The Catamounts enter the NCAA Tournament on the heels of their first winning season since 1997, but the success didn’t come overnight.
“It’s been super awesome to see that, the progress from my freshman year,” UVM graduate student midfielder Ella Bankert said.
Just two years ago, UVM missed the America East playoffs, and the drive to get better is one of many factors that led to Vermont finally figuring things out.
“We’ve always had this fire, like this is going to be our revenge season,” UVM senior midfielder Alexa Mihale said. “I’m really proud of every single person on this team.”
“It’s an evolution and it’s a process, and that’s something that we preach to our team day in an day out, just enjoy the process as much as you enjoy the end result,” UVM head coach Kristi Huizenga said. “It’s definitely nice to finally be here.”
The Catamounts are up against Princeton on the Tigers’ home turf in their NCAA Tournament matchup, but the team is happy to be seen as the underdog once again.
“We were kind of thrown of by being the number one seed [in the America East playoffs], so I’m excited to see us play in that underdog mentality,” Bankert said. “That’s kind of how we’re going into it, definitely knowing we have a chance, but also like the pressure is kind of off us.”
UVM plays its first NCAA Tournament game in 37 years on Friday, with a 6 p.m. kickoff against Princeton.