MADDY DEGELSMITH/The Vermont Cynic
While a UVM victory seems probable in their upcoming Nov. 13 game against No. 3 seeded University of Hartford, it appears unlikely that they will advance farther than that.
UVM is likely to win in their first contest against Hartford Nov. 13, as the team previously won against Hartford 3-0 Oct. 19 of this year. Additionally, UVM is ranked one seed higher than Hartford for 2019 postseason play.
UVM has a goal differential of 18, having scored 35 goals this season and only having given up 17, whereas Hartford has a goal differential of one, having scored only 21 goals and giving up 20.
Assuming Vermont will clench a victory in their first semifinal contest against Hartford Nov. 13, they will go on to play the winner of the University of New Hampshire versus University of Massachusetts Lowell contest.
Whether Vermont goes on to play UNH or UMass Lowell, a Vermont victory will not come easily.
UVM battled UNH, the America East No. 1 seeded team, in the America East championship Nov. 6. While the game ended after two overtime periods in a 1-1 tie, UVM seemed lucky to walk away with a tie rather than a loss.
UNH dominated possession in that game and they scored off of a double-assisted goal. UVM, however, repeatedly struggled to string together a series of passes, and only managed to score off of a penalty kick by forward Rasmus Tobinski, a first-year.
UNH demonstrated greater offense and out-shot UVM with 18 shots on goal whereas UVM only had 12.
According to the NCAA men’s soccer rankings, of all DI teams, UNH is No. 16, and UVM is far down the list at a less than astounding No. 60.
UVM did beat UMass Lowell Oct. 26, but they only won by a score of 2-1. However, UMass did beat University at Albany unexpectedly, demonstrating new vigor that wasn’t seen against UVM.
UVM has historically struggled to succeed in postseason play.
In 2018, UVM lost to University of Maryland Baltimore County in the quarterfinals in a game which ended in penalty kicks. In 2017, UVM lost in the quarterfinals 1-0 to Albany. In 2016, UVM also lost 2-0 to Albany in the semifinals.
Therefore, UVM does not have an impressive reputation for succeeding in postseason play.
Although their team is made up of more than half juniors and seniors, UVM’s starting lineup this season is typically composed of several first-year players. They are not accustomed to the level of intensity that comes with a postseason championship game.
Therefore, it seems plausible for someone inexperienced in that level of competition to crack under pressure.