Even though they fell short of reaching the state finals, the Brattleboro Colonels boys’ soccer team had their most successful season in school history in 2010.
If their first game on Saturday at Tenney Field is an early indicator, the Colonels appear to have what it takes to go deep into the playoffs this fall.
Brattleboro beat the Mill River Minutemen, 2-0, in dominating fashion. They controlled the ball for most of the game and gave Mill River very few opportunities to score.
The Colonels got their first goal on a penalty kick in the 10th minute. Forward Jesse Brown got taken down in the penalty area by Minuteman goalkeeper Zach Fuller. Brattleboro was awarded the kick, which midfielder Jackson Batchelder successful converted.
The insurance goal came in the 54th minute from midfielder Cesar Moore on a pass from forward Conner Elliot-Knaggs.
Solid goalkeeping by junior Galen Finnerty and the defensive corps of seniors Colby Hescock, Sawyer Olson, Logan Given and Justin Providence made the two goals stand up.
All in all, it was a good opening effort by an experienced team determined to not just duplicate last year’s success, but surpass it.
• Brattleboro opened its season with the 11th annual John James Tournament in Bennington.
Friday night’s game was a thriller. After 100 scoreless minutes against Mount Anthony, the game was decided on penalty kicks. Brattleboro’s Halie Lange, Libby Annis, and Sarah Kendrick all scored on their penalty kicks for a 3-2 shootout win.
The Colonels then faced Hoosick Falls, N.Y., in the championship game on Saturday night, and lost 6-1. Hoosick Falls forward Grace Delurey scored four goals and generally played the game of her life, while goalkeeper Hannah Fricke stopped 13 of the 14 Brattleboro shots she faced.
Brattleboro’s only goal came on a penalty kick by Lange in the 63rd minute.
• Ashley Goddard scored three goals to lead the Leland & Gray Rebels to a 3-2 win in double overtime over Otter Valley in Brandon last Wednesday. Goddard scored twice in the first half; Addie Mahdavi assisted on the first goal.
After the Otters scored twice in the second half to force overtime, Goddard got the game winner in the 94th minute off a Mahdavi pass. Kathleen McAllister and Haley Buffum split goalkeeping duties for Leland & Gray and combined for 12 saves.
• Both Brattleboro and Bellows Falls had bus rides up north on Saturday, and both came away with losses.
The Colonels were at Champlain Valley and lost 43-13. Quarterback Tyler Higley threw for two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions.
The Red Hawks’ strong ground game accounted for their points. Nick Ferrentino rushed for three touchdowns, while Brent Carreiro, Patrick Shea and Drew Nick each paid a visit to the end zone. Now 1-1, the Colonels host Rutland on Friday night.
Bellows Falls fell to 0-2 as Rice rallied to beat the Terriers, 13-8. Rice opened the scored with a Casey Tipton touchdown grab. BF later took an 8-7 lead with a 65-yard touchdown pass from Jeremy Kilburn. Rice then got the game-winner on a run by quarterback Charlie Boardman. The Terriers host Burr & Burton on Saturday.
• The Brattleboro field hockey team opened their season Friday afternoon with a 4-0 loss to the Woodstock Wasps at Tenney Field.
The Colonels were never in the game. Woodstock scored two goals in the first 3:15 of the game, and led 3-0 at the half. The Wasps had a 19-1 advantage in shots and 13-0 advantage in penalty corners. Caroline McCarthy made 14 saves in goal for the Colonels.
• Woodstock came away the winner in the first cross country meet of the season last Tuesday in Westminster, but there were some good individual performances by Brattleboro and Bellows Falls runners.
Anna Clark of Bellows Falls won the girls’ race in 21:45. Hannah Reichel finished fifth in 22:53 to lead Brattleboro, followed by teammates Leah Silverman (11th in 24:22), Helen Manning (12th in 24:45), and Kasey Kidder (17th in 26:59).
Brattleboro’s Jacob Ellis won the boys race with a time of 16:52, 24 seconds faster than his last race on that course in 2010. Other Brattleboro finishers included Allen Unaitis (10th in 19:01), Spencer Olson (11th in 19:04), Austin Lester (16th in 19:42), Anthony Burdo (21st in 20:15), Noah Borochoff-Porte (29th in 21:11), and Connor Chisolm (30th in 21:15).
Jamie Moore took fifth in 17:59 to lead the BF boys. John Punger was sixth in 18:06, Tim Jones was 12th in 19:26, Colin Johnson was 14th in 19:34, and Willie Moore came 18th in 19:50. BF was second to Woodstock in the boys’ team scoring, followed by Brattleboro, Thetford, and Hartford.
BUHS girls’ hockey starts fundraising drive
• The varsity hockey program at Brattleboro Union High School is the only sports program that is not fully-funded by the school. This means parents and players are responsible for raising the rest of the money needed to operate the team.
The BUHS girls need to raise $9,500 for the 2011-12 season. They will host a Bingo game on Sunday, Sept. 25, at American Legion Post 5 on Linden Street. The doors will open at 10:30 a.m., with baked goods and coffee for sale. The early bird game will be at 12:45 p.m., with the regular games beginning at 1 p.m. There will be a single jackpot winner who will take home $1,000.
Hot dogs, homemade macaroni and cheese, chili and cornbread will be available. Tickets are available from any player or by calling 802-387-4192. Purchased in advance, tickets are $25 per person and will go for $30 at the door.
West Hill Shop offers free bike ride
• A free dirt road bike ride in the Putney area, sponsored by the West Hill Shop and the Front Porch Cafe, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 10 a.m.
The ride will start and finish at the Putney Town Green, with three mapped rides to choose from for varying abilities. Post-ride Refreshments will be provided by the Front Porch Cafe. Free bike rentals are available through reservation at the West Hill Shop, contact them at info@westhill shop.com or 802-387-5718.
WHPA Accessibility Day cancelled
• The Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association (WHPA) has cancelled its annual Accessibility Day, which had been scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 18, after a careful assessment of damages to vehicle access from Tropical Storm Irene.
Accessibility Day offers a special once-a-year opportunity for a vehicle ride to a special site for those who cannot hike, along with those who can hike, on the scenic rural lands of Windmill Ridge and neighboring areas. The WHPA now has more than 1,820 acres in Rockingham, Athens, Brookline, and Westminster. These publicly-accessible lands include an extensive 14-mile hiking trail system and a wildlife sanctuary. For more information, go to www.windmillhillpinnacle.org.