The Twin Valley boys’ soccer game with Windsor on Oct. 14 had the feel of a dress rehearsal for the postseason.
A cold, blustery night on the lumpy, bumpy, and chewed-up turf of Hayford Field. A big crowd for Senior Night. A tough opponent that held the Wildcats scoreless for the first 55 minutes of the game.
All these elements were present, and the Wildcats performed almost flawlessly in dispatching the Yellowjackets, 3-0.
“That was the message to them before the game — that it’s tournament time and that we needed to treat this game as a tune-up for the playoffs,” said Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford. “The defense was rock solid and we clearly dominated against an improving team.”
Twin Valley goalkeeper Kyle Murdock faced just one shot on goal as the Wildcats controlled the flow of play for most of the game. But even though they had a stiff west wind at their backs in the first half, the Wildcats were held scoreless.
“We wanted the wind in the first half because we thought we’d score some goals and get an early lead,” said Hayford. “It was discouraging that we didn’t score, but we stayed patient in the second half and it paid off.”
Twin Valley finally broke through with 23:59 left in the second half when Windsor goalkeeper Tanner Fitzherbert was caught out of position as a centering pass from Justin Hicks found Nick Nilsen at the top of the penalty area. Nilsen followed the ball into the net, and the game was pretty much over at that point.
Logan Park added an insurance goal with 18 minutes left when he knocked in a loose ball, and Hicks got the final goal with 3:55 remaining with a hard shot from 20 yards out.
The Wildcats were coming off a 4-2 win over Stratton Mountain School on Oct. 10. Nilsen had three goals and an assist. Skyler Boyd also scored for Twin Valley, and Hicks and Murdock both had assists. Twin Valley led 3-1 at the half, with Nilson’s third score coming in the second half.
Before the Windsor game, Twin Valley honored their six seniors: Hicks, Baylee Crawford, Nilsen, DJ Lazelle, Murdock, and Chris Robinson.
Twin Valley finished the regular season last Friday in Chester with a 1-1 tie with Green Mountain. At 12-1-1, they are the top seed in Division III and were scheduled to host No. 16 Oxbow (0-14) in a first-round game on Oct. 20.
• Mount Anthony showed why it is one of the top teams in Division I in a 6-1 blowout of Brattleboro on Senior Night at Tenney Field on Oct. 13.
Despite being outshot 20-4, the Colonels held their own with the Patriots in the first half. Mount Anthony led 2-1 at the break, but then erupted for four unanswered goals in the second half.
Jeremy Rounds scored the only goal for the Colonels. Brattleboro had plenty of other scoring chances, but could not cash in on them.
Brattleboro seniors Sam Ognenoff, Dan Burke, Jack Maples, John Wright, Eamon Burke, Chris Renouf, Sheldon Burnell, Jonah Goldenbird, Gideon May, Braxton Lynn, Brian McCarthy, and Spencer Butter were all honored.
The 4-9-1 Colonels lost 5-2 at Burr and Burton last Friday in their regular-season finale. Seeded 14th in Division I, Brattleboro was scheduled to face No. 3 Rice on Oct. 20 in a first-round road game.
• Leland & Gray finished the regular season with a 9-5 record. They lost to Burr & Burton, 2-1, in Manchester on Oct. 13, and beat Arlington on the road last Friday, 2-1. They earned the No. 5 seed in Division III and were scheduled to host No. 12 Randolph in a first-round game on Oct. 20.
• Rutland goalkeeper Loren Henderson made eight saves as Rutland shutout Brattleboro, 3-0, on Oct. 14 at Tenney Field.
The Raiders have a speedy trio of forwards —Brooke Woodard, Sky Woodard and Jordan DelBianco — that combined for seven shots, two goals, and an assist. DelBianco scored in the 7th minute, Sky Woodard buried a penalty kick in the 63rd minute, and Maggie Schillinger knocked in a loose ball in the 74th minute.
Rutland had a 13-8 shot advantage, as Brattleboro struggled to create quality scoring chances. The bright spot for the Colonels was holding the Raiders scoreless for 55 minutes. as goalkeeper Megyn Ayotte made six saves.
It was Senior Night for the Colonels as Morgan Derosia, Aisha Schor, Kira McCloskey, Breanna Sheehan, Jaida Henry, Bridget Duff, and Abby Chapman were all honored during halftime.
The 4-10 Colonels finished their regular season with a 1-0 loss to Mount Anthony last Friday. They were scheduled to play at No. 2 Colchester (14-0) in the first round of the Division 1 Tournament on Oct. 20.
• Caitlin Hunt scored two goals and set another as Twin Valley defeated Bellows Falls, 5-2, on Oct. 13 in Wilmington. Jordyn Bolognani, Tayler Courchesne and Jarrett Niles also scored for the Wildcats. Zoe Schemm and Keri Ticino scored for Bellows Falls.
The 4-10 Wildcats ended the regular season last Thursday in a 4-0 loss to Green Mountain on Senior Night at Hayford Field. Brianna Rafus, Maya Holschuh, Kirra Courchesne, and Kaylea Niles were all honored before the game. Twin Valley earned the No. 16 seed in the Division III playoffs and were scheduled to play top-seeded BFA-Fairfax (10-2-2) on Oct. 20.
• The Terriers finished a winless 0-14 season with a home-and-home series with Windsor. The Yellowjackets won in Westminster, 11-3, last Friday. BF had a 2-1 lead in the first half before the Jacks started scoring goals in bunches. The next day in Windsor, the Jacks won, 4-0. BF will lose just two players to graduation — goalkeeper Alyssa DeJesus and defensive back Jayce Roberts.
• Leland & Gray (5-8-1) completed the regular season with a 4-1 home win over Otter Valley. Ashley Bates scored two goals and goalkeeper Hannah Buffum made eight saves. Seeded No. 12 in the Division III tournament, the Rebels were scheduled to face No. 5 Green Mountain (9-4-1) on Oct. 20.
• Brattleboro traveled to Mount Anthony last Friday night for the 41st annual Elwell Trophy game, and the Colonels scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to come charging back from a 26-14 halftime deficit to win, 44-33.
For the first time in several years, the game had something more than school bragging rights riding on it. The Patriots needed a win to make the Division I playoffs for the first time since 2009, while the Colonels needed a win to secure a possible first-round playoff game at Natowich Field.
Brattleboro took the opening kickoff of the second half, and scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tony Martinez to Matt Gaboriault.
The Colonels stopped the Patriots on their first drive, and turned that stop into points as Martinez found Evan Perkins for a 23-yard touchdown strike that put Brattleboro in the lead for the first time in the game.
With MAU on the ropes, the Colonels kept punching. The Patriots again bogged down on offense, and Brattleboro took advantage of a botched punt attempt and eventually scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Martinez. Taylor King kicked his fifth extra point of the night and the Colonels had a 35-26 lead.
MAU would score again on a six-yard run by Pat Powers, but the Colonels iced the game with a 1-yard touchdown run by Cheick Diakite (180 yards of rushing on 32 carries), followed by an interception of quarterback Noah Normyle by Martinez on MAU’s last offensive series.
It was a stunning turnaround, considering how hot Normyle was in the first half. Normyle threw for 190 yards and four touchdowns. Powers caught two of them, for 45 and 30 yards, Will Fisher reeled in a 45-yard TD pass, and Atreal Pineiro had a 19-yard scoring catch.
King caught a touchdown pass in the first quarter, and Kolton Ravenna scored on a three-yard run for the Colonels.
Brattleboro, now 4-4, clinched the No. 4 seed in the Division I playoffs. They will host No. 5 Champlain Valley in a first round game at Natowich Field this Friday at 7 p.m. Despite losing, Mount Anthony (4-4) also made it into the playoffs as a No. 8 seed, they will travel to top-seeded Rutland this Friday night.
• Burr & Burton’s Jay McCoy had six receptions for 201 yards and two touchdowns as the Bulldogs edged Bellows Falls, 19-14, in Manchester last Saturday night.
Both teams entered this game unbeaten in Division II, and Burr and Burton’s passing game was ultimately the deciding factor.
Quarterback Griff Stalcup was 18-for-28 for 300 yards and three TDs. McCoy reeled in a 43-yard touchdown pass late in the game to provide the winning margin, while Carter Vickers scored on an 8-yard screen pass. Ray Gormley added 65 yards of rushing as the 8-0 Bulldogs clinched the top seed for the Division II playoffs.
Jahyde Bullard ran for 91 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries for the 7-1 Terriers. Quarterback Zac Streeter threw for 135 yards and ran for a touchdown. BF kept the game close all the way, and almost recovered an onside kick in the final minute of regulation.
BF finishes the regular season at Hadley Field against Fair Haven this Friday at 7 p.m.
• Bellows Falls bounced back from two straight losses with a 3-0 win over Brattleboro on Oct. 12. It was the eighth shutout of the season for the Terriers.
The Terriers put 10 shots on goal and had a 7-0 advantage in penalty corners. Brattleboro could only muster two shots against the BF defense.
BF’s first goal came from Sophia Hyslop, assisted by Dani Marchica, at 10:41 of the first half. About 10 minutes later, Macie Streeter directed in a feed from Leia Robinson as the Terriers took a 2-0 lead into the break. Abbe Cravinho got the third goal late in the second half, assisted by Reagan Baldasaro.
Olivia Weeks and Nataylia Forkin combined for seven saves for the Colonels.
BF then closed out the regular season with a 1-0 road win in overtime at Woodstock on Oct. 14, and home wins against Mount Anthony (1-0 on Oct. 15) and Hartford (1-0 on Oct. 17). Baldasaro got the winning goal in the Woodstock game, while Cravinho scored the game-winner against MAU.
The 10-2-2 Terriers held on to the top seed in the Division III standings. They will host No. 8 Montpelier (0-11-3) in a quarterfinal game this Friday at 3:45 p.m.
The Colonels needed to tie or beat Fair Haven last Friday in the season finale in order to make it into the Division I playoffs. A 2-0 win improved Brattleboro’s record to 3-9-2 and punched their ticket for the postseason. They earned the No. 11 seed and were scheduled to face No. 6 Hartford (6-4-4) in a first-round game on Oct. 20.
Get on target at Sportsmen Inc.
• Sportsmen Inc., the local sporting club at 2081 Creamery Rd. in Guilford, is holding free rifle “sight-in” days for the next three weekends — Oct. 24 and 25, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, and Nov. 7 and 8. The gate will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for free access to the range.
There will be a club member on site coordinating the range and able to offer assistance to you if you need help sighting in your deer rifle for the upcoming season. For more information, call Art Greenbaum at 802-257-1248.
Skating rink opens for the season
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department will open the Nelson E. Withington Skating Facility for the season on Saturday, Oct. 24. The daily rates for using the rink are $3 for students and $4 for adults if they’re Brattleboro residents. Non-residents pay $4 and $5, respectively.
Skate rentals are available at the rink for $3 per rental. A wide variety of sizes are available. Call the rink at 802-257-2311 for more information.