Michael McCormack ’20 wraps up successful year with University of Vermont men’s lacrosse

By Blaise Siefer

Courtesy: Michael McCormack
Michael McCormack ’20 celebrates a goal for University of Vermont men’s lacrosse. The attacker had 33 goals this spring, ranking second on the team in that category.

Michael McCormack’s ’20 graduate season with University of Vermont (UVM) men’s lacrosse came to a close this weekend, with UVM falling to University of Maryland in the first round of the NCAA tournament, 17–11. 

After graduating from Middlebury last spring, McCormack moved up to Burlington last fall to join the UVM men’s lacrosse team. Since he only played three seasons at Middlebury, McCormack still had NCAA eligibility and landed on the D-I Catamounts as a prime destination to continue his academic and athletic careers. 

After practicing through the fall and winter, McCormack and UVM finally played a competitive season this spring. In a record-breaking season, the Catamounts (9–5) won the American East tournament against University of Albany on May 8 — the first time UVM has earned that honor — and subsequently advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time.

“It was one of our goals and something they thought was very possible,” McCormack said in an interview with The Campus. “And to actually do it this year for the first time was very special — it’ll be something we all remember for our entire lives. It’s a testament to the culture that our coaches have built and all the work we’ve put into the past year.”

On Sunday, the Catamounts fell to #3 Maryland — a perennial national contender — in the tournament’s first round. While it snapped UVM’s fairytale run short, the team still exceeded expectations, with graduate player McCormack leading the way. With 44 total points behind 33 goals and 11 assists, McCormack ranked fourth in the team on points this season. 

For his efforts, McCormack was named to the Tewaaraton Watch List in April, an award that annually honors the top male and female lacrosse players in the country. Equivalent to the Heisman Trophy in college football, the award is the most sought-after individual distinction for collegiate lacrosse players. 

“It’s pretty prestigious,” McCormack said. “I guess now, looking back, it’s pretty cool to see how the countless hours have added up — it’s a testament to my teammates and coaching staff.”

If anything, McCormack’s seamless tradition to the D-I sphere is a testament to his grit and determination. It also speaks volumes about the preparation he received with Middlebury’s D-III lacrosse program.

“Given the fact that Middlebury wasn’t playing this year, I had guys who were really tuned into my season and reaching out a good amount,” McCormack said. “Obviously, Coach Campbell and Coach Fitzgerald pretty much reached out after every game — it’s pretty awesome to have that support system.”

With the 2021 spring season in the books, the Massachusetts native is looking forward to spending more time exploring Burlington and hanging out with his teammates. Online classes and lacrosse have soaked up the majority of McCormack’s time since the fall, so as those demands relax, he’ll be able to enjoy some newfound free time.

As for what’s next, McCormack isn’t quite sure. He’s still figuring out if he has any NCAA eligibility left, which, if that’s the case, could open up quite a few doors for one of the premier attackers in college lacrosse.