Women’s soccer aims to exceed last season’s record


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Last season was one of the best in recent history for the UVM women’s soccer team.

The Catamounts finished with a record of 8-8-2, according to UVM athletics.

Head coach Kristi Lefebvre lead the program to eight wins, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 2005 according to UVM athletic records.

Lefebvre is now entering her sixth year as head coach of the program.

She has led the team to the America East playoffs in four out of her five seasons as head coach, according to UVM athletics.

In addition to their successful record, the team was also seeded third entering the America East postseason tournament last year.

This was one of the highest rankings in UVM women’s soccer history.

The Catamounts hosted a playoff game for only the second time ever, according to UVM athletics.

In the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, which happened to be the first night game at Virtue Field, the Cats shut out the University of Maryland, Baltimore County 1-0.

The Catamounts battled hard against the University at Albany in their next playoff game, the semifinal game, but they eventually fell just short by the score of 2-1.

The game went into overtime.

The co-captains of the team this year are senior defender Meg James and senior midfielder/defender Alex Jenkins.

“I think our strength of this year’s team is the level of competitiveness we have,” James said.

“Each individual on this team has such strong desire to win and when we come together we become a force.”

James also pointed to the team’s preseason form as reason to be optimistic about the 2016 season.

“I think this year our team came into preseason fitter than ever, determined to do the hard work that it takes to bring home the championship,” she said.

In addition, James believes the team’s good chemistry off the field will translate into success on the field.

“Our chemistry off the field is incredible this year as well, which can only benefit us as we take the field together,” she said.

After playing in only two games last year, junior goalkeeper Coco Speckmaier will be the starting keeper for UVM this season.

Last year, then-senior goalie Ally Ramos played and started in all 18 games the Catamounts played in, according to UVM athletics.

Ramos logged over 1,602 minutes in goal in 2015, while Speckmaier logged 82 minutes and 59 seconds, according to UVM athletics.

The team only graduated three seniors last year, according to UVM athletics, so this season the Catamounts will rely on the poise and experience of returning upperclassmen.

One notable game to look out for this season is a conference match against Albany Oct. 16.

“I know that a lot of us returners remember our semifinal game versus Albany like it was yesterday. It was heartbreaking for everybody,” James said.

“Needless to say, we have a lot of motivation for our conference game in Albany this year.”

For the 2016 season, the Catamounts will bring in four new first-year student-athletes, according to UVM athletics.

Those four players are Christina Barry, Megan Frost, Bridgette King and Julia Smith, according to UVM athletics.

Frost and Barry are both defenders, while King is a forward and Smith is a midfielder, according to UVM athletics.

In the coaches’ preseason poll, UVM was ranked fifth out of nine teams, according to the America East website.