by one to get prepped for the rapidly approaching season. Welcome back to the Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Previews! We move another spot down the list and the Vermont Catamounts, located in Burlington, VT, are up for Preview!
UVM went 14-13 in Steve Beville’s last two years as Head Coach, but under Ryan Curtis, the best season the Catamounts have produced was a 6-9 record in 2011. In 2012, UVM went 2-12. The University dropped baseball recently, and has not had a football team since 1974. Their best sport is hockey, but they would very much like for lacrosse to be a prominent program as well. That means it’s time for the team to start producing some wins, and fast.
There is no doubt that Vermont challenges themselves with their schedule. They could play their America East schedule and then load up with more winnable games, but for the most part, this team does seem to push themselves. 2-12 isn’t as bad when you lose to Colgate, Harvard, Bryant, Virginia, Fairfield, Brown, Stony Brook, and Hartford (it isn’t great either), but it starts to get murky when you suffer big losses to Holy Cross, Albany, and Dartmouth.
In 2013, UVM plays a slightly easier schedule, and at a minimum, the Catamounts should be shooting for five wins if they want to show any real improvement. Games against Colgate, Bryant, and Virginia will be tough, no question. UVM needs to go at least 50/50 against Providence, Dartmouth, Quinnipiac, Wagner, Holy Cross, Sacred Heart, Stony Brook, UMBC, Albany, Binghamton, and Hartford if they want to get to five Ws or more. It’s doable.
While Geoff Worley is gone, UVM returns some firepower on attack in Drew Philie, AJ Masson, and Connor McNamara. None of these guys are monsters, but they are all solid players with Masson being the most balanced, and the other two operating more as scorers. Where UVM really needs players to step up is in their midfield. Including FoGos, A/M, and LSMs, Vermont only has 15 midfielders on their team. They lack depth, don’t have a ton of size, and have few proven scorers. Perhaps some more of their attackmen can convert, but that’s a big ask, especially with the new rules.
Defensively, UVM looks to be in pretty good shape. There are a number of players returning, and many of them bring good size to the table, as well as solid experience. The Catamount’s defense will need to be a rock for them all year with such a shallow midfield, and Jeremy Hutchens, Makoa Kaleo, and Derek Braig will need to lead the way in this group. In goal, only Dan DiStefano returns, with 30 minutes of experience last year. Nate Billings and Justin Rosenberg are also vying for the starting spot.
When it comes down to it, Vermont needs help in their midfield. They don’t have a ton of depth, and they don’t have many proven scorers. When I look down the Vermont roster, I’m shocked to see only three Canadians on the team, but when you consider that the UVM hockey team only has six on the roster, it makes you wonder if perhaps the school just can’t make it work. Of course the hockey team also has SIX Canadian recruits in their next two classes, so maybe the lacrosse program will follow suit?
UVM’s biggest need is for slick stick skills and athleticism. Some of their younger guys definitely have a bit more size, and if they have skills to go along with it, some of these guys could make big impacts early on. Will it be enough to get UVM on the winning side of things in 2013? It’s not likely, but Vermont does seem to be building something, albeit slowly.
Click HERE to see Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview posts for Air Force, Albany,Army, Bellarmine, Binghamton, Brown, Bryant, Bucknell, Canisius, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Denver, Detroit, Drexel, Duke, Fairfield, Hartford, Harvard, High Point, Hobart, Hofstra, Holy Cross, Jacksonville, Johns Hopkins, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola, Manhattan, Marist, Marquette, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mercer, Michigan, Mount St. Mary’s, Navy, UNC, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UPenn, Penn State, Princeton, Providence, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Rutgers, Sacred Heart, St. Joseph’s, Siena, Stony Brook, Syracuse, Towson, and UMBC!