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Sports

Twin Valley boys working on a historic soccer season

The Twin Valley boys’ soccer team is on a tremendous roll: undefeated, untied, and unscored-upon after its first nine games.

After blasting Fair Haven, 8-0, on the road on Sept. 30 to end a challenging stretch of three games in six days, the Wildcats got a couple days off and were back at the friendly confines of Baker Field last Thursday night when they played host to Bellows Falls and rolled to a 4-0 win.

The Terriers gave Twin Valley a good match in the first half, but in the end the Wildcats were simply too fast and too skilled — BF became the eighth victim of the Twin Valley juggernaut.

BF trailed 1-0 after 40 minutes, as Nick Nilsen got the Wildcats’ first goal in the 16th minute with a low shot from just outside the box set up by Colin Lozito.

“We expected it to be close,” said Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford. “They packed the backfield and cut down on the time and space we had to make plays. Once we were able to get the ball out wide, we had a lot more opportunities to score.”

It took some time for the Wildcats to spread out their offense in the second half, but once they did, the goals came quickly. Dal Nesbitt scored in the 52nd minute off a pass from his brother Cade Nesbitt. Keegan Reed followed it up in the 56th minute with an unassisted goal and Eli Park’s long-distance blast in the 70th minute was the exclamation point on a dominant performance.

“We pushed hard in the first half,” said BF coach Robert Brooks, “but we didn’t have enough depth to keep it up in the second half. This season is about developing our depth, so we can compete against teams as skilled as Twin Valley next season.”

Last Saturday at Baker Field, the Wildcats rolled to a 4-0 win over Stratton Mountain School. This ninth shutout victory broke the old Wilmington school record for most consecutive shutouts, eight, which was set in 2000.

Looming just ahead is the Wilmington record for most shutouts in a season, 11, set in 1994.

Lozito scored the first goal against Stratton four minutes in and got another goal two minutes later, assisted by Dal Nesbitt. Troy Felisko, who assisted on Lozito’s first goal, got one of his own in the 25th minute and set up the final goal by Nick Nilsen in the 50th minute.

Hayford, who has been coaching soccer in the Deerfield Valley for nearly three decades, said he never had a team that was undefeated and unscored-upon this late in the season.

Is this an omen for 2013? Hayford won’t say, but he will say that he is impressed with how well his team is playing in every facet of the game. After a narrow loss to Proctor in last year’s championship game, his players need no motivation this season to complete the mission they came so close to accomplishing in 2012.

Field hockey

• Another local team is putting together a streak as amazing as Twin Valley’s, and that’s the Bellows Falls Terriers’ field hockey team, undefeated so far this season.

The Terriers won their ninth game in a row on Oct. 1 with a 4-0 victory over Springfield. Sarah Wells scored three goals, and Mariah Barnett added another. It was also their ninth straight shutout victory.

BF stayed unbeaten at Windsor last Friday, but the shutout streak ended as the Yellowjackets and Terriers battled to a tie at 1-1.

Windsor came close to breaking the BF streak. After a scoreless first half, Kristin Nott scored for the Jacks eight minutes into the second half. Barnett then forced overtime with the tying goal with just 10 seconds left in regulation.

The Terriers saw plenty of chances to score in overtime, but couldn’t place that winning goal. BF finished the week at 9-0-1.

• Brattleboro dropped a 2-1 decision to Burr & Burton on Sept. 30. Daija Germain scored off a Daisy Giroux feed midway through the first half for the Colonels’ only goal.

The Colonels followed that effort up the next day with a 5-0 loss to Mount Anthony before closing out a winless week with a 1-0 loss in overtime to Fair Haven at Tenney Field last Friday. The Colonels ended the week at 1-8-1.

Football

• Nick Boles’ 19-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Cassarino early in the second quarter was all the offense Rutland needed as the Raiders spoiled the homecoming game for Brattleboro with a 7-0 win at Natowich Field last Friday night.

Wyatt Socinski finished with 26 carries for 128 yards to lead the Raiders’ (3-2) attack. Adam McPhail had 13 carries for 58 yards to lead Brattleboro, while Michael Rooney finished with 42 total yards: 26 on the ground and two catches for 16 yards.

The Colonels dropped to 1-5 and remain winless against Division I foes. Brattleboro travels to Colchester on Friday night.

• Bellows Falls rolled to a 45-0 win over Spaulding in Barre last Saturday, the third shutout of the season for BF.

The Terriers were dominant on both sides of the ball. Kyle Record had a pair of defensive touchdowns. He returned a fumble for the game’s opening score and returned an interception for a touchdown in the third quarter.

On offense, Kyle O’Rourke rushed for two touchdowns and Carson Fullam added a 16-yard touchdown run as Bellows Falls (4-2) led 24-0 after the first quarter, and 32-0 at halftime. The 4-2 Terriers host Fair Haven at 1 p.m.

Boys’ soccer

• Rutland upset Brattleboro, 3-2, in a hard-fought match at Tenney Field on Sept. 30. Brandon Westburg broke a 2-2 tie with a goal in the 58th minute to give the Raiders only their second win of the season. Connor Elliott-Knaggs and Brennen Zolnoski were goal scorers for Brattleboro.

The next day, the Colonels dropped another 3-2 decision — this time on the road in overtime against Hartford. Jeremy McGlone scored eight minutes into the first overtime period for the victory. Elliott-Knaggs scored and assisted on a goal by Jack Maples to lead the Colonels.

The Colonels played Leland & Gray in the homecoming game at Tenney Field last Saturday night, losing 4-2. Corey Nystrom tallied twice for the Rebels, in the 20th and 23rd minutes, and Josh Donna added another score as halftime drew near for a 3-0 lead.

Brattleboro’s Robyn Avery and Conner Elliot-Knaggs scored midway through the second half to cut the Rebels’ lead down to 3-2, but Olin Ruppert-Bousquet put the game out of reach with an insurance goal late in the half.

It was the fourth straight loss for the 3-5-1 Colonels.

• Leland & Gray rallied for a pair of second-half goals and ended up with a 3-3 tie with Springfield on Sept. 30 in Townshend. Corey Nystrom scored twice for the Rebels; Jake Sherman also scored. Goalkeeper Nick Morrow finished with seven saves.

On Oct. 3, the Rebels pulled out a 2-1 win over Green Mountain in Chester. Nystrom scored a pair of unassisted goals. With the win over Brattleboro, the Rebels improved to 4-5-1.

• Liam Shaw had a career game for Bellows Falls against Black River on Sept. 30, scoring three unassisted goals in a 4-3 BF victory.

Girls’ soccer

• Brattleboro’s Libby Annis scored the Colonels’ only goal Oct. 1 in a 1-1 tie against Proctor on Senior Night at Tenney Field.

The Colonels built on that result with a 9-1 pounding of Leland & Gray in the homecoming game last Saturday.

Anna Gagnon-Burch had two goals, and Hannah Lynde, Annis, Tylynn Kuralt, Taylor Bird, Anwyn Darrow, Maddy Derosia, and Molly Gurney had a goal apiece as the Colonels improved to 2-5-3.

Giannina Gespero-Beckstrom scored the lone goal for the 4-6 Rebels towards the end of the game.

• Henriette Aas scored the only goal of the game 23 minutes into the first half, thanks to an assist by Katelyn Hunt, giving Twin Valley a 1-0 win over Stratton Mountain School on Homecoming Saturday at Baker Field. The Wildcats improved to 5-4.

Cross-country

• Brattleboro’s Jon Burdo, Oliver Pomazi, Gabe Britton and Logan Turner-Renaud were all honored on Senior Day at the East Orchard Street course on Oct. 1, but it was the Colonel girls who stole the show.

Nevada Powers (23:38) placed fifth and Catey Yost (24:46) was 13th to lead Brattleboro to a third place finish in the girls’ race. Mount Anthony won with 30 points, and Stratton Mountain School was second.

Ryan Gilligan finished sixth in 19:42 to lead the Colonel boys, who placed fifth in the team scoring. Mount Anthony also was the boys’ winner.

Twin Valley kids win Putney tourney

• Last weekend was the 27th annual Putney Recreation Soccer Tournament, a round robin tournament with 14 coed teams of players in grades 4-6 from 12 area towns.

The newest team in the tourney was the one that won it all — the Twin Valley team featuring players from the towns of Whitingham and Wilmington.

Twin Valley beat the defending champions, Dummerston, 2-0, on Sunday. Despite soggy conditions and a compressed schedule, Twin Valley won seven straight games and did not allow a goal to be scored upon them in their march through the tournament.

The coaches are Robert Bolognani and Adam Grinold.

Youth basketball signups

• The Brattleboro Recreation and Parks Department will hold sign-ups for its winter youth basketball programs on Oct. 16 and 17, from 1:30 to 6 p.m., at the Gibson-Aiken Center, 207 Main St.

The Girls Youth Basketball League is for grades 3 through 6. There will be two divisions: Sr. Division for girls in grades 5 and 6, and Jr. Division for girls in grades 3 and 4.

The fee for the program is $35 for residents and $50 for non-residents. T-shirts are included in the fee. The season runs from November through February. Players will have one practice and one game a week.

The Boys’ Youth Basketball League is for grades 3 through 6. There will be two divisions: Sr. Division for boys in grades 5 and 6, and Jr. Division for boys in grades 3 and 4.

The fee for the program is $40 for residents and $55 for non-residents. T-shirts are included in the fee. The season runs from November through March, and there will be one practice and one game per week. Games will be held on Saturday mornings.

Kindergarten basketball is for children currently enrolled in kindergarten who want to learn the fundamentals of basketball. Skills will be taught in a fun and exciting way.

The program will run on Mondays, Jan. 6 through Feb. 10, 2014 at 5 p.m. at the Gibson-Aiken Center. The cost is $10 for residents and $25 for non-residents. Participants should wear sneakers and bring a water bottle.

For more information, call 802-254-5808 or visit www.brattleboro.org.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #224 (Wednesday, October 9, 2013).

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