BRATTLEBORO—The last local team standing in the high school playoffs is the team that is playing its games 25 miles away from its home field.
The Twin Valley Wildcats boys’ soccer team got flooded out of Baker Field last season. This season, they got booted off Baker Field again a couple of weeks ago for a regrading project.
So, the Wildcats are back to their home away from home, Sawyer Field at Brattleboro Union High School. Despite the inconvenience of taking a bus ride for every game, even though they are the No. 2 seed in Division IV, they love playing in Brattleboro.
In the opening round game last Tuesday, the Wildcats cruised to a 4-0 win over 15th-seeded Twinfield.
Twin Valley faced a tougher challenge on Friday against No. 10 Arlington in the quarterfinal round, but came away with a 2-0 victory.
The 13-3 Wildcats will face No. 6 Cabot in a semifinal at Sawyer Field on Wednesday at 3 p.m. The winner goes to the championship game.
In Friday’s game, striker Tony Tarr scored both of Twin Valley’s goals in the second half as he put away a rebound, and later scored off a throw-in.
“Tony is an interesting player,” said Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford. “I’m not sure where his head was at. If you watched him early on, there was just no energy in the young man. And then he goes and scores the game winner. That’s Tony in a nutshell."
On defense, Hayford called Cade Nesbitt “the man of the match."
“He marked No. 7 (Arlington striker Fred Pickering) and took him right out of the match,” said Hayford. “That kid had maybe five hat tricks during the season."
Twin Valley keeper Sam Molner need to make only two saves against the Eagles for his second postseason shutout in as many games.
Hayford said that the game was uncomfortably close for too long.
“I told my players at halftime that the longer we let Arlington hang around, the more confident they will become,” he said.
And after playing to a scoreless draw after the first 40 minutes, the Eagles knew they had a puncher’s chance at pulling off an upset.
Tarr made sure that wouldn’t happen. In the 62nd minute, Hunter Therrien drilled a shot from the right wing that Arlington goalkeeper DJ Jennings couldn’t control. Tarr, who was driving to the left post, gathered the rebound and got the go-ahead goal.
With 8 minutes in regulation, Tarr flicked in a ball past Jennings off a Dal Nesbitt throw-in from near the corner, to give the Wildcats the breathing room they needed to finish up.
Twin Valley 4, Twinfield 0
The Wildcats had no problems with Twinfield, racing out to a 3-0 halftime lead.
This game was the Colin Lozito show, as the midfielder and captain had a hand in all four goals.
Lozito set up Nick Nilson for the first goal in the 16th minute. In the 23rd minute, Lozito clanged a shot off the crossbar, but Tarr was there to get rebound and knock it in.
After all that giving, Lozito decided to receive, and scored off a Dal Nesbitt throw-in for the third goal.
Dal Nesbitt got the last goal with 13 minutes left in the game off Lozito’s third assist.