Cats dominate Dartmouth again

Vermont faced a familiar opponent in its final non-conference game against I-89 rival Dartmouth. At the 90-minute mark, the Catamount victory was a familiar result as well. Dartmouth came into the game energized and looking for retribution against UVM, who knocked the Big Green out of the NCAA tournament in a double-overtime match last fall. “They thought they should’ve won the game last year because of penalty calls and all that,” redshirt freshman forward Pat Alonis said. “But we proved we were the better team today.” Vermont jumped ahead early with a goal from senior defender Connor Tobin. The goal came off of a corner kick from senior Jordan Crasilneck, which was first deflected by redshirt sophomore Ryan White and then put in by Tobin. The goal was scored in the seventh minute, and was the fifth game in which Vermont has scored in the first 10 minutes.Vermont’s consistently strong defense was a vital factor in the game. At the 10-minute mark, a Dartmouth corner kick was deflected and sailed toward the goal only to be stopped by senior goalkeeper Roger Scully, who was backed by two Catamount defenders.”Defensively we’ve always been pretty solid,” head coach Jesse Cormier said.Dartmouth came into the second half aggressively and had multiple scoring opportunities, which were held at bay by the strong Catamount defensive front. The two rivals went back and forth at each other with scoring chances coming from each team’s speedy strikers – Dartmouth’s Lucky Mkosana and UVM’s TJ Gore. In the 58th minute, Vermont scored what ended up being the game-winning goal, which came from Alonis, the first of his career. “It was huge,” Alonis said. “I was really excited when I saw it hit the back of the net.”Mkosana notched Dart-mouth’s only goal with less than three minutes remaining, slicing by UVM defenders on the right side and firing the ball into the high left corner. Vermont kept Dartmouth away from their end for the remainder of the game and walked away with the non-conference victory.Cormier said there has been a lot of growth as a team in the non-conference games and it showed in the Dartmouth match.”This victory today was against a very good Dartmouth team,” Cormier said. “I don’t know if that would have happened a month ago.”Cormier said the team has improved offensively, while the defense has remained strong and consistent.”The whole idea of the non-conference was to develop the tempo on the attacking side,” Cormier said. “I think guys are starting to gel and really starting to connect and that bodes well for us.” Alonis echoed the improvement on the offensive end.”I think we’re peaking at the right time and finally scoring some goals,” Alonis said.After a 1-0 win at UMBC on Saturday, Vermont currently stands atop the American East conference, and now have their sights set on defending their American East crown.