The 2004-05 season for the University of Vermont Catamounts started and finished
at Centennial Field. On August 28, the womenís soccer team hosted Oklahoma
State in the first game of the Banknorth Classic. On May 28, 10 months later,
the baseball team closed out the year with an inspiring run in the America East
In between, Vermont teams posted faster times on the track and in the pool,
scored more points and goals, and belted out more home runs and base hits, to
thrill the loyal Catamount fans. Some programs and individuals overachieved,
while others handled the pressure to maintain the lofty status as the favorite,
but no matter what the situation, every Vermont team displayed a tremendous
Vermont teams showed a marked improvement in the competitiveness of the athletic
program this season. The winning percentage of the UVM varsity teams rose by
over 100 points from the previous season, improving from .358 in 2003-04 to
.488 in 2004-05. Seven teams improved on their conference standings in 2004-05
and Vermont had five teams with at least a .500 record overall (as opposed to
two in 2003-04). Three Catamount teams Ė menís basketball, baseball, and menís
hockey - posted 20 wins or more and the softball team was two victories shy of
Three UVM teams also ranked among the most improved teams in the NCAA rankings.
The Vermont menís hockey team was the most improved team in the country with a
+12 turnaround in the win column. After being picked to finish 10th in the
ECACHL Preseason Poll, head coach Kevin Sneddon guided the Catamounts to a
fourth place finish in the regular season standings. Vermont earned a
first-round bye in the ECACHL Playoffs and advanced to the ECACHL Final Four
with an exhilarating hard fought three-game series victory over arch rival
A pair of first-year head coaches led the menís and womenís soccer teams to
turnarounds and both programs earned a spot in the NCAAís most improved teams
rankings for the 2004 season. Jessie Cormier led the menís squad to an
improved record of 9-5-5 after finishing 4-9-5 in 2003. Vermont finished the
year as the 23rd most improved team in the country out of 300 other programs.
Kerry Dziczkaniec led the womenís team to a record of 9-9-1, the first .500
record for the program since 1998. The Catamounts ranked as the 59th most
improved team in the country out of 302 programs.
Overall in 2004-05, the Catamounts produced eight All-Americans, 48
all-conference selections, 13 all-New England picks, 11 all-championship team
honorees and broke 60 school records.
Vermont student-athletes were named: America East Player of the Year (Taylor
Coppenrath), ECACHL Rookie of the Year (Joe Fallon), ECACHL Goaltender of the
Year (Kami Cote), the Most Outstanding Player of the America East Menís
Basketball Championship (Taylor Coppenrath), Collegiate Skier of the Year
(Jamie Kingsbury), New England Rookie of the Year (Joe Fallon) and a
Humanitarian Finalist (Kami Cote).
The Catamounts played in front of sold out arenas both at home and on the road.
The menís hockey team will bring a streak of 17 consecutive sellouts into the
2005-06 season, while the menís basketball team posted 13 consecutive sellouts
at Patrick Gymnasium during 2004-05. Both teams played in front of sellout
crowds at opponent venues as well, including two NCAA Menís Basketball
Tournament games in Worcester, Massachusetts, thanks to the loyal Vermont fan
base that travels with the Catamounts where ever they may play.
The city of Burlington came back to life with the return of UVM students in late
August. It also marked the start of the athletic season for the varsity sports
programs at Vermont.
The menís and womenís soccer teams headed into the 2004 season as unknowns as
both teams had new leadership in Cormier and Dziczkaniec. The menís squad was
picked to finish seventh in the America East Preseason Poll, but came away with
a fourth-place finish when the final regular season standings were posted.
With the fourth-place finish, the Catamounts were rewarded with a home game in
the first round of the America East Menís Soccer Championship. Senior Tony
Anderson, the teamís MVP, tallied 30 points, the second most in a single season
at UVM and lead the league in scoring.
The womenís team also boasted a potent scorer in Amy Cochran. She entered a
match against Marist with three goals on the year and scored four in UVMís 5-1
victory to tie the school record for most goals in a game. Cochran went on to
set new single-season records for most goals (13) and points (31) at Vermont.
During the season the Catamounts posted their first regular season tournament
victory outside of Burlington, winning the Brown and Gold Shootout at the
University of Wyoming and posted a 4-0 shutout victory over Boston U, the first
win over the Terriers since 1996. Vermont, anchored by outstanding senior
leadership, finished the year with a record of 9-9-1 on the year and missed a
spot in the America East Championship by one game.
Nicki Houghtonís field hockey team probably had the most obstacles to overcome
than any other Vermont squad this season. The Catamounts had to travel to
every game during the year. UVMís ďhome fieldĒ was moved to Middlebury College
as Vermontís usual home field at the Archie Post Athletic Complex was under
construction as the university began installing a new state-of-the-art turf
field. Despite the distractions, four Catamounts earned America East
All-Conference honors and freshman Katie Flynn was named to the National
Division I All-Rookie Team by womensfieldhockey.com. Houghtonís squad is
looking forward to training and playing on the new surface in 2005.
A pair of newcomers led the menís and womenís cross country teams in 2004.
Freshman Diana Purtz and junior Brad Allen were Vermontís top harriers all
season. Purtz earned America East Performer of the Week honors once during the
season after earning runner-up honors at the UMass Invitational. She was
Vermont's top runner at the women's varsity race at the New England
Championships, the America East Championships and the NCAA Northeast Regional.
Purtz earned her first career collegiate victory at the Saint Michael's
Invitational, posting a personal best mark of 18:43 to lead the Catamounts to a
dominating victory in the team competition. She recorded another personal best
to finish 15th at the America East Championship. Allen, a transfer from Lyndon
State, came back from injuries that prevented him from running last season to
lead the Catamount menís team this year. He was UVMís top runner all season and
led the team to two victories on the year. Allen was the top Catamount at the
America East Championship race, placing 26th overall.
As the fall leaves turned to winter snowflakes, things started to heat up in the
Patrick Gymnasium/Gutterson Fieldhouse Athletic Complex.
The womenís swimming and diving team opened the year with a victory over St.
Francis (Pa.), marking the first time the squad opened the year with a win
since 1991-92. South Burlington native Nicole Underhill made a splash at
Forbush Natatorium. The freshman was a dominating swimmer in her rookie year
for head coach Gerry Cournoyer. She smashed a 22-year old school record in the
400-IM on the first day of competition at the ECAC Championship. On day two,
Underhill broke her second school record in as many days, this time in the
200-butterfly. Vermont finished the year with its first .500 record since
At Patrick Gymnasium, the menís basketball team was looking to defend its
America East Championship, while the womenís team was working toward regaining
its spot among the elite in the league. Both teams opened the 2004-05 season
on the night of November 19th. Head coach Tom Brennanís club traveled to
Lawrence, Kansas to take on the top-ranked Jayhawks. The Catamounts dropped a
hard fought 68-61 decision but the game put Vermont on the radar screen as a
team to watch. Meanwhile, back at Patrick Gym, head coach Sharon Dawleyís team
hosted the 11th Annual Banknorth Classic with one of the most impressive fields
in the tournamentís history. The Catamounts stunned the Louisville Cardinals,
59-56, in the first round to advance to the championship game for the 11th
Senior Taylor Coppenrath and T.J. Sorrentine carried the menís basketball team
through the season as they rolled past the America East competition.
Coppenrath, everybodyís All-American, became the ninth player in America East
history to reach the 2,000-career point plateau in a win over Stony Brook.
Sorrentine, one of the top guards in league history, became the America East
career leader in three-point field goals with four treyís in a win over Albany.
The Catamounts brought the America East Championship Game back to Patrick Gym
for the third straight year. Coppenrath scored 37 points to lead UVM past
Northeastern, 80-57, and earn Vermontís third straight trip to the NCAA Menís
In a storybook ending for a retiring Brennan, who became Vermontís all-time wins
leader when UVM defeated Binghamton to advance to its third straight America
East title game, the Catamounts shocked #4-seeded Syracuse in the first round
of the NCAA Tournament. Senior Germain Mopa-Njila had a career-game, scoring
20 points and grabbing nine rebounds to lead the Catamounts to the stunning
upset. Vermontís dream season came to an end with a loss to Michigan State in
the second round, but not before the Catamounts took a turn in the national
After being picked to finish seventh in the America East Womenís Basketball
Preseason Poll, the Catamounts decided to prove everyone wrong. The senior
leadership of Lani Boardman, Katie McNamara, Tiffany Spinka and Danielle
Sabourin led Vermont to a fourth place finish in the America East standings and
the #4 seed in the America East Womenís Basketball Championship. The
Catamounts played a tough schedule that included a road game against Michigan
State, the same Spartans that lost to Baylor in the national championship game.
During the year, Boardman and McNamara became the 15th and 16th players to
reach the 1,000-point milestone. In back-to-back games, Vermont set a new
school record for fewest points allowed in a 55-27 victory over UMBC and
preceded to set a new school record with 14 three-pointers in a 90-72 victory
over Albany. Vermont earned a quarterfinal victory over Binghamton at the
America East Championship and advanced to the semifinals for the 14th time in
the history of the program.
The frenzy created in Patrick Gym by the play of the basketball teams spilled
over to Gutterson Fieldhouse as both hockey teams played their final season as
members of the ECAC Hockey League.
The menís hockey team was the first collegiate squad to host a game in 2004-05,
facing off against future Hockey East opponent Maine less than 24 hours after
the official start of the season on October 3. On October 29, with a few more
games and practices under their belt, the Catamounts posted one of the biggest
wins in school history, defeating Minnesota-Duluth in Duluth, Minn, 3-2, when
the Bulldogs entered the game as the #1 team in the country. UVM returned to
Gutterson and added another memorable game to the barnís history as freshman
Torrey Mitchell registered a hat-trick, including the game-winner with one
second remaining to lift Vermont to a come-from-behind victory over then #6 New
Hampshire, 5-4. As the ECACHL portion of the schedule arrived, Vermont posted
back-to-back shutouts for the first time in its Division I history, blanking
RPI and Union. Rookie netminder Joe Fallon set a new single-season shutout
record (5) with 11 saves in a victory over Yale. Fallon would go on to earn
ECACHL and New England Rookie of the Year honors and the Catamounts would
finish in fourth place in the ECACHL standings. Vermont hosted Dartmouth in
the ECACHL Quarterfinals at Gutterson, where the Catamounts recorded 17
straight sellouts. After dropping the first game, UVM bounced back to win the
best-of-three series, clinching a trip to the ECACHL Final Four with a 2-1 win
in the deciding third game.
The womenís hockey team was anchored by the play of senior goaltender Kami Cote.
She became the all-time saves leader in womenís hockey history at Vermont with
36 saves at Brown. Cote, a Humanitarian Award finalist, closed out her
tremendous career by becoming the first Vermont womenís hockey player to earn
ECACHL Goaltender of the Year honors and to be named to the ECACHL
All-Conference Team. She set the UVM career saves record and finished her
career ranked second all-time in NCAA Division I womenís hockey history with
3,221 saves and holds the NCAA single-season saves mark with 1,332 stops.
The UVM ski team began the carnival circuit desperately wanting to improve on
its season in 2004, that saw the Catamounts drop their own carnival for the
first time in 32 years, finish second at the EISA Championship for the first
time in 29 years and place fifth overall at the NCAA Championship. The
Catamounts came out on fire, speeding through the Eastern Carnivals and
regaining the EISA title. UVM was the host of the 2005 NCAA Ski Championship,
adding more pressure to the Catamount team. Vermont nearly came away with its
first national championship in 11 years, but could not hold off a strong Denver
program, and finished as the national runner-up for the second time in three
years. Junior Jamie Kingsbury and freshman Greg Hardy set the pace for the
Catamounts on the first day of competition. Despite brutal weather conditions
on Hayride at the Stowe Mountain Resort, Kingsbury and Hardy led the Catamounts
to a sweep of the giant slalom. Kingsbury won her second GS national
championship in her career, becoming the first womenís skier to achieve the
feat in the history of the program. She blew away the stiff competition,
winning the event by over two seconds. Hardy followed with a victory in the
menís giant slalom in his first NCAA appearance. Overall, seven Catamounts
earned 10 All-America citations during the NCAA Championship.
The winter season also marked a milestone in the history of the track and field
program. The Husky Winter Carnival marked the return of menís track and field
program at Vermont after a two-year hiatus. UVM also hosted Middlebury at the
Gardner Collins Indoor Track for the first time in four years and went on to
sweep the Panthers in the dual meet. The Catamounts closed out the indoor
season with strong performances at the 2005 America East and New England Indoor
Track and Field Championships. At the America East meet the womenís distance
medley relay team set a new school record in the event, while four Catamount
newcomers earned All-New England honors at the New England Championships in
their first appearance. Sean Steinhagen finished fourth in the 1,000 meters,
Cassandra Madsen placed sixth in the pole vault, Diana Purtz was third in the
1,000 meters and Channel Hamilton was fourth in the 55-meter dash.
The outdoor season began in Raleigh, North Carolina where the Catamounts
competed at the Raleigh Relays for the first time in recent history. Vermont
returned north after a good showing in Raleigh. Freshman Danica Best became
the first Catamount to qualify for the New England Outdoor Championship in the
heptathlon in four years at a meet at Holy Cross. The Catamounts hit their
stride at the America East Outdoor Championship meet. Freshman Charles
Veronneau led the menís team with 10 points in three events. Fellow classmates
Carmen Lagala and Corinne DiPietro placed second in the 800 meters and javelin,
respectively. UVM closed out the season at the New England Outdoor
Championships where Hamilton (200m), Lagala (800m) and Steinhagen (800m) all
earned fourth place finishes.
The Catamounts carried the excitement of the fall and winter seasons right into
spring. While Taylor Coppenrath and the menís basketball team were winning
the America East Championship game at Patrick Gym and the ski team was battling
for a National Championship in Stowe, the baseball and softball teams began
The softball team came away as co-champions of the Hampton University Tournament
and freshman Aimee Kern was named the tournament MVP. The Catamounts headed to
Florida for spring break and posted a record of 10-3 on the southern trip,
which included an impressive 8-3 victory over perennial power Florida A&M, for
the best start since 1980. Kern, the teamís MVP on the year, went on to break
the single-season home run record helping her own cause in a 10-inning complete
game victory over Hartford towards the end of the season. Teammate Kate
DeForge would tie Kernís home run mark later in the season. Three Catamounts
earned America East All-Conference honors and two more were named to the
All-New England team.
The baseball team opened its season with a pair of wins at George Washington.
Once returning north, freshman Joe Serafin hurled Vermontís first no-hitter
since 2001. He struck out 12 in a seven-inning victory over Siena, in just his
second career start. They closed the regular season with a key sweep of Albany
to earn a berth to the 2005 America East Baseball Championship. Sophomore
Miguel Magrass hit a two-out two-run single in the bottom of the seventh to
lift UVM to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory to clinch the playoff spot. In the
America East Baseball Championship, senior Derek Miller pitched a two-hit
shutout to lead Vermont past Binghamton and kept Vermontís America East playoff
hopes alive in the second day of competition. In the nightcap, UVM eliminated
#1-seeded Northeastern, 6-5, on Frank Rossiís two-out RBI single in the bottom
of the 10th inning to advance to the championship series. Vermont forced a
second championship game versus Maine by winning game one, 6-5 in 10 innings.
Magrass knocked a bases loaded single in the bottom of the 10th to score the
game-winning run. In the deciding game for the championship, Vermont came
within one out of a trip to the NCAA Tournament; however, Maine rallied in the
bottom of the ninth inning and went on to win 6-5 in the bottom of the 11th
inning. Following the season Miller, who was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers
last season, signed a contract with the team and teammate Chris Blazek was
drafted by the Houston Astros.
The Vermont menís lacrosse team opened the year in dramatic fashion with a 9-8
victory over Colgate. Sean Layton netted the game-winner with two seconds
remaining on the clock. The Catamounts also faced nationally ranked teams
Georgetown and Duke during the season, the same Blue Devil team that went on to
play Johns Hopkins in the NCAA National Championship Game. Vermont closed out
the year with three straight victories and finished the season just as it had
begun with a dramatic overtime victory at Quinnipiac. Sophomore Pete Hein
scored the game-winner with 22 seconds left in the extra session to lift UVM
past the Bobcats, 12-11.
The 2005 womenís lacrosse season marked the first year for head coach Jen
Johnson. She picked up her first career victory when Vermont handed Siena a
15-6 loss in the second game of the year. A highlight of the season was senior
Vanessa Coxís play. In a critical game at Binghamton, she scored six goals,
five in the second half, to lift UVM to a 12-11, come-from-behind victory. Cox
also broke two 20-year old UVM records in back-to-back games late in the
season. She became the all-time leading scorer in UVM womenís lacrosse history
with four points against Stony Brook and followed that with five goals versus
UMBC to become the all-time leader in career goals two days later. Cox, Sara
Talbot and freshman Meaghan Hanley all went on to earn America East
The Vermont Athletic Department celebrated the 2004-05 season and its
student-athletes with the Inaugural Rally Awards as a culmination of the year.
Held at the historic Flynn Theatre in downtown Burlington, the all-sports
awards ceremony honored the senior student-athletes, team MVPís and six
departmental awards were handed out.
Coppenrath and junior Christen Faltermeier, a member of the womenís lacrosse
team, were named winners of the Jeff Stone Memorial Award, presented for the
first time in 2005. The award recognizes exceptional contributions by a male
and female student-athlete, in any class, in the area of community service and
The 2005 Rally Awards also marked the first presentation of the Underclass
Athletic Achievement Award, recognizing outstanding athletic accomplishments by
a male and female student-athlete in the freshman, sophomore and junior
classes. Freshman Joe Fallon, a member of the menís ice hockey team, and
sophomore Amy Cochran, a member of the womenís soccer and womenís alpine ski
teams, were the inaugural winners of the award.
The 49th annual Semans Trophy was awarded to seniors Scott Mifsud of the menís
ice hockey team and Stephanie Mead of the womenís soccer team. The Semans
Trophy is present to the senior male and female student-athletes who have
demonstrated a high level of athletic achievement and who earned the respect
and regard of his/her fellow students for leadership, loyalty and service to
T.J. Sorrentine, of the menís basketball team, and Samantha Chase, of the
softball team, were awarded The Russell O. Sunderland Memorial Trophy, which
was presented for the 66th consecutive year. The award given to the senior
male and female student-athletes who, throughout their college careers, have
demonstrated a high level of athletic achievement and who has exemplified the
qualities of character, leadership and persistence in overcoming obstacles.
The Wasson Athletic Prize was handed out for the 76th consecutive year at the
Rally Awards. Lowell Bailey, a member of the Nordic ski team, and swimmer
Allison Buza were the 2005 recipients of the honor, which is presented to the
senior male and female student-athletes who have demonstrated a high level of
athletic achievement and who maintained the highest standard of academic
The final award handed out at the 2005 Rally Awards was the J. Edward Donnelly
Award. This honor is presented annually to the senior male and female
student-athlete who has displayed the greatest accomplishments in individual
athletic performance and who significantly contributed to their teamís overall
performance. The 2005 winners of the J. Edward Donnelly Award were Coppenrath
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