Cats finish first

Ê

The men’s soccer team matched up against Stony Brook on Virtue Field in the final America East conference game of the season for both teams on Oct. 27.

Vermont defeated the Seawolves 2-1 in overtime with a loose ball goal from first-year Charlie DeFeo in the 100th minute. 

The game was senior day for seven Vermont seniors: Dwayne Dove, D.J. Edler, Joe Losier, Zach Paul, Chris Pierce, Dave Ramada, Seth Rebeor and Sean Sweeney.   

The sun shined overhead onto the field at noon for kick-off. The first half of play was filled with multiple failed goal attempts and missed opportunities on both sides. The second half followed a similar pattern until the 82nd minute, when Stony Brook senior Berian Gobeil broke the stalemate with a goal. 

Just six minutes later, in the 88th minute, Vermont answered back with a header from Paul that forced the game into overtime. 

“The guys never waivered … and Zach scored a big goal for us to get us back into it,” said head coach Jesse Cormier in a post-game press conference. “Going into overtime, we had the momentum.”

In the 100th minute of extra time, DeFeo lifted the Catamounts to victory with a shot high into the net. 

“Well at first I didn’t even know it was going to come to me. It bounced on my feet and I took a big touch and I kind of got nervous,” DeFeo said. “When it went in, it was the best feeling.”

The win gives the Catamounts their second America East Regular Season title, with the first earned in 1989. Vermont also enters into the America East Tournament as the No. 1 seed and earns a first round bye. 

“Personally, the goal meant a lot because it was an important game, but it meant more to me because it was a win for the seniors and it was important to them,” DeFeo said. “We are on top of the world right now and we have high expectations for the rest of the year.”

The Catamounts finish with an unbeaten record of 5-0-2. The program has achieved this acclaim only once before and is the second team to go unbeaten in the America East conference since 1997. 

Vermont will be play on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m. on Virtue Field. UVM will face either No. 5 New Hampshire or No. 4 Albany, depending on the results from the quarterfinal match. 

“You have to overcome a good opponent. As we go into higher level games, into the playoffs and championships, there are going to be those things that are against you,” Cormier said.  “They are such a mentally tough, mature group and they can manage it. They manage it and they find success; it has been fun to be a part of it.”

If the Catamounts achieve what they are striving for as America East Tournament winners, it would be their fifth overall and first since 2007.