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2018 Men’s Lacrosse Year in Review: #18 Vermont Catamounts

The Catamounts had their most successful season in program history in 2018.

Andy Lewis/Vermont Athletics

With the 2018 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to start looking back at how all 71 teams did during the season, as well as what to expect from each squad for 2019. These are not end of season rankings, as some people might think.

We’re almost done looking back to 2018 with plenty of team recaps thus far and continued our series this week with Lehigh, Saint Joseph’s, and Bucknell.

So with that, let’s continue the recaps!

#18 Vermont Catamounts

Conference: America East
2018 Record: 12-4 (4-2 in America East play)
Postseason: Defeated Stony Brook in America East semifinals, lost to Albany in America East championship
Head coach: Chris Feifs (2nd Year)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Ian MacKay (39)
Assists: Ian MacKay (20)
Points: Ian MacKay (59)
Faceoffs: Charlie Erdmann (133-of-264; 50.4%)
Ground balls: Andrew Simeon (62)
Caused turnovers: Warren Jeffrey (21)
Goals against average: Nick Washuta (7.72 GAA)
Save percentage: Nick Washuta (60.9%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: M Ian MacKay (39 Gs, 20 As, 20 GBs), D James Leary (40 GBs, 19 CTs, 1 A), D Graham Bocklet (16 GBs, 9 CTs), LSM Matt Burke (12 GBs, 14 CTs), SSDM Zack Bucci (10 GBs, 7 CTs, 1 A)
Senior scoring departing: 61 of 258 points (23.6%)
Senior starts lost: 40 of 160 (25%)

Season Summary

The team that had the most wins but didn’t get in the tournament was...Vermont? Surprisingly, yes. Matter of fact, the Catamounts had their most successful season in program history in 2018 and came up one game short of winning the America East.

The season began with five easy wins, highlighted by a win over Quinnipiac. They had two more wins against tougher opponents with an overtime victory over Jacksonville and a three-goal win against Sacred Heart.

Then came conference play that began with Albany. And it wasn’t pretty. A 21-5 rout for the Great Danes, who remained as kings of their conference. After wins over Binghamton, Hartford, and UMass Lowell, Vermont suffered their only losing streak of the season with a double overtime heartbreaker to Stony Brook and a one-goal loss to Virginia after leading for most of the fourth quarter. But the UVA game still showed the Catamounts were a good threat at Albany entering the America East tournament after beating UMBC.

But they had to get past Stony Brook first, which had a different ending than the one three weeks prior. Vermont scored six of the game’s final seven goals and doubled up the Seawolves to face off against Albany in AE title game. But the game was already over in the first quarter, with the Great Danes scoring half of their 14 goals in those 15 minutes without Connor Fields.

Starting at attack, junior Dawes Milchling, sophomore Ben French, and freshman Liam Limoges provided a young yet experienced group of scorers. Milchling finished second on the team with 33 points, one point more than Limoges. French wrapped up his sophomore campaign with 28 points, 24 of them coming as goals. Redshirt-senior Ian MacKay was a blessing to have back for Chris Feifs and company for one more year. He didn’t skip a beat, leading the Catamounts with 39 goals and 20 assists. Along with him for the majority of the season were two 30-point scorers in junior Braiden Davis and sophomore Rob Hudson. Juniors Charlie Cobb and Jack Knight as well as sophomore Liam Rischmann also played valuable roles on offense.

Vermont’s defense was spearheaded by senior James Leary and junior Warren Jeffrey who both started in all 16 games this past season. Fellow senior Graham Bocklet accompanied them as the third close defenseman. Junior Andrew Simeon served as the top LSM for the Catamounts along with senior Matt Burke as his backup. The short stick middies consisted of senior Zack Bucci, junior Mark Marciano, sophomore Matt Sealy, and freshman Spencer Decker. Sophomore Charlie Erdmann handled most of the faceoff duties going 50.4% with freshman Alex Semler going 21-of-42 as the main backup, while sophomore Nick Washuta had a fantastic season in his second year as the starting goalie. The Third Team Media All-American recorded a 7.72 goals against average and a 60.9% save percentage for Vermont.

Looking Ahead

The biggest loss overall is MacKay and his leadership. He was a phenomenal player in Burlington and will definitely be missed. However, there’s plenty of offensive firepower still around on the team. The entire starting attack has at least one year under their belt, along with Jack Knight, while the midfield retains Davis and Hudson. Look for Cobb, Rischmann, Matt Gudas, and Matt Palmer to get more production next year.

As for the defense, that has a little more work to be done with the losses of Leary and Bocklet. Warren Jeffrey returns for his senior year along with three of the four shorties. Junior Drew Lewis appeared in six games last season and will probably get an expanded role. Perhaps Simeon could move to close defense as the third guy? Whatever the case, Vermont still has a legit case for contending in the America East, especially with an Albany team that has lost a ton of key pieces this offseason.

Here’s who the Catamounts will be adding to their roster for next year.*

Vermont’s Unofficial Class of 2018

Player Position High School
Player Position High School
Porter Awad Defense/LSM Eastview (MN)
Carson Brown Defense/LSM Fordham Prep (NY)
Ross Buchman Defense MICDS (MO)
Sam Cioffi Attack Lawrence Academy (MA)
David Closterman Attack/Midfield Academy of the New Church (PA)
Dobson Cooper Attack Staples (CT)
Amos Gilbert Midfield Salisbury (CT)
Paul Governale Defense/LSM Salisbury (CT)
Salvatore Iaria Midfield Westminster (CT)
Jonathan McConvey Attack/Midfield St. Michael's (ON)
Brendan O'Brien Defense St. John's Prep (MA)
Jake Quilty Midfield Hingham (MA)
Matt Shaffer Goalie Tabor Academy (MA)

*Compiled from a multitude of websites. Schools usually officially announce their recruiting class during the fall semester.

Poll

How many wins will Vermont get in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    0-6
    (4 votes)
  • 13%
    7-8
    (7 votes)
  • 33%
    9-10
    (17 votes)
  • 45%
    11+
    (23 votes)
51 votes total Vote Now