The Cats entered a semifinal matchup after a first round bye against the No. 5 seeded University of New Hampshire Wildcats on Nov. 7.
The game remained scoreless until the 57th minute, when Wildcat first-year and Essex resident Paul Bianchi capitalized on a Vermont defensive miscommunication to score the only goal of the match.
UVM junior Johnny Bonner came the closest to an equalizer in an 84th minute attempt, but was denied by UNH goalkeeper Travis Worra as part of his seventh shutout effort of the season.
“We’re disappointed; we came up a bit short,” Cormier said. “We’re not going to give any excuses … we thought we were ready.”
With the defeat, Vermont closes out the season at 8-5-5. The loss for the Catamounts is bitter, but Cormier remains both proud and optimistic.
On Oct. 27, the men’s soccer team defeated Stony Brook 2-1 in overtime to earn their first America East Regular Season title since 1989.
Head coach Jesse Cormier and his staff earned America East Coaching Staff of the Year honors as the Catamounts earned entry into the America East Tournament for the eighth time in his nine years of coaching.
Cormier led the Catamounts to achieve an unbeaten record of 5-0-2 in America East action – the first time since 1997.
The game solidified the Catamounts as the No. 1 seed going into the playoffs and earned multiple acclaims for the team. Vermont first-year Charlie DeFeo was named America East Men’s Soccer Rookie of the Week after his overtime winning goal against Stony Brook.
Junior Conor Leland was named America East Goalkeeper of the year and he ranks 11th nationally among Division I leaders in save percentage.
Leland also earned a spot on the America East All-Conference First Team, along with teammates seniors Joe Losier and Sean Sweeny. Junior defender Scott Kisling made the America East All-Conference Second Team along with All-Academic Team.
“The message is I’m really proud of them. They have achieved a lot,” Cormier said. “The seniors came from being a last-place team their first-year to winning the league as seniors.”
Cormier continued with a more sentimental message.
“I told them, other than my family, they are all I got,” he said. “We stay connected; we understand that wasn’t our best.”
He hopes that this will encourage them to play better next year and act as an inspiration in a future title.
“Those guys aren’t failures,” he added.