(Photo Courtesy of Vermont Athletics)
After falling in three of the past four America East title games (2016, 2018, 2019) the Vermont Catamounts have finally gotten over the hump and are NCAA Tournament bound for the first time in program history, taking down UAlbany 15-10 to capture that first-ever conference title and NCAA Tournament berth.
Following a back-and-forth first half which saw the Catamounts take a narrow 8-7 lead after two goals from Thomas McConvey and Tommy Burke within the final 13 seconds of the half, Vermont stepped on the gas in the third quarter and din’t let up until the final buzzer sounded. The Catamounts put in three straight, including two from Liam Limoges, to start the third, extend their run to five, and take a 12-7 lead.
The Danes were able to answer with two straight from Corey Yunker and Alex Burgmaster, but a Thomas McConvey goal in the dying seconds of the quarter pushed Vermont back in front by four. The Catamounts held Albany to just one goal in the fourth quarter and added two of their own to secure the victory.
In addition to the Vermont defense, which caused six of Albany’s turnovers and was anchored by an 8-save performance from Ryan Cornell, Tommy Burke’s dominance at the faceoff gave the Catamounts a sizable possession advantage. Burke went 23-for-26 at the dot, which included a perfect 10-for-10 second quarter.
The Catamounts’ offense was led by Thomas McConvey with six points off four goals and two assists. Liam Limoges (3G/1A), David Closterman (1G/3A), and Michael McCormick (2G/2A) each had four points.
Corey Yunker led the Danes with eight points off six goals and two assists.
Vermont is the second team to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. High Point became the first after beating Richmond in the SoCon Tournament yesterday.