It has been a long wait between games for Vermont, but the team can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s really taught us to go back to the most simple things. Not only appreciate them, but spend energy and time identifying how good it is to be outside with 30 of the closest people in your life,” head coach Rob Dow said. “What we’re doing right now is special and a really great opportunity that we’re being provided.”
UVM players like captain and Shelburne, Vt.-native Nolan Jimmo admit that it has been tough to lose motivation among all the uncertainty over the past 15 months. He considers himself lucky to live so close to home, but realizes that some of his teammates have to deal with substantial geographical obstacles.
“We have guys that travel 1,500 miles across continents and across the country and leave families behind,” Jimmo said. “If you look at the mental [aspect] like a glass, we don’t have outside fun activities that are going to fill us up like going to hang out with friends at a beach, or go bowling or whatever. Those things are harder [during a pandemic] so soccer has to be the thing that fills us up.”
Jimmo echoed the same sentiments Dow mentioned, and said he has tried to include more enjoyable drills during practice to help keep spirits high and help alleviate some of the stress that comes with playing college sports during the pandemic.
UVM is also handling losing players to both graduation and opt-outs, so the team has made shifts such as moving junior Alex Nagy to forward to try and generate more goals.
The Catamounts’ non-conference matchups against UMass and Syracuse have been canceled, so now UVM is looking ahead a new season-opener hosting America East rival UMass Lowell on Friday, March 5.