Catamounts make strides in men’s soccer draw against Portland U

The University of Vermont men’s soccer team battled Portland to a 1-1 draw in their first of two games of the 19th annual Smith Barney Classic. 

After getting on the board with a goal in the fifth minute from freshman D.J. Edler, the Catamounts could not hang on for the win — relinquishing their lead via a Portland goal in the 64th minute.

This was the second straight game the Cats were unable to hold a 1-0 lead, surrendering two goals in the second half to Bucknell on Sept. 6.

“I thought we fought to the end, but we are learning how to finish a game,” head coach Jesse Cormier said. “I think we made progress, and the one thing about this team is they’ve constantly gotten better.”

The game progressed with plenty of back-and-forth play. Both teams got their fair share of opportunities with each squad having shots ring off the crossbar. The opposing sides started flexing their muscles and fighting to end the stalemate with a late goal.

There were seven yellow cards handed out in the game, all coming in the second half and overtime.  Both teams were racking up fouls from hard tackles as they tried to hold their ground.

“I think this team in particular is one of the better teams we’re going to see,” Cormier said. 

“They tested us in a lot of different ways.”

With only five seniors on the team, the Catamounts are young, but they are growing and improving and are still looking for their first win of the season.

“Coming away from it I think we are in good shape,” Cormier said.  “As long as we continue to progress, I think we’re going to make some teams struggle.”

The Cats played well and showed toughness in this game, looking especially strong in the air, winning the majority of headers.  They also had some great opportunities on net but were unable to finish.

With the slate of conference games coming in October, the Cats have time to improve their play on the field. 

Cormier can see the team’s steady development and thinks the team will be ready to make an impact once conference play begins.

“I feel good about our chances,” Cormier said.