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Vermont Dominates In NEWCRC

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Vermont Dominates In NEWCRC

Stephan Toljan, Vermont Cynic, Photo

Why is Vermont the #1-ranked DII team in the country?

Because UVM is shutting teams out. Scoring a ton of points is difficult, to be sure, but blanking opponents is way, way harder, and if you are successful, then you only need to score once to win a game.

Give up two or three tries and you rely more on your offense.

Going into this last weekend, Vermont was about to faced its stiffest rival in Sacred Heart in the NEWCRC final. It turned out not to be too difficult a task. UVM assistant coach Charles Bates said Sacred Heart was hit with injuries, but, again, Vermont blanked the opposition, this time 64-0.

"Credit to the Sacred Heart guys for the effort they put in for all 80 minutes," said Bates.

As for Vermont, "we are certainly having fun," said Nolan Joyce. I do not think we can single out any one or two or more players and Coach wouldn’t want me to. We have a committed group that has bought into the coaching philosophy and everyone understands their job. We have a shared commitment, a shared responsibility, and a shared philosophy about how we will play. Our practices are focused."

The team actually practices at 6:45 AM, because that's when they can all be together and get field time. It works, with the coaching staff being able to get a good 90 minutes in twice a week.

"Our coaches really hold us accountable for our actions and skill sets and we constantly work on getting better," said Joyce. "Our coaches make us practice live on defense every day, sometimes only for a few minutes, but we do it every day and we practice our organization and targeting the ball. It really comes down to our team being there for each other day-in and day-out."

The results have been clear. Vermont has given up only 15 points in conference and playoff action. All 15 were in last week's semifinal over Quinnipiac. Not counting the league game against Quinnipiac (the last game of the season, and wouldn't have any bearing on the standings so was forfeited by New Blue), Vermont has outscored six opponents 225 to 15, with five of those games shutouts.