UVM kicks off new season

“Train like the pros, play like the pros” is the motto for the  men’s soccer team this season, junior Brian Wright said. At least that is what he is focusing on, with the hopes of improving on last year’s semifinal run.

Wright, who led the team with nine goals last season is looking to improve individually and be more consistent as a team.

Jesse Cormier, now in his 12th season as head coach, believes his team has all the talent they need to win their conference this season.

“We want to be the team that wins the league every year, and that is our goal,” Cormier said. “In the past two years there was a lot of teaching and learning to be done, but there are no more excuses now.”

The team started their season with a win against Sacred Heart University, as senior Nile Walwyn scored after a cross pass was sent to him at the top of the box. Even though they fell 4-0 to Hofstra University two days later, Cormier still has full faith in his team.

This season the team will rely on their experience factor while pushing younger players to make an impact on offense, Cormier said.

Cormier has high expectations from his offensive players, like juniors Wright, Bernard Yeboah and sophomore Shane Haley, to mention a few.

He believes his team will benefit from the experience of players like junior Danny Childs and senior Teddy Gula, combined with the passion of the younger players, like sophomores Jaime Miralles, Stefan Lamanna and junior Elliot Maker.

Another player who believes that this could be the Catamounts’ year is junior backup goalkeeper Eric Venezia.   

“We have great chemistry,” Venezia said. “We’re all very good friends, we have a lot of talented players, and our only goal is to win this tough conference.”

Cormier knows his team has all the talent they need, and he is very clear on what they need to improve on.

“We have a lot of talent in the squad, but you can’t maximize the potential of the talent without having a certain understanding,” he said. “We are working on creating an identity where we are dangerous, but also difficult to break down.”

Wright, whose nine goals secured him a spot in the 2014 America East All Championship Team, is on the same page as his coach and teammates.

“Every team hopes to go the NCAA tournament, and I think we have the tools and the pieces to achieve that this year,” he said. “We want to be playing our best soccer by November, and then keep it rolling.”

Wright did not forget to mention the fans, who he said are very important to the team. One of their most loyal fans is Khym-Alexi Fawcett-Ellis, a sophomore who watched most of the team’s home games last year.

Even though she thinks the team should finish more of their scoring chances, she said she is very excited to go to their games this season.

“I’m excited to watch the more experienced players like Bernard Yeboah in action with the newcomers,” Fawcett-Ellis said. “I heard there were a few promising new international students.”

UVM will host UNC Asheville, UNH and Central Connecticut at the Peter Baldwin Memorial Classic this weekend.