Entering the 2008 season, UVM field hockey coach Nicki Houghton faces the difficult task of attempting to replace two of the highest scorers in program history.Following a solid 2007 season, in which the Catamounts went 12-7 and lost in the America East semi-finals to Albany, Vermont will look to improve without last season’s senior standouts Kelly McClintock and Danielle Collins. Houghton has a solid plan for the future of the Catamounts, which includes a strong incoming freshman class.”The six first-year players that have joined our team are incredibly motivated to compete at a very high level and have made the transition into college athletics with ease,” Houghton said.”We will continue to play a team-oriented game plan, focusing on building the ball out of the backfield, combining with our midfield, resulting in a total team attack,” Houghton said. “We anticipate various players and positions contributing to our goal scoring this season.”Vermont opens the season with three games on the road, including two against large non-conference schools Boston College and the University of Virginia. However, Houghton sees the tough non-conference schedule as an important challenge to her young squad.”Our consistent strong non-conference schedule will prepare us well for another challenging year in the America East,” Houghton said. Look for the Catamounts to be led by the offensive prowess of senior forward Maegan Luce and junior forwards Maddi Martin and Megan Maynard.With the success of the Cats lying in the hands of a group of seasoned veterans and young standouts, the team looks to have the potential to be a legitimate contender for the America East title in November.