The Cats are likely on the cusp of playing their toughest opponent of the season.

“We’re not going to sneak up on them,” UVM head coach John Becker said regarding Providence College. “They’re going to be bigger, strong, more athletic and they’re going to play just as hard as us and just as tough as us, so it’s a challenging game for sure.”

Early this season, it looked as though then-No. 21 Maryland would present the toughest test for Vermont, and while Providence is not currently ranked, an argument can certainly be made that the 8-1 Friars could easily be a top-25 team.

“It’s a good test for us to see how tough we are compared to a high major team that kind of has the same values in defense and toughness that we do,” UVM senior forward Ryan Davis said. “This is a chance for us to showcase who we can be and where we are in this process.”

Vermont’s meeting with PC is one of two games in Providence this week. The Catamounts are also set to take on Brown this Friday, Dec. 10. Even though the trip to Rhode Island is a shorter trek than UVM had to make to the Gulf Coast Showcase and to UNC-Greensboro, every road trip presents its own challenges.

“Any time you’re away from home for a couple days, it starts to feel like you’ve been gone for a while,” Becker said.

UVM begins the trip with the contest against Providence College on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m.