Twin Valley coach Robert Bolognani knew his team was up against it.
Playing host to a deep and talented Leland & Gray squad on Sept. 19 at Hayford Field in Wilmington, Bolognani only had 11 players available, so his team had to play 80 minutes with no substitutes.
For the first 37 minutes, the Wildcats held the Rebels scoreless, but Leland & Gray eventually broke the scoreless tie, and scored four more goals in the second half as the Rebels rolled to a 5-0 win.
“We just ran out of gas,” Bolognani said.
But give the Wildcats credit for keeping it a one-goal game in the first half, thanks to good goalkeeping by Rita Messing and a determined defensive effort.
The Rebels controlled the ball nearly the entire half, and had many quality chances to score. All they had to show for an active 40 minutes was a goal from Ansley Henderson in the 37th minute during a wild scramble in front of the Twin Valley goal. Maris Linder got the assist.
The Rebels’ top scorer, Arin Bates, got both of her goals in the second half. Her first came in the 52nd minute, set up by Linder. The second goal came five minutes later on a free kick from 30 yards out that whistled just underneath the cross bar.
Erin Cutts also scored on free kick from 15 yards out in the 65th minute, and Henderson got her second tally in the 75th minute. Rebels goalkeeper Sydney Hescock needed only four saves to earn the shutout.
The week didn’t get easier for the Wildcats, as they traveled to Brandon on Sept. 21 and were beaten, 5-0, by Otter Valley. Olivia White scored three goals for the Otters. Twin Valley ended the week at 2-4, with four straight losses.
The Rebels followed up their rout of Twin Valley with a 6-1 demolition of winless Bellows Falls in Townshend on Sept. 21. Bates scored five goals and Hannah Landers added another as the Rebels finished the week at 4-2.
• Bellows Falls may get all the attention for its stellar field hockey program, but ignore the Brattleboro Colonels at your own peril.
With its deepest and most experienced team in years, the Colonels are playing well. A good example of where they are at right came on Sept. 20 on Tenney Field when the Colonels and Woodstock Wasps played a scoreless tie.
Forceful defense and great goaltending defined this game, particularly in the 7-on-7 overtime period. With more space came more scoring chances, but Colonels goalie Natalya Forkin turned away three point-blank shots in the 10-minute overtime.
What looked like the game-winner for the Wasps with 38 seconds left in OT was waved off after the officials ruled that ball had been kicked in.
Forkin made 10 saves in all, including four stops in the first nine minutes of play, and defenders Emily Crespo and Mya McAuliffe had a busy night disrupting the Woodstock attack.
Colonels attackers Emily Rooney, Kalin Noble, Gracie Frost, and Zee Muhammad put plenty of pressure on Wasps goalie Maggie Parker.
“We played well as a group,” said Colonels co-coach Sherryl Libardoni. “This team has a great attitude and a great desire to get better.”
Earlier in the week, on Sept. 17 in Bennington, Frost scored with 38 seconds in regulation to give the Colonels a 1-0 win over Mount Anthony. Forkin made three saves in goal to earn the shutout.
• Molly Kelly and Abbe Cravinho scored two goals each as Bellows Falls rolled to a 7-0 win over Hartford in White River Junction on Sept. 21.
Megan Banik, Madison Streeter and Sophie Hyslop also scored for the Terriers, who led 5-0 at the half on their way to their 44th consecutive victory.
• There would be no stirring comebacks or near misses for Brattleboro as they traveled north on Sept. 21 to face the Burlington-South Burlington Seawolves.
Manny Dodson shredded the Colonels’ defense for three first-half touchdowns and Nico Strempek racked up 165 rushing yards on 27 carries as the Seawolves rolled to a 29-7 win.
Dodson, who finished with 89 yards on 13 carries, found the end zone on runs of 21, 9, and 3 yards as the Seawolves took a 22-0 lead at the half. Robbie Mafuta got the Seawolves’ other TD on a three-yard run early in the second half.
Miscues by the Colonels gave the Seawolves good field position on their last three scoring drives. A blocked punt, a failed fourth-and-1 run, and a high snap on another punt put the Seawolves into scoring position each time.
The SeaWolves picked up more than 300 yards from scrimmage, while holding Brattleboro to just 98 yards of total offense, including just 17 on the ground. Brattleboro’s only touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a three-yard run by Chris Frost.
The SeaWolves improved to 3-1, while the Colonels fell to 0-4. Brattleboro will host St. Johnsbury, the defending Division I champs, this Friday night at 7 at Natowich Field.
• Bellows Falls played a so-so first half, then quickly got it together as the Terriers routed the Springfield Cosmos, 46-8, in the annual rivalry game for “The Trophy” at Hadley Field on Sept. 22.
After BF quarterback Griffin Waryas scored on a keeper for a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter, Springfield responded with a seven-minute drive that ended with flanker Anthony Steele catching a three-yard TD pass, plus a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Sam Presch, for a 8-6 lead.
That was the wake-up call that the Purple Gang needed.
Waryas gave BF the lead, ending the first half with a 39-yard pass to Jeff Rainville that set up a five-yard TD pass to Noah Rawling. Sam Mellish caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Waryas to give BF a 19-8 lead at intermission.
After Springfield’s lone touchdown, the BF defense held the Cosmos to just three first downs the rest of the way. Defensive back Dylan Clark was the catalyst with a 15-yard interception return for a touchdown.
BF scored on all three of their third quarter possessions as the Terriers cranked up their powerful ground game. Jed Lober scored on a one-yard run, Waryas got his second score of the day on a two-yard sneak, and Harrison Gleim had a two-yard burst into the end zone.
BF finished the night with 35 rushes for 242 yards, with Lober leading the way with 15 carries for 138 yards. Waryas was 3-for-3 passing for 54 yards.
The win gave the 3-1 Terriers a 56-43-2 lead in this series, which dates back to 1914. BF will play next at Otter Valley this Saturday.
• Anthony Piergentili, Keegan Allembert, Alex Lier and Jackson Buettner all scored goals as Brattleboro won its fourth straight game with a 4-2 decision on the road against Colchester on Sept. 22.
Luke Williams and Ty Allembert each had an assist for the 4-2 Colonels.
• Leland & Gray beat Otter Valley, 5-1, on Sept. 18. Liam Towle, Rain Holmes, Jordan Persson, and Matt Emerson were the goalscorers for the Rebels, and Cameron Anderberg made seven saves in goal.
• Colin McHale scored three goals, Lucas Messing got two more tallies, and Finn Fisher and Jack McHale added a goal apiece to lead visiting Twin Valley to a 7-0 win over Fair Haven on Sept. 18.
Logan Boyd played most of the game in goal. He and backup goalie Dylan Howe each had a save for the shutout. The win kept the Wildcats perfect at 5-0.
• Antonia Pellon scored three goals and Jordan Mattison added another as Mount Anthony defeated Brattleboro, 4-2, at Tenney Field on Sept. 17.
Pellon put eight shots on goal as she helped the Patriots take a 2-0 lead at the half. Colonels goalkeeper Eliya Petrie had to work hard to keep her team in the game, as did her defense.
Brattleboro cut MAU’s lead to 2-1 early in the second half. In the 48th minute, Venus Fu pounced on a rebound of a Hailey Derosia shot knocked down by Patriots goalkeeper Madison Breese to get the Colonels back in the game.
But Mattison scored 32 seconds later, and Pellon then got her third goal to end the hope of a Colonel rally. Brattleboro’s Sarah Wright scored off of an Olivia Romo corner in the 78th minute.
• Jenna Veysey scored in the first minute of action and Springfield never looked back in a 4-0 win over Bellows Falls on Sept. 17.
• Brattleboro swept a four-team Marble Valley League meet in Bennington on Sept. 18. Sarah Gallagher led the Colonel girls with a first place finish in 20 minutes, 36 seconds.
The Colonels had four other girls in the top 15: Bella Takacs (fifth, 22:13), Liz Morse (ninth, 23:59), Ellery Loggia (10th, 25:19), and Kathryn Wocell (11th, 25:47). Brattleboro won the girls’ meet, ahead of Burr & Burton, Mount Anthony, and Rutland.
Trevor Kipp was back in action for the Colonel boys, and finished third in 18:16. He was joined in the top 10 by teammates Evan Koch (fifth, 19:16), Bram Tabachnik (sixth, 19:18), Finn LaMorder (seventh, 19:30), and Nolan Holmes (ninth, 19:33). Brattleboro won the boys’ meet with 25 points, followed by Mount Anthony (41), Rutland (54), and Burr & Burton (105).
On Sept. 21, the Brattleboro runners had a much tougher test in the 44th annual Manchester (N.H.) Invitational, which attracted more than 1,700 runners from all across New England. The Colonels held their own as the girls finished 16th out of 34 teams, while the boys were 23rd out of 47 teams.
Gallagher again led the way for the Colonel girls, covering the 5K course in Derryfield Park in 20 minutes, 24 seconds for 11th place overall. The other finishers were Takacs (61st, 21:11), Morse (123th, 23:47), Loggia (146th, 24:30), Wocell (173rd, 25:25), and Molly Patnaude (206th, 27:03).
Kipp was the top finisher for the Colonel boys, finishing 61st in 18:08. Bram Tabachnik was 106th in 18:55, followed by Evan Koch (110th, 18:55), Holmes (155th, 19:32), Logan McKay (200th, 20:16), and Sam Freitas-Eagan (250th, 21:42).
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 3 of the fall season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl saw Team 5 (12-3) move into first place while Team 8 (11-4) fell to second place. Team 4 (10-5) is a close third, and there is a three-way tie for fourth as Teams 2, 7, and 10 all have 9-6 records. Team 9 is fifth (8-7), followed by Team 1 and Team 3 (both 6-9), Team 11 (5-10) and Team 6 (3-12),
Nancy Dalzell had the women’s high handicap game (259) and Sandy Ladd rolled the women’s high handicap series (478). Jon Peters had the men’s high handicap game (258) and Gary Montgomery had the high handicap series (614). Team 9 had the high team handicap game (743), and series (2,571).
In scratch scoring, Jerry Dunham (527), Peters (523), and Warren Corriveau, Sr. (502) all had a 500-plus series. Montgomery rolled two 200-plus games (225, 216), while Peters had a 211 game. High scores for the women included Dalzell (196), Carole Frizzell (188), Ladd (168), and Deet Farnum (168).