Twin Valley’s soccer teams have had a nomadic existence this season.
The flooding from Tropical Storm Irene on Aug. 28 thoroughly trashed Baker Field, rendering it unplayable for soccer or any other sport for the rest of this year.
The backup site was the Twin Valley Middle School in Whitingham. But the combination of poor drainage and heavy rains for most of September has left that field unplayable too.
So, the Wildcats have been forced to play “home” games in Arlington, Bennington, and Brattleboro.
Fortunately, Brattleboro Union High School has been generous in offering Sawyer Field for Twin Valley’s use. But it is no substitute for being able to dress in your own locker room and then walk a couple hundred yards to your home field.
When every game is a road trip, it wears on everyone. That is as good an explanation as any for why the Twin Valley boys and girls are struggling this season.
In a “home” game in Brattleboro last Wednesday, the Wildcat boys lost 3-0 to Windsor, another school that lost its soccer field to Irene’s flooding.
Windsor scored in the first minute of the game when Nick DeBartolo knocked in a misplayed ball. Shawn Pinsonault added another goal in the 29th minute and David Young got the final tally in the 69th minute. Windsor is a team whose roster is filled with seniors, and the experience showed in the way they dominated on defense for most of the game.
The boys finished the week on a high note on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Otter Valley in Arlington. Colin Lozito and Ricardo Pereira each had a goal and an assist, and Dylan Brage scored a goal off a Tony Tarr pass. Freshman goalkeeper Sam Molner notched his first career shutout for the 3-5-1 Wildcats.
As for the Wildcat girls, they haven’t won a game. They thought they might have a reversal of fortune in Townshend last Monday against another struggling team, the Leland & Gray Rebels. Instead, the Rebels pulled out a 2-1 win.
Leland & Gray’s Giannina Gaspero-Beckstrom scored first, but Twin Valley’s Jordan Niles later scored on a breakaway to make it 1-1 at the half. The game remained deadlocked until Ashley Goddard got the game-winner off of an acrobatic throw-in by Oliva Capponcelli in the 53rd minute.
Twin Valley had their chances at salvaging a tie, but Rebels goalkeeper Bit Aekus and the defensive line of Elizabeth Symanski, Caitlin Persa, Capponcelli and Alex Morrow foiled every one of the Wildcats’ scoring opportunities in the second half.
On Thursday, Proctor shut out Twin Valley, 6-0, and the girls finished the week with a tough 3-2 loss to Arlington on Saturday. Shannon Lozito and Savannah Nesbitt scored for a 2-0 lead at the half, but Arlington stormed back with three unanswered goals in the second half as the Wildcat girls fell to 0-6-1.
• Brattleboro started its week with a pair of scoreless ties.
The Colonels played Stevens to a 0-0 tie at home last Monday. Tori Svec and Marissa Smith split the goalkeeping duties, as Svec made six saves and Smith stopped a penalty kick. The scoring drought continued as the Colonels played Rutland to a scoreless tie. Smith had five saves in goal.
Against Mount Anthony on Saturday morning, the Colonels gutted out a 2-1 win. Molly Gurney and Greta Pellerin both scored in the first half, and the Brattleboro defense held on to give the Colonels a 3-4-3 record.
• Bellows Falls beat Mount St. Joseph, 4-2, last Tuesday as Sara Dumont scored three times and Cassie Pedigo added another. BF got all of its goals in the second half.
West Rutland beat the Terriers in overtime, 2-1, on Thursday. Samantha Lacz got West Rutland’s first goal at the 20 minute mark. Dumont tied it in the 30th minute, and the game stayed that way until Lacz got the game-winner in the second overtime period.
• On Thursday, the Rebels lost at Arlington, 3-1. Stevie Roberts scored for the Rebels. Leland & Gray then lost at Bellows Falls in overtime, 2-1, on Saturday morning. Dumont scored for BF in the first half, but Alex Morrow got the equalizer late in the second half. Dumont then scored the game-winner from Kammie Crawford in the second overtime.
• Brattleboro got shut out by Monument Mountain, 5-0, last Tuesday. They followed that effort up with a 1-0 loss to Burlington on Thursday. The Colonels then broke their losing streak with a 2-1 win over Hartford on Saturday. Jordan Renouf and Cesar Moore were the goal scorers as Brattleboro ended the week with a 4-5 record.
• Bellows Falls lost to Twin Valley, 3-1, last Tuesday. Jeremy Hunt and Tarr scored to give Twin Valley a 2-0 halftime lead. Tarr scored again early in the second half before BF’s Drew Guild broke up the shut out.
The Terriers were playing without their leading scorer, Matt Marchica, who injured his leg against Green Mountain on Sept. 26 and is likely out for the season.
Last Wednesday, BF lost to Woodstock, 2-0. The game was scoreless in the first half, but Julian Scherdling scored twice in the second half for the Wasps.
• Leland & Gray traveled to Proctor last Monday and escaped with a scoreless tie. Rebels goalkeeper Tanner Kard made 11 saves, while Proctor’s Rick Carroll stopped 10 shots.
The Rebels blanked Bellows Falls, 2-0, on Saturday to improve to 7-2-1. Brandon Reilly and Hunter Buffum were the goal scorers.
• Brattleboro snapped a four-game losing streak with a 21-6 win over the Burlington Seahorses at Natowich Field Friday night.
Burlington scored first on a 24-yard touchdown reception by Claudio Herrera. After that, it was all Colonels. Trenton Fletcher recovered a fumble in the end zone for Brattleboro’s first touchdown. Andy Hale started the second scoring drive when he recovered an onside kick to start the second half. Elliot Gragen scored in a 1-yard run and quarterback Tyler Higley ran in the two-point conversion to make it 14-6.
Higley later scored on a 2-yard run and Jake Gaboriault kicked the extra point late in the game to ice a victory on Homecoming Night. The 2-4 Colonels face Spaulding this Friday.
• Bellows Falls came close to knocking off undefeated North Country on Saturday, but fell short, 20-18, at Hadley Field. Trailing 18-12 with 1:09 left in the game, North Country halfback Jason Hatin keyed a game-winning, 69-yard drive. He threw a 29-yard pass to Jacob Buckles, which set up his 2-yard touchdown run. Hattin then ran in the two-point conversion to keep the Falcons perfect at 6-0.
The Terriers took a 6-0 lead on a 13-yard by Cooper Long. Buckles scored on a 7-yard run to tie it at the end of the first half. In the second half, Will Bourne hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jeremy Kilburn in the third quarter. North Country quarterback Tre Sanville tied up the game on a 2-yard run, but Bourne then scored on a 90-yard kickoff return to give the Terriers an 18-12 lead with 9:07 left in the fourth quarter.
It was a tough loss for the 2-4 Terriers, who travel to Lyndon this Saturday.
• Brattleboro got its first win of the season last Wednesday night, beating Monadnock, 2-0. Lara Atamaniuk and Meghan Kinsman each scored in the second half.
Last Tuesday, Brattleboro lost to Mount Anthony, 4-1, in Bennington. The outcome might have been different, had not three of Brattleboro’s goals been disallowed. Nicole Hudon scored the only goal that counted for the Colonels.
The Colonels finished the week with a 1-9 record after a 3-0 loss to Hartford on Friday.
• Woodstock shut out Bellows Falls last Monday, 3-0. Quinn Lawrence and Shea Wilkinson split time in goal for the Terriers.
BF bounced back on Friday with a 1-1 tie with Springfield. Kya Coursen scored from Tori Bissell just three minutes into the game. Springfield got the equalizer from Morgan Johnson with under five minutes left in the first half. BF outshot Springfield, 20-9, but couldn’t break the tie. The Terriers played well defensively and Wilkinson had eight saves in goal to finish the week at 1-5-2.
• In a meet last Tuesday in Manchester, the Bellows Falls and Brattleboro boys finished second and third behind Mount Anthony.
BF placed three boys in the top 10: Jamie Moore (fifth in 19:49), Collin Johnson (ninth in 20:43), and Timmy Jones (10th in 20:45). Spencer Olson was the top BUHS runner, finishing 12th in 29:47.
In the girls’ race, BF’s Anna Clark took second place in 23:26. Brattleboro placed three runners in the top 15 — Hannah Reichel (ninth in 25:39), Leah Silverman (10th in 26:09), and Helen Manning (13th in 27:00) to edge Springfield for third place in team scoring.
• In the Russ Pickering Invitational at Bellows Falls Union High School on Friday, the Brattleboro girls finished third. Reichel finished ninth in 21:59 to lead the Colonels, while Manning was 11th in 22:28. Kasey Kidder was 21st in 24:52, Sakia Bailey-De Bruijn was 24th in 24:57 and Janna Yang ended up 39th in 26:36.
Anna Clark placed third in a personal best time of 20:40 to lead host Bellows Falls. Jamie Moore of Bellows Falls won the boys race in 16:31. Olson was Brattleboro’s first finisher, placing 14th in 18:21.