Catching up with the Cats

While the student body slumbered over break, athletes from the men’s and women’s basketball and hockey teams had to push forward in their respective schedules. Luckily, you have The Cynic to get you up to date on all of the winter break action.Women’s HockeyThe UVM women’s hockey team went winless in five tries over break. After 24 days between games, Vermont took on No. 3 Dartmouth at home in a non-conference matchup.The Big Green jumped out to an early lead and outshot the Cats 16-0 in the third period, holding on for a 4-1 victory. Vermont then traveled south to Connecticut to face the Huskies twice in as many days. The first game was heavily lopsided with UConn taking the game 7-0 and outshooting the Catamounts 31-9. The second Hockey East matchup was much closer with Vermont only losing by a score of 3-1. Vermont was outshot 26-19 and the Huskies capped off a season sweep of UVM. Vermont then dropped two games last weekend to No. 4 Mercyhurst.The Lady Cats’ next home game comes against Boston College on Jan. 24.Women’s BasketballThe Lady Cats hit the road during break, covering over 3,000 miles in their journeys to Florida and Louisville. The women hit a low point over break with a five game losing streak during their grueling non-conference schedule, which featured opponents such as No. 10 Louisville and No. 18 Florida. However, Vermont showed their strengths during the stretch by nearly upsetting both ranked teams. Against Louisville, UVM was led by sharp-shooting senior Sy Janousek, who poured in a season high 18 points. Despite the effort, the Cardinals were able to hold off Vermont in a 67-56 win. The Cardinals also held the Lady Cats leading scorer, junior Courtnay Pilypaitis, to just three points and 13 turnovers. Pilypaitis struck back against Florida with a 20 point, five assist effort. Junior May Kotsopoulos drained 10 shots and scored 25 points but Vermont fell just short of the upset and lost 85-76 to the Gators.After a disappointing loss to Towson to close out the tournament, Vermont returned home to take down North Dakota behind a dominant performance from senior Andrea Cihal who put in 13 points and ripped down 14 rebounds. The Lady Cats opened America East play with a win over UMBC in which Pilypaitis showed why she was named the America East player of the year last season, notching 28 points, six assists and 11 rebounds. In their second A-East try, UVM fell at BU 58-47 to close out the break on Jan. 10.The women look to continue their America East dominance at home against Stony Brook on Jan. 14.Men’s BasketballMen’s basketball began break with a win at Quinnipiac. They were led by senior guard Mike Trimboli, who scored 24 points while adding five assists. The following day, Trimboli was named the America East Player of the Week for the second straight week. The team then celebrated the holidays by embarking on a 5,000-mile journey to participate in the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic in Honolulu.Vermont’s first game was against George Washington. The Cats were led by a career high 18 points from junior Maurice Joseph and were able to pull out an 83-72 win in the first ever matchup between the schools.Vermont then dropped a close game to Colorado State despite a 22-point effort from senior forward Colin McIntosh. The loss placed UVM in a third-place matchup with Colorado University. Freshman Garvey Young got his first start against the Buffaloes. Trimboli stamped down 24 points on nearly perfect shooting to help take down the Big 12 opponent 84-59 for a third place finish in the tournament. After a 26 point win in their final non-conference matchup against New Jersey Institute of Technology, the team commenced with America East play against Binghamton. Joseph came off the bench to score 17 points and hauled down six rebounds to lead the Cats. However, it wasn’t enough to stop Binghamton, who pulled out the overtime win 91-83. The Cats evened up their America East record on Jan. 11 with an 82-77 win over Albany.Men’s HockeyMen’s hockey had a sizeable break from games from Dec. 13 until their matchup with Colgate in the Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup.During the time off, Catamount Captain Dean Strong was selected as a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Men’s Hockey award. Among other Catamount players to be named for awards were freshman goalie Rob Madore who was named America East Player of the Week. Senior Peter Lenes and junior Viktor Stalberg were also named as candidates for the Hobey Baker award, college hockey’s most prestigious award given to the nation’s top collegiate player. The team hit the ground running in 2009 with a 6-4 victory over Colgate in the Catamount cup during which Lenes and sophomore Justin Milo notched two goals each. Vermont then won the Catamount cup by shutting out St. Lawrence 4-0 and avenging a loss to the Saints from Dec. 13.Madore continued his solid play with 29 saves and his first career shutout. Sophomore Jack Downing stuck in two goals and had one assist in the win. After their dramatic tie against BC on Jan. 9 and victory the following night, the hockey team is on the rise, moving up to No. 10 in the nation in the USA Today/USA Hockey Poll rankings. Vermont is now 12-4-3 overall and 6-3-2 in Hockey East play.