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Vermont Will Break-In Their Birkenstocks in 2013

Ryan Curtis will get five games in Burlington and nine elsewhere. We'll call this "Maple Syrup Diplomacy."

Here's the good news, Catamount fans: It looks like you'll be able to see at least seven of Vermont's games this year on the Internet machine.

Here's the bad news, Catamount fans: You're probably going to spit fire 60 percent of the time if you ferociously tune in.

Look: Vermont hasn't exactly scorched earth to Atlanta over the last few seasons. With an average LaxPower ranking of 45 over the last three seasons and an aggregated record of 11-34, the Catamounts aren't going to be showing up on ESPNU graphics any time soon (at least in a good way). This is a program that will be breaking in 19 fresh faces in 2013, joining a team that was just 2-12 a year ago with wins over Sacred Heart (a team that gave Wagner its lone win of the season) and Binghamton (a 4-9 outfit). Ryan Curtis isn't going to have an easy job next spring and the schedule -- which isn't impossible relative to the slates that Division I's other 62 teams will play -- isn't exactly filled with penciled-in Gatorade baths.

To the breakdown!

Praying that God is a Merciful God
February 16: Colgate; March 5: @ Virginia

While Vermont may not have many Gatorade baths this year, these two games look like the Catamounts are going to get a bath of a different kind: in blood. Vermont will start the season facing Peter Baum and a Raiders team that is lurking as a Championship Weekend candidate and will also take a trip to Curtis' alma mater to face a Cavaliers team that has the potential to make a lot of noise in 2013. Vermont isn't winning either of these games, but they'll probably learn some important teaching points, like how to dress and care for wounded pride.

Show Me Potential Wins!
March 9: v. Quinnipiac; March 16: Wagner; March 19: Holy Cross; March 23: @ Sacred Heart; April 20: @ Binghamton

There's obviously a sliding scale in play here, but it looks like the Catamounts will have a sense of competitiveness in at least five games this season. That isn't a bad ratio on a 13-game slate, but with the majority of these games coming in the non-conference portion of Vermont's schedule, Curtis at least has an eye toward getting some digits in the left-hand column of his team's record. None of these teams are all that good -- there are three teams here from the NEC, which is arguably the worst conference in Division I lacrosse -- but with these opponents the Catamounts will give themselves an opportunity to get out of Reverse Survivor contention before the competition really heats up.

Dead on Arrival?
March 30: @ Stony Brook; April 6: @ UMBC; April 13: Albany

Someone at Vermont pissed off someone at the America East Conference. The back-end of the Catamounts' schedule is entirely America East-driven, with the team's final five games all conference affairs. That's generally a good thing for a team that will likely need to play its way into the league tournament, but Vermont may not even get that opportunity to do so in 2013: The Catamounts will face what may be three of the league's best teams in back-to-back-to-back weeks to start their conference push. That's a tough start to what could be a rough conference run for Vermont. This isn't a program that has performed all that well in the America East over the last three seasons, finishing with a combined 4-11 record over that span. This schedule isn't helping.

Godspeed, Catamounts.