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The women’s soccer team started out slowly, going 0-3 in their first three contests and 3-6 through nine games. However, UVM gained momentum in the second half of the season to put together a 6-2-1 mark over the final nine games of the regular season, including a 6-0-1 record versus America East opponents.The Cats also returned to the America East women’s soccer playoffs after a one-year hiatus; Vermont fell to national power Hartford in the semifinals.The Catamounts relied heavily on freshman standout Kelly Herrero in the beginning of the season. The fleet-footed forward scored six of the Cats’ first eight goals of the year, including game-winners versus Quinnipiac and Cornell. Vermont’s main weapon in the second half of the season was junior Megan Mattes. An America East All-Conference selection for the third time in her career, Mattes became UVM’s all-time leading scorer.

The women’s basketball team was the top choice in the 1998 America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll to open the 1998-99 season. The Cats opened the season with a thrilling 73-71 overtime victory over Rhode Island in Patrick Gymnasium. Optimism for the season ahead was tempered with injury concerns for Karalyn Church and Holly Harris. Church returned to the lineup after missing the opener. Harris missed all of the first semester’s games after arthroscopic surgery on both knees. In the second semester, the Cats anticipated not only the return of Harris to the floor, but also sophomore transfer Kerry Duggan, now eligible to play after transferring from St. John’s.

The 1998-99 season will conclude with the America East Women’s Basketball Tournament, which will be hosted by Vermont on March 3 through 6 at Patrick Gymnasium.

Although they came up short in their attempt to earn an America East playoff bid, Coach Roy Patton’s men’s soccer team finished at 9-8-1 to post their second straight winning season. It marked the first time since 1991 that UVM has posted back-to-back winning records. Among the highlights in 1998 was the team’s first-ever outright Smith Barney Classic title in September. Catamount standouts included senior Chris Rose, who was named as the All-America East second team goalkeeper and senior forward Armann Fenger, who was the team’s scoring leader with seven goals and three assists.

The men’s basketball team went into the year looking to improve on one of the most successful seasons in some time. Led by last year’s America East Rookie of the Year Tony Orciari, seven of the top eight players return for 1998-99. Senior captains Jared Steele and Matt Chotkowski are joined in the frontcourt by the top newcomer, 6-7 frosh Trevor Gaines. Juniors David Roach, Tobe Carberry, and Tyler Murphy team with Orciari to form one of the league’s best backcourts.

The men’s hockey team got off to a strong start in the 1998-99 season, posting a 5-3 overall record (3-1-0 in the ECAC) after eight games. Coach Mike Gilligan’s team is young but very talented, and determined to prove the league coaches wrong. In the pre-season poll, Vermont was picked to finish 10th overall, but clearly this team will finish much higher than that, if the first eight games are any indication. Senior captain Jason Reid was leading the team in scoring with five goals and five assists for ten points, while sophomore Philippe Choiniere had a team-high six goals in the early going. In goal, senior Marty Phillips has looked very strong, posting a shutout against Rensselaer. Sophomore Andrew Allen has also played well between the pipes, getting a pair of wins and continuing his fine play from a year ago.

The UVM ski team will be loaded for another NCAA title run in 1999. Coach Chip LaCasse returns a gondola full of top skiers ready to bring another NCAA Championship trophy back to Vermont. Top returning nordic skiers include juniors Tessa Benoit, Caroline Mjoen, and Anette Nilssen on the women’s side and Ruben Andersen, Sindre Brurok, and David Stewart for the men. In alpine, sophomores Sarah Laidlaw, Erica MacConnell, and Taylor Watts return, as do NCAA Giant Slalom champion Brandon Dyksterhouse and Christopher Phillips.

Catch the Cats
Even if Gutterson is miles away from home, alumni can still be a part of UVM hockey action this season. UVMers will gather at sites from Rutland to Wichita to Honolulu on Feb. 12 for the annual UVM Hockey Face-Off, a live satellite link to UVM’s game with Cornell. See page 26 for details. Alumni in New England have the opportunity to see the Cats in person and get together with fellow alumni at receptions planned for upcoming games with Dartmouth, Harvard, and Brown.


Women’s Hockey:
University of Vermont vs. University of Southern Maine
Opening Night — November 20, 1998 — Gutterson Fieldhouse

Before she dropped the ceremonial first puck to open UVM’s inaugural women’s varsity hockey game, President Judith Ramaley asked the teams’ captains for a little instruction on technique. “I’m new at this,” she said with a wry smile. The players might have reassured the president that she wasn’t alone. Though both the Southern Maine squad and UVM were seasoned as club teams, this would be the first varsity game for both — reveling in all that means from travel budgets to new uniforms to more fans in the seats.

About eight hundred were on hand for the historic game – lonely by men’s hockey standards, a crowd compared to what the women’s squad was used to as a club sport.

The bleachers were a mix of friends and family, and diehard UVM hockey fans thrilled to have another excuse to spend a Friday evening in Gutterson.

When Jen Welch, a sophomore from Roslindale, Mass., slapped one in at 11:09 in the first period she made history with the Catamounts’ first varsity goal. While the refs stopped the game to hand over the historic puck to the UVM squad, Welch’s friends — Mark Denzihl ’01, Allison Baiter ’01, Jesse Foote ’01, Marissa Kenler ’01, and Jessica Noble ’01 — whooped it up in the stands. “Awesome!” They speculated that you’ll see more students at the games in the future. “People are talking about it.”

While the Cats built a quick 2-0 lead on the ice, in the bleachers it wasn’t so easy. Bob Ammel of White River Junction, Vt., stood and worked on the large bag of popcorn as he watched daughter Betsy and teammates play. A look in his eye said that sitting during the game wasn’t an option for him. A bit more relaxed, his younger daughter Kylie sat by his side. Like her sister, she’s been playing hockey since age five — skating on boys teams when there were no other options. Asked if she’d like to play for UVM someday, Kylie says, “I’d like to go anywhere that I could play hockey.”

A few rows down Bill Gremp and his daughter, Julia, of Greenwich, Conn. cheered for daughter/sister Jordan, a junior. Bill, sporting a UVM women’s hockey baseball cap, a bow tie, blue blazer with an ice-white rose on the lapel, and blue jeans was dressed just right for a Vermont hockey premiere. “When she first came here, Jordan hoped that the program would make the move to varsity. We all did. This is a lot more exciting to have the band here, the mascots…,” the proud hockey dad says.

Timothy Hawley (known to Gutterson regulars as “The Man with the Flag”) and his wife Suzanne made room in their hearts for women’s hockey as well as men’s two years ago when Dennis Miller ’89 became coach. The Hawleys remember Miller’s days as a Catamount skater with great fondness; their trademark green and gold flag dates from the Cats’ trip to the Boston Garden during those years. “We just love the collegiate game,” Timothy Hawley says. “We enjoy good clean hockey — men’s or women’s. Better than the NHL any day.”

Ten rows up at the end of the arena, Chuck Ross ’78 watches the game with his kids, Sam and Halley. A standout defenseman for Coach Jim Cross’s Catamounts during his days in school, Ross is impressed with the skating and puck handling of both teams. “I think women’s hockey has a great future at UVM. I predict you’ll see them climbing up the ranks.”

By the time the evening is over the Cats will have notched their first varsity victory, 4-2, and delivered a clear message that a new era has dawned at Gutterson Fieldhouse, an era that promises lots more fun for the faithful sitting in those green bleachers.