NCAA Team Reviews: Vermont Catamounts

Photo credit to Pete Estes
Photo credit to Pete Estes

For the better part of four months, many of us watched some exciting college lacrosse, whether it was on TV, online, or in person.  There were good games, which included all of Championship Weekend, and there were bad games, such as low scoring affairs and of course, the horrendous winter weather.  I take a look back at all 69 Division I teams and how they fared this season and what to look forward to in 2016.

Check out previous recaps: NJIT Highlanders, UMass Lowell River Hawks, VMI Keydets, Manhattan Jaspers, Canisius Golden Griffins, Robert Morris Colonials, St. John’s Red Storm, Wagner Seahawks, Binghamton Bearcats, Bellarmine Knights, Jacksonville Dolphins, Furman Paladins, Lafayette Leopards, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers, Siena Saints, Delaware Blue Hens, UMBC Retrievers, Dartmouth Big Green, Providence Friars, Mercer Bears, Penn State Nittany Lions, Hofstra Pride, Michigan Wolverines, UMass Minutemen, Monmouth Hawks


2014 Record 5-8
2014 Conference Record 0-5 (Last in American East)
2014 Scoring Offense 10.08 Goals Per Game (33rd in DI)
2014 Scoring Defense 11.00 Goals Against Per Game (T43rd in DI)
2014 Goals Leader #50 Graham Horvath – Senior (30 Gs)
2014 Assists Leader #25 Patrick Clark – Sophomore (21 As)
2014 Points Leader #45 Ian MacKay – Freshman (42 Pts)
2014 Goaltending Leader #29 Justin Rosenberg – Sophomore (.516 SV %)
2014 Face-Off Leader #12 Andrew Muscara – R-Junior (.507 FO %)
2014 Ground Balls Leader #12 Andrew Muscara – R-Junior (66 GBs)
2014 Caused Turnovers Leader #24 Derek Braig – Senior (31 CTs)
2014 Quality Wins Boston (13-9), Sacred Heart (13-9)
2014 Bad Losses Providence (8-6), Binghamton (9-6)


2015 Record 6-10
2015 Conference Record 4-2 (3rd in American East)
2015 Scoring Offense 12.13 Goals Per Game (11th in DI)
2015 Scoring Defense 14.25 Goals Against Per Game (66th in DI)
2015 Goals Leader #45 Ian MacKay – Sophomore (41 Gs)
2015 Assists Leader #24 Cam Milligan – Sophomore (38 As)
2015 Points Leader #24 Cam Milligan – Sophomore (70 Pts)
2015 Goaltending Leader #29 Justin Rosenberg – Junior (.514 SV %)
2015 Face-Off Leader #4 Luc LeBlanc – Sophomore (.524 FO %)
2015 Ground Balls Leader #4 Luc LeBlanc – Sophomore (93 GBs)
2015 Caused Turnovers Leader #13 Ben Cox – Sophomore (13 CTs)
2015 Quality Wins Air Force (11-10 3OT), Hartford (14-11)
2015 Bad Losses Sacred Heart (21-17), Dartmouth (16-15)


The Catamounts are a team that is certainly on the rise. After going winless in American East play last season, Vermont notched four conference wins, three straight to end the regular season, to finish third in the American East, only behind ranked foes Albany and Stony Brook. Vermont was also a young team in 2015, with only four seniors on the team, so Head Coach Ryan Curtis and staff had to depend mainly on underclassmen, and especially on the sophomores. Although an early exit in the American East Tournament was not the best of times, there is a lot that the team can celebrate in 2015 and look forward to building in 2016.

But the season didn’t start off too well for Vermont, as they were challenged early. They had to play Penn State in their season opener, a 15-8 loss in Happy Valley, and lost to Colgate by two the following week. Two more losses followed against Providence and a hot Boston team, heading into their matchup against NJIT at 0-4. A 17-10 victory against the Highlanders gave the Catamounts their first win of the season, followed by a thrilling 11-10 victory over Air Force in triple overtime on the campus of Landon in Bethesda. Cam Milligan gave Vermont the win with 3:40 left in the third overtime on a man-up goal. But more losses followed, first an eight goal defeat against Georgetown three days after their Air Force win, then a 21-17 loss against Sacred Heart. They began American East play with an 18-10 win over UMass Lowell before falling in a surprise loss to Dartmouth by a goal in New Hampshire, followed by nine and ten goal losses to Stony Brook and Albany respectively. At 1-2, Vermont basically needed to win their next three league games in order to make it to the American East Tournament. With an 11-10 win against UMBC with 1:08 to play, a 14-11 win over Hartford, and a 14-13 win over Binghamton with ten ticks left, Vermont moved on as the conference’s third seed and took on Stony Brook. Although they threatened for most of the game, the Catamounts fell to the Sea Wolves 16-13 and their season was done.

With Lyle Thompson out at Albany and Mike Rooney done at Stony Brook, it is anyone’s game in the American East, especially Vermont’s. Albany still has Seth Oakes and Connor Fields, and Stony Brook has their weapons as well, but if Vermont can build the right team and playing style in the fall and spring, they’ll certainly be serious contenders in the American East in 2016.


Charlie Cobb Midfield Brunswick School (CT)
Drew Lewis Defense St. Augustine (NJ)
Dawes Milchling Attack St. Paul’s (MD)
Braiden Davis Midfield McCallie School (TN)
Mark Marciano Midfield Herricks (NY)
Mike Dowell LSM St. Michael’s (ONT)/IMG Academy (FL)
Warren Jeffrey Defense St. Michael’s (ONT)
Bryan Cahill Midfield/Attack Trinity-Pawling (NY)
Matt Eckles Goalie Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (PA)
Nick Dupuis Midfield St. Ignatius Prep (CA)
T.J. Subel Midfield Chagrin Falls (ONT)
Jack Knight Attack Brunswick School (CT)
Drew Simeon Defense Westminster School (CT)
Malcolm Kahn LSM Hewlett (NY)

Vermont will have a ton of recruits coming in to replace only four seniors. They’ll be bringing in 14 recruits from very good backgrounds. Charlie Cobb and Jack Knight are teammates from Connecticut’s Brunswick School, while there’s a pair of St. Michael’s teammates in Mike Dowell and Warren Jeffrey. Throw in players from St. Paul’s, McCallie School, Trinity-Pawling, St. Augustine, and St. Ignatius Prep, and Vermont is a threat for the next few years. To me, I would not be surprised if the Catamounts receive votes in the season’s first rankings. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re ranked in the lower quarter of rankings during the season or even at the end of 2016. Vermont’s going to be a threat, and teams should take note, but the Catamounts have to improve their defense if they want to be taken seriously.