The Twin Valley-Leland & Gray soccer rivalry is not just for the boys. The girls teams bring an equal level of intensity to their matches, as shown by the 2-1 double overtime win by the Wildcats in Townshend on Thursday.
The Rebels had the early lead in this match with a windblown 40 yard strike from Chelsea Cox in the 12th minute. Twin Valley had plenty of chances to get an equalizer in the first half, but solid goalkeeping by Keira Capponcelli allowed Leland & Gray to hold onto its 1-0 lead at the break.
Twin Valley kept up the pressure in the second half and finally got the equalizer from Savannah Nesbit midway through the second half off a Sammy Cunningham assist.
Leland & Gray had plenty of scoring chances in the first overtime, as the Rebels had five corners and a couple of scrambles in front of the Wildcat goal. But it was freshman Jordan Niles who proved to be the heroine of this drama when she raced into the goal area just as a through pass arrived and tipped it past the Rebels goalkeeper with 5:10 left in the second OT period.
Twin Valley improved to 5-3-1 and Leland & Gray dropped to 3-4-3.
• The Burr & Burton Bulldogs clobbered the Brattleboro Colonels, 7-2, at Tenney Field last Tuesday. Brattleboro trailed 2-1 at the half, but the Bulldogs scored five goals in the second half to put the game away. Maddi Shaw and Leah Short were the goal scorers for the 4-5-1 Colonels.
The Colonels bounced back with a 1-0 win over Mount Anthony on Thursday. Shaw, who was celebrating her birthday, gave her teammates the gift with a goal in the 65th minute off a corner kick.
• Twin Valley’s speedy front line set the pace as the Wildcats shut out Bellows Falls, 3-0, in Westminster last Tuesday. Cunningham had a goal and an assist. Shannon Lozito and Nesbitt also scored. But things got better for Bellows Falls on Thursday as the Terriers got their first win of the season with a 2-1 overtime victory over Windsor. Brit Moyna got the equalizer with late in the game and Kammie Crawford scored the game-winner three minutes into overtime.
• Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford notched his 300th career win as the Wildcats beat Green Mountain, 6-1, on Saturday in Chester. The Chieftains scored first, but it was all Twin Valley after that as Eli Park scored twice and George Molner, Troy Birch, Kody Crozier and Ian Murdock all had goals. Colin Lozito had three assists and goalkeeper Tony Bernard made eight saves.
On Friday, Twin Valley scored the first five goals of the game and cruised to a 5-2 road win over Bellows Falls. Dylan Speigel scored two goals and Molner, Birch and Park also scored. Tyson McAllister and Alfredo Rodriguez scored for BF in the final 10 minutes.
• It was a rematch of the John James Tournament final, but the result was the same as Brattleboro rolled to a 6-1 win over Mount Anthony at Tenney Field on Friday night. Travis Elliott-Knaggs led the way with three goals. Matt Dunn scored twice, and Greg Reuter and Jose Diego-Silva each added goals. The Colonels kept MAU off the scoreboard until the 73rd minute of play, as they improved to 7-1 on the season.
• Leland & Gray’s Noah Chapin had a great game against Green Mountain as he scored three goals and assisted on two others in a 7-1 rout of the Chieftains in Chester last Monday. Colin Nystrom added two goals and Seth Jerz and Matt Bizon each scored for the Rebels. Chapin has scored nearly half of the Rebels’ goals this season.
• There was hope after the hard-fought loss to Essex in the homecoming game that the Brattleboro Colonels might be turning the corner as a team. That hope was not to be as the Colonels were clobbered by the Spaulding Crimson Tide, 48-12, in Barre on Saturday.
The Colonels had no solution for the Tide’s wishbone offense, which rolled up 353 yards of rushing. Brattleboro had a brief 6-0 lead after a quarterback sneak from Nate Forrett, but Spaulding then scored 28 unanswered points to put the game away. On defense, the Tide intercepted six passes and contained Colonels running back Ivan Jackson, who had 80 yards of rushing and scored the only other Brattleboro touchdown.
Now 0-6, the Colonels travel to Hartford this Friday night.
• The Bellows Falls Terriers improved their Division III record to 4-0 and won bragging rights over Windsor with a 20-0 rout of the Yellowjackets in the Dale Perkins Trophy game at MacLeay-Royce Field on Saturday.
Once again, running back Ryan Hayward was the workhorse. He ran for all three touchdowns and had 247 yards of rushing on 19 carries. Now 4-2 overall, the Terriers host Woodstock this Saturday.
• A shorthanded Bellows Falls squad was overwhelmed by Burr & Burton, 5-0, in Manchester last Monday. The Terriers had only 10 players available for the game, forcing them to play shorthanded and without substitutions for the entire 60 minutes.
The outcome was just as discouraging for the Terriers on Saturday, as they were shut out 7-0 by the Woodstock Wasps. In this game, BF only had 11 players available and ended up playing much of the match shorthanded after Kya Coursen took a stick to the face. BF is still winless at 0-7-1.
• Fair Haven scored the first two goals and hung on for a 2-1 win over Brattleboro at Tenney Field last Monday. Brenna DeVencentis scored the Colonels’ only goal and goalie Caroline McCarthy had five saves. On Friday, the Colonels dropped a 5-0 decision to Hartford to fall to 1-5-1 on the season.
• The fledgling Leland & Gray cross country team played host to a Marble Valley League meet at Grafton Ponds Nordic Center last Tuesday, but it was the Brattleboro Colonels who ran away with the event. The Colonels were tops in both the girls and boys team meets.
Brattleboro’s Jacob Ellis won the boys race in 18 minutes and 22 seconds on the 3.2-mile course, about one minute ahead of runner-up John Punger of Bellows Falls. Brattleboro’s Spencer Olson placed third in 19:46, Zeke Fitzgerald was fourth in 20:00, Allen Unaitis took sixth in 20:43 and Austin Lester wound up seventh in 21:14.
Brattleboro’s Hannah Reichel won her first MVL race in a time of 23:40. Maud Benit placed second in a personal best time of 24:47, Helen Manning was fourth in 25:33; Leah Silverman was fifth in 25:46 and Emma Straus was 10th in 27:52.
• On Friday, the Colonels ran in the Russ Pickering Invitational in Bellows Falls. Ellis won the boys’ race in 16:43 over the 3-mile course. The Colonel boys came in first with a team score of 42 to hold off Woodstock, Thetford and Springfield. In the girls race, Reichel was 10th in 21:03 and Benit was 14th in 22:05. Both times were personal bests. As a team, the girls came in fourth behind Stratton Mountain School, Rutland and Woodstock.