Michael Skelton - America East coaching staff of the year

Michael Skelton is a member of the University of Vermont women's soccer coaching staff that was named America East coaching staff of the year. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BURLINGTON, VT. — The University of Vermont women's soccer coaching staff was named America East coaching staff of the year, including first assistant Michael Skelton, a Kennett High alumni and former head coach of the varsity girls’ soccer team.

The America East Conference announced the award on Nov. 2.

“Led by head coach Kristi Huizenga, Vermont captured its first regular-season title since 1996 and just it's second in league history. Huizenga is assisted by Michael Skelton and Gene Bushey. The team was the top seed for the #AEWSOC Championship for just the second time. UVM’s 12 wins are its most since 1996. Vermont won its last seven conference games and rides a seven-game winning streak into the America East Championship.”

Accoridng to the UVM website, "Cricket Basa scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute as the top-seeded Catamounts defeated the six-seed New Hampshire 1-0 on Nov. 7 in front of 2,017 fans at Virtue Field to clinch the program's first America East Tournament Championship. With Vermont's ninth win in a row, it has claimed the conference's automatic qualifier to the 2021 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament."

The team drew Princeton University in the opening round of the tourney.

Princeton forward Tatum Gee scored twice in the opening 20 minutes leading the Tigers in a 2-0 win over Vermont Friday evening in the 2021 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament at Sherrerd Field in Princeton, N.J. The Catamounts conclude the 2021 campaign with a record of 12-6-1.

Skelton came to Catamount Country after a two-year stint at Niagara University in the same role. Skelton was involved in all aspects of the program at Niagara including individual player development, scouting reports, recruiting, video analysis and travel management. In his time with the Purple Eagles, they were 11-11-2 and advanced to the MAAC Semifinals in 2019 and the MAAC Quarterfinals during the spring of 2021.

During his stint in Western New York, Skelton was also the head coach of the 2009 and 2006 WNY Flash girls teams. Before Niagara, he served as an assistant coach at Colby College and UNC Asheville.

Skelton, a native of Conway, was an All-American soccer player at Lasell College in Newton, Mass. He served as team captain in three of his collegiate seasons and was named GNAC Player of the Year twice. He holds the Lasell College record for goals and points in a season and career goals and points. Following the completion of his collegiate career, Skelton spent time playing semi-professional soccer in England.

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