Cats earn best season finish in years


Junior forward Molly Higgins guards an opposing player during the Catamounts 5-1 loss against UMaine Oct. 3. Higgins ended the season
with a total of 10 points. The field hockey team finished their season with a record of 3-15, which was the best finish for the Cats since 2011.

UVM women’s field hockey ended their season with their best record in three years with 3-15.

The Catamounts started off the second half of the season with two losses, one against University of Maine Oct. 3,. and the other against Sacred Heart University Oct. 5. However, they bounced back to get their first win of the season against UMass Lowell Oct. 11.

This win proved to be one of firsts for the Catamounts.

First-year Lena Benwood didn’t let in any goals and she earned her first career shutout to lift the Catamounts to the 1-0 win over the River Hawks in America East play. The shutout was also the first by a Vermont goalie since 2012.

Junior forward Molly Higgins tallied her first goal of the season, which doubled as the first game-winner of her career. Head coach Kate Pfeifer received her first career win with the program since accepting the position Jan. 16, according to UVM Athletics.

“It was our first win of the season and the first conference win the program has had in the last six years. That was one of the most exciting moments of my career,” senior captain Ashley McDonald said.

Pfeifer was happy to get a win as well.

“To see all their hard work really come to fruition, it’s a great thing,” she said.

Although the Catamounts lost their following two games against Rider University Oct 12. and the University of New Hampshire Oct. 17, they bounced back once again to get a win against Davidson College Oct. 19.

Vermont won 2-1 in overtime against Davidson. It was a close game with UVM trailing 1-0 when first-year Jackie Gillen tied the game, 1-1, with just 13 seconds left in regulation. Higgins then scored just over a minute into overtime to guide Vermont to their 2-1 victory.

McDonald was happy to see the progress being made this half of the season.

“It was challenging for us as a team during the beginning of the season to play for an entire 70 minutes,” she said.

But, as the season went on she said they were able to perform together and at the highest level for whole games.

The Catamounts went on to lose to Fairfield University but got a win over College of the Holy Cross. Vermont won against the Crusaders 2-0 with Higgins and first-year Tess O’Brien each tallying a goal.

Benwood got another shutout to lift Vermont past Holy Cross. Although the Catamounts fell to the University of Albany in their last game of the season, they made a lot of progress.

The team has come a long way and McDonald has seen it grow over her last four years here.

“I felt that what really moved the program in the right direction this past season was having a coaching staff that brought new ideas and a new culture to the team, and also having a team where all 22 players completely bought in to what we were hoping to accomplish this season,” McDonald said.