Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON –– Sophomore forward Natalie Durieux registered her first collegiate goal in the fifth minute of Friday night’s contest to guide the Catamounts (1-0, 0-0 AE) to a 1-0 victory over Sacred Heart (0-1, 0-0 NEC) at Virtue Field.
“The game was a little tighter than we would have liked but it’s always nice to get a shutout at home especially in the first game,” head coach Kristi Huizenga said. “I thought we brought a bit of attacking flare and I thought the goal was very creative.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Durieux directed a pass from Frances O’Donnell over the right shoulder of Pioneers’ goalkeeper Elyssa Kipperman (6 saves) for the early strike.
Sacred Heart nearly answered in the 35th minute with a deep kick by Meadow Mancini that rattled off the right post. On the rebound, Kathryn White tried to finish with a low line drive by UVM goalie Kacey Lambertson (3 saves) corralled the shot.
Durieux eyed her second goal of the evening in the 68th minute but her attempt towards the bottom left corner of the net was stopped by Kipperman.
In the 79th minute, Nichol Green fired a shot off the left upright, which sparked chaos in front of the goal. Sacred Heart was awarded a corner kick and Green sent a shot that was swallowed up by Vermont’s relief netminder Lydia Kessel (6 saves).
UVM is unbeaten in its last three season openers (2-0-1).
Lambertson and Kessel earned the combined clean sheet. Friday night’s season-opening shutout is the first of kind for the Cats since 2007.
O’Donnell’s assist is the first of her Catamount career.
The Catamounts improve to 5-0 all-time against the Pioneers.
With the victory, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate $100 to Make-A-Wish Vermont; bringing this year’s total to 55 wins and $5,500.
Vermont will head to Army for a Sunday (Aug. 25) matinee. The opening kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Fans can watch the contest for free on the Patriot League Network.