Bittersweet finish

The University of Vermont field hockey team beat the University of Rhode Island Rams 4-1 on senior day in the season finale at Moulton Winder Field, but lost at the hands of Boston University 1-0 in the first round of the America East playoffs on Friday to end their season. The Terriers scored the lone goal of the contest 18:04 into the game when Hayley Hamada put back a rebound past Cats goalie Kristen Heavens. Redshirt freshman Heavens kept Vermont in the game by making a career high 13 saves. The loss wraps up the Catamounts most successful season in school history with a record of 11-8 and 3-2 in America East play. The 11 wins is the second most in school history and this is the third year in the last five that the Cats have made the America East tournament. “Last year we were a very young team and lost to this same Boston University squad 5-1,” head coach Nicki Houghton said. “The 2006 team committed to the process and earned the right to return to the America East Tournament, but today we competed against a seasoned Terrier team. Vermont is clearly establishing a higher set of standards and expectations for the future.”Senior Day Against the Rams, the Catamounts played like a team inspired to send their seniors off on a high note, and it was only appropriate that the first goal came from senior Nikki Desch with an assist from senior Liz Berry. The Catamounts continued to dominate the first half of the game scoring three goals and outshooting the Rams 30-3 in the contest. “Rhode Island was really clogging up one side of the field,” sophomore Kim Striegler said. “We were able to transfer the play really well to find the long balls and open up the holes.” Vermont scored again in the 13th minute when sophomore Maegan Luce brought the ball in and shot, pushing it past Rhode Island goalkeeper M.J. Britt. The coordination of the Cats offense was clear and although the Rams played well, the synchronization of Vermont continued to show as Berry scored her second goal of the season in the 30th minute of play. The second half of the game continued much like the first as Luce put her second goal in the net off an assist from freshman Maddi Martin at the 51 minute mark. Luce’s goal made the score 4-0. Rhode Island scored a late goal to prevent the shutout but was not able to muster any sustained offense against the Cats solid defense.Dakota Rubin contributed to this report.