BURLINGTON, Vt. – The University of Vermont men’s lacrosse team announced its 2012 schedule today. The Catamounts will face five teams that ended last season ranked in the final Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, including the national champion Virginia Cavaliers.
The Catamounts open the season by playing their first four games on the road. Vermont travels to Colgate on February 18 for its season opener to face a Raiders squad that finished No. 14 in the nation last year with a mark of 11-5. UVM defeated Colgate early in the year before in went on to win nine of its next 10. The Catamounts are then at Harvard on February 25 and at Bryant on March 3. Harvard went 10-6 last season and 6-2 at home, on its way to being ranked No. 16 in the final poll of the year.
Vermont wraps up its four-game road swing to open the year when it takes on the reigning NCAA Champion Cavaliers on March 6. UVM head coach Ryan Curtis is a Virginia alum and this season will mark the fifth straight year that the two teams will meet.
The Catamounts will play their home opener on March 11 when they host Fairfield in their first game played on the brand new Virtue Field. The Stags are coming off an 8-8 record last season and lost 11-9 in the ECAC Championship game to national semifinal participant Denver. Two days later (March 13) Vermont will be on the road at Holy Cross, a team that the Catamounts are 13-5 against all-time and defeated 15-5 last season.
UVM returns home, where it will play three of its next four contests, on March 17 vs. Sacred Heart and will then host Brown on March 24. The Catamounts open America East action on March 31 when they travel to face Stony Brook. The Seawolves ended last season ranked No. 17 in the country after going 10-4 overall and a perfect 6-0 in league play. Vermont will play its first conference home game on April 7 when it welcomes UMBC to Burlington. The Retrievers are 8-0 all-time against UVM, but each of the last two meetings have been one-goal games.
Vermont travels to face Albany on April 14, as it will look to make it two in a row against the Great Danes after topping them last season for the first time since 2001. The Cats wrap up the season with two of their last three games at home, starting on April 21 when they host Binghamton. The Bearcats made the America East Semifinals last season where they fell to Stony Brook. Vermont will face Dartmouth in its final non-conference and regular season home contest of the year.
The Catamounts will end the regular season with a trip to face the reigning America East Champion Hartford Hawks on April 28. The Hawks finished the year ranked No. 19 after knocking off Stony Brook in the America East Championship game, before falling to Cornell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 2012 America East Semifinals will take place on May 2, with the championship game scheduled for May 5. The top four teams in the league standings will qualify for the tournament that will be hosted by the highest seed.
Vermont finished last season with a record of 6-9 overall and went 1-4 in America East play. After opening the year by winning three of their first four games, the Catamounts received votes in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and the USILA Division I Coaches Poll.