At UVM Amy Cochran not only skied on the nationally ranked Catamount Ski Team she also played a staring roll on the soccer field for the Lady Cats.
The daughter of two Vermont Athletic Hall of Famers, Robert Cochran (skiing) and Janet Schweizer (track & field) and brother of US Ski Team member and UVM alum Jimmy Cochran, Amy was raised in a competitive environment.
“I come from a skiing family. It is almost genetic. When you’re two, you’re out on skis. And soccer was what we always played in the back yard with my brothers and dad. Soccer has always been what I’ve loved. My personal sport.”
Following in her family’s footsteps to come to Vermont was an easy decision.
“It (UVM) has everything. I wanted a well-rounded experience. I wanted a soccer team that I could play for at the Division I level. Then I wanted a ski program that I was familiar with and knew I could make progress throughout the four years. That was very important to me. I didn’t want a liberal education either so I said ‘state school here I come.’ UVM had a combination of all the things I was looking for”
Education has also always been an important part of being well rounded for Amy, who boasts a gaudy 3.98 GPA with a major in physics. But balancing the schoolwork with the varsity athletics proved to be difficult.
“I pretty much had no social life for those first couple of years. You have to sacrifice that. I worked my butt off. That is my personality. I like to be intense in what I do and spend as much time and do as well as I can.
“That drove me nuts last year and I think I hit my breaking point with the stress levels. But it has been fun this past year because I have been more relaxed with my attitude and I have found that balance.”
After graduating in May, Amy has plans to attend graduate school at Rhode Island for math. While at URI, Amy also plans on using her last year of soccer eligibility to play for the Rams.
“I want to continue to play sports. I know that. I have been struggling to give up one of them (soccer and skiing). I think at the moment I am going to try to give up academics. But beyond soccer and skiing, it is hard to make a choice.”
Whatever Amy ends up choosing, she will have all the tools she needs thanks to Vermont.
“UVM has given me a toolbox for years to come. Everyone says you don’t really apply what you actually learn in school but you apply the lessons and the ways of thinking from schools. That is what I have done. I have a lot of opportunities now coming out of this school.”
After being unanimously selected for captain of the Vermont Men’s Hockey Team for the third consecutive year, Jaime Sifers, the warrior behind the blue line for the Cats, became only the second three-time captain in team history.
What started as a high school Sifers visiting a friend from home at UVM turned into a great relationship between a school and a student-athlete.
“I came to visit my friend a bunch of times and that got my interest in the place pretty high. My plan coming out of high school was to find somewhere to play Division I hockey. I had some options but UVM was definitely the best fit for me between the town, the coaches and the team. Too hard to pass up.”
Since high school where he was touted as one of the top defensemen in the New England Prep School ranks, Sifers has grown into one of the top blue liners in the country. But balancing college hockey with classes and social life involved sacrifices that he was willing to make.
“It’s pretty tough sometimes. But we are a pretty close team so whenever it’s like that you don’t feel like your missing too much. We go on a lot of road trips and miss Halloween every year, which is a big weekend for any college student. But at the same time, the rewards of being on the road and winning those game definitely outweighs some Halloween parties.”
“To be a part of the team and the guys on it has been great. Every year brings a new batch of guys that really understand the characteristics of the game and that has really been a plus.”
While at Vermont, Sifers was a part of many exciting games but his most memorable moment was during his junior season when the Cats came back to beat Dartmouth in the playoffs.
“We got to play at home in front of a home crowd. That was definitely an awesome comeback win. We lost the first game but came back with two wins. It was unbelievable.”
This excitement keeps Sifers wanting to play hockey, which is what he plans on doing next year.
“(Next year) hopefully I can play some pro hockey. Some things have been unfolding and we will see what happens.”
Sifers spent two weeks earlier this year playing in Toronto with the Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. If everything works out as planed he hopes to be back with the Marlies next season.
His experiences playing hockey along with a major in Community Development and Applied Economics along with his experiences at UVM have prepared him for the world.
“(UVM) has prepared me just the way I wanted it to. The coaching staff has been unbelievable and they prepare every player that comes through here. I feel confident I can use those tools in the future.”