Cats fall in first three

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The James Madison and UVM field hockey teams faced off at Kent State in Kent, Ohio to open the season Aug. 24. In the 2011 season, Vermont finished 6-11 overall and 0-5 in America East play. The Catamounts returned seniors Alano Izzo and Taylor Silvestro as captains while adding eight first-years to the roster this season.  

The first half of play went in favor of JMU as they took the lead with two consecutive goals. Taylor West of the Dukes began the scoring at the 6:10 mark followed by Bethany Ashworth in the 33rd minute. 

The second half began on a similar note for JMU as Ashworth earned her second goal of the game and third for the team just 1:19 into the period. The game did not go unanswered by the Catamounts though. With six minutes left in the game, first-year Kelsey Bonner – one of six first-years who saw playing time in the opening game – earned her first collegiate goal. Then, with only four minutes left Vermont closed the gap to just one goal as junior Sally Snickenberger scored. 

Vermont was unable to tie the game as the clock wound down and the game ended in James Madison’s favor 3-2. 

The Catamounts returned for action on Aug. 26 at Kent State in their first ever match against Indiana University. Indiana is coming off of a 2011 season with an overall record of 9-8 and a 2-4 record in Big 10 play. Morgan Fleetwood of the Hoosiers earned the first goal with 8:37 remaining until the half. With 1:40 left to play in the half, Indiana added to their lead with a goal from Nicole Volgraf

“We had a very strong start today, building off our JMU game,” said Vermont head coach Nicki Houghton in an Athletic Communications press conference. “We were penetrating our attacking circle and creating some amazing goal scoring opportunities.”

Despite Vermont’s attempts, the second half went in favor of Indiana. In the 47th minute, Fleetwood assisted Audra Heilman in the game-winning goal for Indiana, making the final score 3-0. 

“Indiana came out very physical in the second half and put us on our heels,” said Houghton. “Their pressure took us out of our game plan, but we fought hard and finished strong the last 12 minutes of play.”

The Catamounts were unable to materialize any goals through shot attempts and were outshot by Indiana 36-7 for the game. Junior goalkeeper Stephanie Zygmunt, however, had a standout performance for the Catamounts as she earned a career-high 22 saves in the game.  

“We had strong contributions from everyone over the past two games and have seen tons of growth after playing two top caliber field hockey teams,” said Houghton. 

Vermont continues their game play away as seven of their first eight games will be played on the road. On Aug. 28, the Catamounts faced Kent State in Kent, Ohio and fell to the Golden Flashes 4-2. This loss drops them to 0-3 on the season. 

The Catamounts will travel to face Brown and hope to earn their first win of the year on Sept. 1 at 2 p.m.