UVM lacrosse loses NCAA tournament after winning first-ever conference championship

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Alek Fleury

Archive photo of men’s lacrosse team from 2019.

UVM men’s lacrosse fell to the University of Maryland Terrapins on Sunday by a score of 17-11. The loss ended the Catamount’s first ever NCAA tournament bid. 

It was clear that UVM, who drew the 14th overall seed in the national tournament, was facing a formidable opponent in Maryland – a team that has yet to lose all season. 

“Everybody in the tournament is really well coached, they’re going to give you their best game,” said UVM head coach Chris Feifs. “While we fought for 60 minutes today and really did some things that I’m very, very proud of, I knew we didn’t play our best game.” 

Goals from JJ Levandowski and Thomas McConvey in the first period kept the score tied at 2-2 before the Terrapins exploded for five unanswered goals.

The Catamounts were unable to recover from the deficit as Maryland led by at least five points for the remainder of the game on their way to 17-11 victory. 

Maryland won 15 of the 26 faceoffs against Vermont’s Tommy Burke. It is the first time all season the UVM sophomore won fewer than 50% of his faceoffs. Burke’s success in faceoffs won him the America East tournament MVP, but was largely contained against the Terrapins. 

The Catamounts’ loss caps off a historic season for the program, as the team took home its first ever conference championship on May 8, beating out UAlbany 15-10.

Vermont’s America East championship earned them an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament, the first in program history. 

Conference title game losses in 2016, 2018 and 2019 set the team up for their best season to date in 2021. The Catamounts will look to expand on that success next season, said Feifs. 

“It just comes back to how you keep it in perspective and letting that fuel us in the offseason to work on our skills and work on our schemes and find other ways to keep us comfortable, keep us efficient and keep us clean in these pressure moments when you go against really athletic, really well-coached teams,” said Feifs.