After tournament loss, men’s soccer finds themselves on the bubble

The UVM men’s soccer team fell short of reaching their third consecutive American East championship birth after losing to top-seed Boston University, though the team still has an outside shot at an at-large NCAA berth.The Cats will find out Nov. 17 if their season is to continue into the NCAA tournament. The growth and cohesion of the team progressed throughout the season, in which Vermont took down multiple ranked opponents including No. 14 Michigan State and rival No. 21 Dartmouth.The backbone of this team was its senior class, which featured four players on the America East All Academic team – captain Jake McFadden, defensive stop?per Connor Tobin, Will Haywood and the dynamic Jordan Crasilneck.”Along with being very good soccer players, they are very serious students,” Cormier said.The Cats also saw great contributions from lowerclassmen. Those included freshman Yannick Lewis, who was only one of four players to start all 20 games, and Burlington native Lukas Peterson who scored two goals in the season’s final four games. Freshman Mark Okoko, who hails from Sheffield England, also showed great flashes of potential, but was sidelined with an injury for much of the season. Crasilneck and McFadden led Vermont in goal scoring with four each. They were followed closely by athletic strikers T.J. Gore and senior Lee Stephane Kouadio, who notched three goals apiece. The graduating senior class was the first recruiting class for Cormier, who is quick to praise them for helping him layout the foundation of the program.”The biggest thing is that people recognize that they aren’t just excellent soccer players,” Cormier said. “They are really good people,”With Cormier and the help of his first class the program has taken a turn in the right direction.In the past four seasons with Cormier at the helm and shadowed by his senior class the team has gone 38-26-17 and has either won or tied 67 percent of its games. In the previous four seasons, Vermont managed just 28 wins compared to 30 loss?es and 13 ties. The team’s values weighed in just as heavily as its accomplishments and it is there that Cormier has found success. “They value the community piece,” Cormier said. “They understand how important it is to work hard for the team.” Though Vermont cannot be called champions this season, they have entrenched themselves in the path to success and the title may not be able to evade them for long.