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2019 Men’s College Lacrosse Year In Review: #23 Vermont Catamounts

The Catamounts looked like the best team from the America East, but were unable to take the conference championship.

Andy Lewis

With the 2019 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to look back at how all 73 teams did during the season, along with an early look at each squad for 2020.

Note: These are not end of season rankings.

Here’s our last five Year In Review posts we’ve done:

To see all of our posts, check out the 2019 Year In Review section on the site.

Let’s continue our 2019 Year In Review!

#23 Vermont Catamounts

Conference: America East
2019 Record: 8-7 (4-2 in America East)
Postseason: Defeated Albany in America East semifinals, lost to UMBC in America East Championship
Head coach: Chris Feifs (3rd Season)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Ben French (29)
Assists: Dawes Milchling (16)
Points: Dawes Milchling (39)
Faceoffs: Alex Semler (137-of-259; 52.9%)
Ground balls: Alex Semler (60)
Caused turnovers: Warren Jeffrey (15)
Goals against average: Nick Washuta (9.70 GAA)
Save percentage: Nick Washuta (56.3%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: A Dawes Milchling (23 Gs, 16 As, 15 GBs, 6 CTs), M Jack Knight (15 Gs, 12 As, 10 GBs, 2 CTs), D Warren Jeffrey (15 CTs, 26 GBs), LSM Andrew Simeon (10 CTs, 58 GBs, 2 Gs), SSDM Braiden Davis (1 CT, 5 GBs, 1 G, 2 As), SSDM Mark Marciano (2 CTs, 8 GBs)
Senior scoring departing: 74 of 276 points (26.8%)
Senior starts lost: 30 of 150 (20%)

Season Summary

2018 saw Vermont record their best season in program history. But despite that accomplishment, they were unable to top Albany to win the America East. The win-loss record went down in 2019, but the Catamounts returned back to the conference title game.

After a season-opening win out west against Utah, Vermont returned back east and suffered their first loss of the season to Navy. The Catamounts gave up a pair of six-point performances to Greyson Torain and Ryan Wade in the defeat. Vermont split their next four games with wins against Holy Cross in a solid defensive performance and Quinnipiac in a good offensive performance. They did suffer losses against Boston University and Hobart, the former saw the team commit 26 turnovers against the Terriers.

Vermont was 3-3 entering their America East conference opener against UMBC. They struggled for three quarters and trailed 10-4 entering the fourth quarter. But the Catamounts scored eight of the final nine goals of the game, including the game-winner from Dawes Milchling in double overtime for the win. Following a win over Hartford, the Catamount offense went quiet yet again in a surprising 8-4 loss to UMass Lowell. It was the second time in the month of March Vermont scored four goals in a game. Then came their biggest game to date against Albany in their annual Rally Against Cancer game. The Great Danes took a 6-3 lead into halftime, but the Catamounts mounted a big second half comeback and took their only lead with 2:04 left in the game on a Milchling goal and held on for their first win against Albany since 2011.

A win over Binghamton was followed by a tough loss to Stony Brook, who would eventually be the top seed in the America East Tournament. Vermont scored six goals in the first quarter and had a 7-2 lead at halftime, but the Seawolves scored eight of the 10 second half goals to escape with a big win. The team then lost to Penn to end the regular season. In the conference tournament, the Catamounts met Albany yet again and used a 4-0 fourth quarter run to break a nine all tie to return to the conference title game against fourth-seeded UMBC. Vermont led 10-6 early in the third quarter when the Retrievers went on a game-changing 5-0 run to take a one-goal lead. Both teams alternated goals, ending with UMBC scoring the final goal with 1:06 left in regulation. Vermont lost the following faceoff and saw their season come to a surprising end.

Milchling spearheaded an attack trio that also included Ben French for nearly the entire season. The third starting attackman was originally Liam Limoges, who finished with 13 goals and 11 assists in nine games. But injuries shortened his season and freshman David Closterman filled in very well, recording 37 points on the year. He wasn’t the only freshman, as Vermont’s top three midfielders that started the majority of the games were also first-year players. Thomas McConvey, Sal Iaria, and Jonathan McConvey all supported a class that produced roughly 39.9% of the team’s goal, assist, and point production. Jack Knight, Rob Hudson, and Liam Rischmann were also notable midfielders.

Warren Jeffrey was the senior leader at close defense with sophomore Andrew Bauersfeld and freshman Will Jones also starting most of the season. Freshman Chris Cote started three games at close defense before being the second long stick midfielder behind senior Andrew Simeon. Freshman Paul Governale was also an LSM. John Gressett, Spencer Decker, Mark Marciano, and Braiden Davis were the main short stick defensive midfielders. With Nick Washuta backstopping all 15 games in goal, sophomore Alex Semler went 52.9% from the faceoff X. Freshman Michael Giaquinto went 52% on 98 draws in six games during the season.

Looking Ahead

Led by Vermont’s youth movement, the Catamounts will continue to grow as a program under head coach Chris Feifs in 2020.

With Milchling graduated, look for Limoges to slot back in to a starting role at attack. Jack Knight is the only offensive midfielder graduating, but that should not be a hard spot to fill. Iaria and the two McConvey brothers already developed great chemistry last season and that should continue.

Cote could have a few options entering the fall. The team could put him back at close defense to fill the spot voided by Jeffrey. Or he could be the team’s top LSM with Simeon gone. Marciano and Davis are two of Vermont’s senior shorties that depart.

All in all, the Catamounts could finally have the pieces needed to win the America East championship and not have to worry about an extremely talented Albany squad.

Poll

How many wins will Vermont get in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    0-5
    (4 votes)
  • 15%
    6-7
    (9 votes)
  • 35%
    8-9
    (21 votes)
  • 43%
    10+
    (26 votes)
60 votes total Vote Now