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After 100 minutes of intense soccer, Leland & Gray forward Nick Fontaine (4) walks off the field exhausted after the Rebels played Mill River to a scoreless tie after two overtimes on Oct. 7 in Townshend.

Sports

Rebel boys struggle to repeat last year’s success

It’s been a frustrating season for the Leland & Gray Rebels boys’ soccer team. Last season, the Rebels were 11-6 and made it to the Division III semifinals, where they lost to Twin Valley.

After playing the Mill River Minutemen to a scoreless tie after two overtimes last Friday in Townshend, the Rebels are 2-6-2 and struggling to get it together in time for the playoffs.

On Oct. 5, Green Mountain beat the Rebels, 4-2, in Chester. Mack Walton scored two goals and had two assists for the Chieftains as they withstood a second half rally by Leland & Gray. It took goals by Artum Shetzov and Justin Diak to clinch the win in the final 10 minutes.

Against the Division II Minutemen, the Rebels looked solid. They controlled the ball for long stretches. They had several scoring chances. The defense gave Mill River few openings to create any flow on offense.

“We just can’t finish on offense,” said Rebels coach Chris Barton, whose team has won only one of its last seven games. “We’ve had too many games where we only get a goal or two.”

It looked like the Rebels might break through against Mill River. Senior forward Bryce Karg and junior midfielder Pat McDonald both had several good runs at the Mill River goal, but both were unable to either get a off a shot, or pass the ball to a teammate so they could score.

“Our communication and anticipation needs to be sharper,” said Barton. “We battled hard today and it was impressive to watch, but we still couldn’t finish. We just have to keep working at it. There’s two weeks left in the season, and we have the talent to be better.”

Football

• Bellows Falls stayed unbeaten with a 48-8 win at Lyndon last Saturday.

Tailback Jahyde Bullard scored four touchdowns as he rushed for 81 yards. Bullard scored on runs of 1, 3, 7, and 29 yards, the last of which gave the Terriers a 40-0 lead in the first minute of the third quarter.

Running back Logan Cota caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Caleb Lisai and also had a 1-yard TD run. Hunter Holmes scored on a 6-yard run in the second half as the reserves wrapped up the BF scoring in the final quarter.

Marcus Reed threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Connor Whitehead for Lyndon’s only score. Reed finished with 137 passing yards and ran for 66 yards to lead the 0-6 Vikings.

The 6-0 Terriers host 5-1 Burlington this Saturday at 1 p.m., but Terrier fans are already looking ahead to the following week and what could be a potential preview of the Division II championship game. The undefeated Burr & Burton Bulldogs come to Hadley Field on Friday, Oct. 21 in what should be one of the best football games this season in Vermont.

• The playoff hopes of the Brattleboro Colonels took a big hit with a 33-0 loss at Rutland last Friday.

Brattleboro entered the game without star running back Cheick Diakite, who was injured, and then lost quarterback Tony Martinez to a dislocated elbow on his throwing arm in the third quarter.

The Raiders scored on their first play from scrimmage, a 32-yard touchdown pass from Bailey Peters to Kyle Cassarino following a Brattleboro turnover.

On Rutland’s next touchdown, Peters and Cassarino hooked up again, this time from 39 yards out, and a 13-0 advantage. Jimmy Mee’s 2-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter gave the Raiders a 21-0 lead at the half.

Rutland’s defense set the tone by holding Brattleboro to just 49 yards of offense in the first half.

Peters (5 yards) and Max Pockette (26 yards) each scored a rushing touchdown for Rutland in the second half. Louis Capy rushed for 137 yards for the Colonels.

The 2-4 Colonels play their last two regular season games at home — this Friday night at 7 against Essex, and Friday, Oct. 21 for the Elwell Trophy against Mount Anthony. While Brattleboro is currently ranked No. 8 in Division I, they must win both games to keep their hold on the final playoff spot.

Field hockey

• Bellows Falls remained undefeated with wins over Hartford and Rutland last week. On Oct. 3, Maci Streeter scored the only goal of the game at 4:27 of overtime to give the Terriers a 1-0 victory on a wet day in Westminster..

Abbe Cravinho would pick up the assist on Streeter’s goal. It was Streeter’s second overtime winner of the year. The goaltending combination of Emma Lober and Bridgid Hodsden had five saves in the shutout win. Hartford goalie Rachel Loseby made six saves. BF had a 9-5 advantage in penalty corners.

Last Friday at Rutland, the Terriers improved to 10-0 with a 4-1 win over the Raiders. Sophia Hyslop, Dani Marchica, Leia Robinson and Reaghan Baldasaro all scored for the Terriers. Ella Beraldi scored the Raiders’ lone goal.

• Brattleboro field hockey co-coach Sherryl Libardoni said a couple of weeks ago that if her team was going to win any games at all this season, it would be against Fair Haven. The Slaters are a Division III team with just one win. The Colonels faced them twice in the span of a week, and picked up a 2-1 road win on Oct. 3 and a 5-1 victory at Tenney Field on Oct. 6.

The home win was particularly gratifying, as the Colonels scored more goals against the Slaters than they had scored in the previous nine games combined. Midfielder Kylee Shatrau led the way with a pair of goals.

Brattleboro took a 2-0 lead in the first half. Kayla Leonard-Houle scored off a corner feed from Kharisma Boyd at the seven minute mark, while Kailin Noble scored after Leonard-Houle made a long run up the left side later in the half.

The Colonels defense had a strong game also, holding the Slaters to just a single shot on goal in the first half.

But Theresa Culpo tapped in a cross by Adriana Dalto with 22:44 left in the second to cut Brattleboro’s lead to 2-1. Shatrau then took over, scoring off a feed from Seary with 18:46 to go. Grace Frost then added another tally, and Shatrau closed out the scoring on a give-and-go play with Meera Seary during a penalty corner.

Thanks to Fair Haven, the Colonels improved to 2-8 and avoided a winless season.

Girls’ soccer

• Green Mountain shut out winless Bellows Falls, 8-0, on Oct. 4. All of the Chieftains’ goals came in the first half. Paige Karl and Skylar White scored two goals each and Molly Verespy, Mycah White, Hanna Veysey, and Avery Prescott also found the back of the net. BF played better defense in the second half, and held the Chieftains to seven shots.

• Leland & Gray shut out Windsor, 2-0, on Oct. 5. Ashley Bates scored the initial goal for the Rebels in the 33rd minute with an assist from MacKenzie Boyle. Caroline Tietz got the other in the 42nd minute on a corner kick with Arin Bates earning the assist.

Together with a 7-1 win last Saturday over Bellows Falls, the Rebels ended the week at 9-2 and is ranked third in Division III. Keri Tecino scored the only goal for the 0-11 Terriers. Ashley Bates scored two goals for the Rebels, while Sydney Hescock, Jessie Stockwell, Rachel Borgesen, Emma Densmore, and Mariah Hazard each added a goal.

Boys’ soccer

• Twin Valley lost its first gane of the season, falling to Arlington, 2-0,

Will Stewart scored 23 minutes in to give the Eagles the lead. Jared Lacoste added an insurance goal 32 minutes later. Bailey Cross made 14 saves to earn the shutout. Logan Boyd stopped four shots for Twin Valley, which dropped to 8-1 overall.

Cross-country

• Brattleboro junior Isaac Freitas-Eagan won his fifth race of the season by covering the Colonels’ 3.1-mile home course on East Orchard Street in a time of 17 minutes, 11 seconds. That’s just 14 seconds shy of the course record.

Freitas-Eagan finished 41 seconds ahead of Stratton Mountain School’s Russell Boswell and Mount Anthony’s Sean Tobin (18:09) and Adam Witkowski (18:10).

The Brattleboro boys won the varsity race with 27 points as they had three other runners in the top 10. Colin Costa-Walsh took fifth in 18:12, Spencer Loggia was sixth in 18:13, Trevor Kipp came seventh in 18:16, and Dan Jaro placed 18th in 21:50.

Mount Anthony finished with 34 points, followed by Burr and Burton (72) and Springfield (110).

The varsity girls race also saw a new course record be set.

Mount Anthony’s Sarah Umphlett and Stratton’s Anna Lehmann were neck-and-neck for most of the race, but Lehmann eventually won in a course-record time of 20:07 — three seconds faster than Rutland’s Mary Kate Cirelli in 2010 — in her first race on the East Orchard Street trail.

Umphlett (20:24), Delaney Bullock of the Putney School (20:47), Brattleboro’s Sarah Gallagher (20:50), and MAU’s Paige Greenwalt (21:41) rounded out the top five finishers.

Brattleboro’s Annie Takacs, Ellery Loggia, and Liz Morse held hands as they finished side-by-side in 22:37 for the sixth, seventh and eighth positions.

Alexandra Miskovich took 10th in 22:58 to complete the Colonels’ top five. Brattleboro won the meet with 25 points. followed by MAU (41), Burr and Burton (60), and Springfield (119).

Rink opens on Oct. 22

• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department has announced that the Nelson E. Withington Skating Facility will open for the season on Saturday, Oct. 22. Season passes are still available, with a 10 percent discount if you buy them before Oct. 20.

For more information, call the Recreation & Parks Department at 802-254-5808, or visit their website for a complete listing/description of events at www.brattleboro.org.

Snowmobile club seeks new members

• Speaking of wintry pastimes, the Abenaqui Snowmobile Club, which is responsible for all the trails in the towns of Rockingham and Athens, is holding its regular business meetings on the first Tuesday of each month through May at 7 p.m. at the Bellows Falls Fire Department.

The club says its small group of volunteers is in need of some major volunteer resurgence to keep them operational. Snowmobiling relies heavily on the ability of volunteers to maintain the trail systems through trail maintenance, landowner relations and, most importantly, grooming.

The club invites everyone to come and check out what they are all about and how you can help. For more information, contact Trails Master George Berube at 802-869-2593.

On a personal note...

• For the second time in six months, I’ll be headed for the disabled list.

I am scheduled for a laparoscopic partial colon resection on Oct. 14 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., so I will be relying again on the help of WKVT’s Chris Lenois and others to help get this column together while I recuperate.

The surgery is necessary to remove a precancerous mass in my large intestine. The mass was found thanks to finally getting a colonoscopy in August from Dr. Jeffrey Potash at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

If you are over the age of 50, and you haven’t had a colonoscopy yet, get one.

Yes, preparing for one is not pleasant, but the procedure itself is painless and usually catches polyps and other growths before they turn into full-blown colorectal cancer.

As with all cancer, early detection greatly improves your odds of survival.

I’ll keep all of you posted on my recovery. If all goes well, I should be working from home in a couple of weeks and be fully back in harness by the time the winter high school sports season begins.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #378 (Wednesday, October 12, 2016). This story appeared on page C4.

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