Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON – Brian Wright’s 10th goal of the season proved to be a game-winner leading the Vermont Catamounts to a 1-0 victory over Binghamton and capturing the 2015 America East Men’s Soccer Championship before 1,913 fans on Virtue Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Catamounts won their fifth America East Championship in program history and second under head coach Jesse Cormier. Cormier, who picked up his 100th career victory at UVM with the win, also led UVM to a title in 2007, its last, with a 1-0 victory at Binghamton.
Vermont improves to 11-6-3 and will make its ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, first since 2007. UVM will find out its opponent on Monday during the NCAA Selection Show, which will be streamed online via NCAA.com at 1 p.m.
Binghamton put the pressure on the Catamounts right from the kickoff, but UVM goalkeeper Greg Walton made two stops to keep the Bearcats off the scoreboard.
In the 33rd minute, Jaime Miralles threaded a thru ball behind the Binghamton defense. Wright picked up the pass in stride and hit a one-time low strike to the far post. The ball bounced off the post and in to give the Catamounts the 1-0 advantage.
Binghamton’s best scoring chance came in the final seconds of the first half when Pascal Trappe’s strike from the top of the penalty area caromed off the crossbar.
The Catamounts made the 1-0 score stand up in the second half. Binghamton out shot Vermont 10-4 in the second period, but the UVM defense was able to clear any threats the Bearcats threw at them.
Walton finished the match with three saves to pick up his fourth shutout of the season. Robert Moewes was credited with four stops in the Binghamton net.
Wright was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament and was joined on the all-championship team by teammates Jackson Dayton, Jack Shea and Nile Walwyn.
Dayton was also named the winner of the America East Elite 18 Award for men’s soccer. The honor recognizes student-athletes who exemplify excellence both in their sport and in the classroom. Dayton owns a 3.72 GPA as a mechanical engineering major at Vermont.
NOTES: Vermont won the America East title on its home turf for the first time since 2000 and moved to 3-1 in championship games at home … The Catamounts are 6-1-2 in games when they score in the first half this season … Wright’s goal pushed him past head coach Jesse Cormier among the all-time goal scorers at UVM … He takes over sixth place all-time … Wright has eight points in the last three matches … His 10 goals and 27 points are the most since Tony Anderson ’04 scored 12 times and registered 30 points in his senior season … His 10 goals also ties him for eighth among the all-time single-season leaders at Vermont … The Catamounts were in the America East Championship Game for the eighth time in program history … Head coach Jesse Cormier is 2-0 in championship games … Cormier picked up his 100th career win at Vermont and is just the second head coach in program history to reach the century mark in win.