Identity crisis: who is the UVM men’s soccer team?

After going winless in their first seven games of the season, the men’s soccer team is still looking for their identity. A contributing factor to their missing identity is the challenge of trying to adapt to 12 new players joining the roster this season.

Head coach Jesse Cormier is aware that the start of their season thus far has been a growing experience.

“We have a young group of guys,” Cormier said. “We’re still learning and growing as a team and trying to put everything together.”

And the growing pains were still apparent when the team traveled to Tennessee for the Memphis Classic where, against Memphis and Alabama-Birmingham, they tied and lost.

Despite the losses, the team made positive strides during the tournament.

Some highlights include senior keeper and co-captain Tom Critz and sophomore defender Yannick Lewis were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Not only has Critz been a standout on the field, he has also been working hard to boost the confidence of the younger players, leading with his on-field play.

“As a captain, I’m just trying to keep the morale of the team high,” Critz said. “We want to keep working.”

What was apparent with the Memphis Classic has proven to be a pattern throughout the season thus far, where the team has had trouble finishing games, failing to score a goal in the second half or overtime.

The team is aware of this and dedicates practice time to improving their chances in front of the net.

“We have been splitting up the defenders and the forwards at the start of practice,” co-captain and senior T.J. Gore said. “And for around 40 minutes we’ll work on sequences of touches in front of the goal and putting the ball on frame.”

Although they have a losing record, Critz and Gore still believe the team has time to work through this rough patch before their slate of conference games arrive in October.

“We thought we had it figured out coming into the year,” Gore said. “But it shows we need a little more work, and we are still trying to find our identity.”

The Catamounts take on UMBC at home Sat., Oct. 3, for their first conference game and are optimistic about their chances.

“Defense has been playing well, and as a team we just have to put it all together and start filling up the stat sheet,” Critz said.