Soccer recruit diverse athletes

The Vermont women’s soccer team will take the field next fall without seven current seniors, who will be replaced by six incoming first-year players.

The Catamounts posted a 7-8-4 record in the 2016 season, and watched their season come to a close after a 1-0 loss to the University of Hartford in the second round of the America East tournament.

The team will head to campus early in August to practice with the incoming players. During this time, the team will go through conditioning and skill development workouts to begin the 2017 season.

Kacey Lambertson joins Vermont as a goalkeeper following a great career at Matawan Regional High School in Matawan, N.J. Lambertson was a four-year recipient of Matawan MVP award, according to UVM athletics.

Angie Salvi joins the team as a midfielder from Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein, Ill . Salvi started all four years at Carmel, and won the conference’s best offensive player award in her junior campaign.

Maddie Eddleman comes to UVM as a forward after starting all four years at Lambert High School in Suwanee, Ga. During her time at Lambert, Eddleman was voted team captain three times, according to UVM athletics.

Ella Bankert, a Cuttingsville, Vt. native, joins Vermont as a midfielder following a very successful career at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H. Bankert won many awards during her time at Kimball, including the conference championship and the MVP award.

Aly Spencer from Tewksbury, Mass. joins the Cats from Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA.. She had a successful stint at Holy Cross, earning rookie of the year honors in the Patriot League.

Maggie Matthijs joins Vermont as a defender from Holmdel High School in Holmdel, N.J. Matthijs was a two-year captain, and was part of Holmdels’ first-ever championship during her sophomore year, according to UVM athletics.

The incoming first-years will work hard to learn head coach Kristi Lefebvre’s system as fast as possible.

“They are a great group,” Lefebvre said. “They are extremely motivated students and athletes and we know they will add a lot of talent to the current team.”

The coaching staff chose these athletes for a few particular reasons, she said.

“They are competitors and they know what it takes to win,” Lefebvre said. “They are also good people and those are the two biggest qualities we look for aside from academics and soccer ability.”

The incoming first-years come from a wide geographic range in the United States. Lefebvre believes this will be an important aspect to the team.

“Most of them come from different club teams and different coaches,” Lefebvre said. “The fact that they’ve had different experiences will add to our overall team culture and experience level. I think it helps diversify the team and allows us to have more balance in terms of style of play and personalities.”

Lefebvre is looking forward to working with the incoming first-years, she said.

“Each year for first-years there are so many firsts. Lefebvre said. First road trip, first minutes, first time in the starting lineup, first goal, etc,” Lefebvre said. “Of course, we are also looking forward to seeing them blend with our returning group and how their training has paid off over the spring/summer.”

The Catamounts will look to use their new additions to post a stronger regular season record.

The team is looking to be a legitimate threat in the America East conference, and ultimately make a push to the America East Championship.