VERMONT MEN’S LACROSSE NOTEBOOK
The Vermont men’s lacrosse team continues play this weekend with its home opener against Colgate on Saturday (Feb. 14) at 1 p.m. The game will be streamed live for free at CatamounTV.com.
The Catamounts sit at 0-1 on the year after falling to No. 14 Penn State in the team’s season opener in Pennsylvania. Reigning America East Rookie of the Year Ian MacKay tops the squad with four points on three goals and one assist. Junior James Barlow is tied with MacKay for the team-lead in goals (3) following his second career hat trick against Penn State in the opener. Sophomores Karl Weller and Cam Milligan tallied the other goals for the Catamounts against the Nittany Lions, and senior Dyson White registered one assist in the contest.
Vermont returns eight of its top 10 scorers from a season ago, including MacKay, who tallied a team-high 42 points in 2014. Senior captain Andrew Buckanavage (16 goals) and Barlow (7 goals, 10 assists) will look to help pace the Catamount offense once again. Goalie Justin Rosenberg is back for his junior season after finishing last year with the second-highest save percentage (.513) among America East goalies.
LAST TIME OUT
Vermont held its own in the season opener at 14th-ranked Penn State, but ultimately fell to the Nittany Lions by a final of 15-8. Matt Florence of Penn State led all scorers with five points (3 g, 2 ast), and TJ Sanders added three goals and one helper. MacKay and Barlow combined to score six of the Catamounts’ eight goals, with Barlow registering two of his tallies in the second half. Sophomore Luc LeBlanc went 13-27 to lead Vermont in the X, while classmate Ben Cox led the defensive effort with a game-high six ground balls. Rosenberg took the loss despite a nine-save performance.
Vermont added 19 players, including four attackmen, six midfielders, two defensemen, three long-stick middies, two faceoff men and two goalies, to help bolster its roster for the upcoming campaign.
The freshmen newcomers consist of: Bubba Anderson (Montgomery Villgae, Md.), Graham Bocklet (Waccabuc, N.Y.), Zack Bucci (Crown Point, Ind.), Matt Burke (Timonium, Md.), Dan Flock (Ellicott City, Md.), Matt Gudas (Concord, N.H.), Nate Howard (Damascus, Md.), James Leary (Seabrook, N.H.), Bailey Martin (Wilmington, Del.), Jake Richards (Dover, Mass.), Cam Stafford (Greenwich, Conn.) and Connor Van Ryn (Whitby, Ontario).
Sophomores Andrew Duffy (Katonah, N.Y./SUNY Cortland), Luc LeBlanc (Essex, Vt./Castleton), Christian Magnan (Bedford, N.Y./SUNY Cortland), Cam Milligan (Peterborough, Ontario/Towson) and Kyle Walsh (Garden City, N.Y.), along with juniors John Brainard (New Canaan, Conn./UMass) and Patrick Buono (East Greenbush, N.Y.) round out the rest of the newcomers.
In January, head coach Ryan Curtis announced that senior Andrew Buckanavage and junior Bryan Capone will captain the 2015 Catamounts.
Buckanavage enters his second season as a team captain after being voted into the role by his teammates last year. In addition to tallying the third-highest goal total on the squad in 2014, Buckanavage also registered multi-point efforts in six contests, including back-to-back three-goal performances to close out the season.
Capone, a junior defenseman, will look to anchor the back line again for the Catamounts in his third season with the program. In 2014, he made 12 appearances on defense and finished the season ranked third on the squad in caused turnovers (9). The Liverpool, New York native forced a season-high three caused turnovers against Providence, and picked up multiple ground balls in three different contests.
The Raiders topped No. 19 Bryant in its season-opening tilt last Saturday by a score of 9-5. Peter Donato and Jack Stebbins scored two goals apiece, while Matt Clarkson led the squad with three points on a goal and two helpers. Seven different Raiders tallied at least one goal to help propel Colgate to victory. Goalie Brandon Burke earned the win in net after stopping 11 shots and allowing just five goals. Burke was named the USILA National Defensive Player of the Week and Patriot Goalkeeper of the Week following the performance.
Colgate was picked to finish fifth out of nine teams in the Patriot League Preseason Poll, and senior defenseman Matt Yeager was chosen for the Preseason All-Patriot League Team. Matt Walsh and Eric Foote are the top returning scorers for the Raiders from last season, as the two combined for 72 points on 49 goals and 23 assists.
On Saturday, Vermont and Colgate will matchup for the 26th time in series history. Colgate holds a slight advantage (16-9) in the series, and topped Vermont in Hamilton, New York a season ago.
Vermont hits the road to battle Providence on Saturday (Feb. 21) at 1 p.m.