Building for the future
Twin Valley girls’ soccer coach Taryn Lawrence, center, fires up her team before they took the field against Arlington on Oct. 14 at Wilmington’s Hayford Field.

Building for the future

Despite no wins and no goals, Twin Valley’s girls’ soccer team is not downhearted

The Twin Valley girls' soccer team hasn't won a game or scored a goal so far this season.

But I saw little gloom when I went over to Hayford Field in Wilmington on the night of Oct. 14 to watch the Wildcats take on the Arlington Eagles.

Considering that Arlington beat Twin Valley, 10-0, when they met on Sept. 23, it was reasonable to expect a similar result on this evening. That the Wildcats held the Eagles to just two goals in the first half, and lost 5-0 in this meeting, shows that they are slowly building toward a better future.

Part of that is due to Twin Valley coach Taryn Lawrence, who leads a team with six eighth-graders, two ninth-graders, six 10th-graders, two juniors, and one senior.

And Lawrence said that one senior, Lillian Barber, came out for soccer when she learned that there weren't any other seniors on the team. She said Barber has been the protective big sister for all the younger players who have been thrown into the fire of varsity-level soccer.

With so many young players, Lawrence has to be less of a tactician and more of a teacher. “You have to be,” she said. “They are playing their hearts out but, at the same time, they are learning the fundamentals.”

Most importantly, she said, her players “keep their heads up and support each other.”

Despite all the lopsided losses this season, Twin Valley has some legitimate talent on the roster. Sophomore goalkeeper Alanna Bevilacqua has had to face a barrage of shots every game, and Lawrence says she is growing better with every game.

In the midfield, eighth-graders Jayden Denny and Shawna Fornier, sophomores Leann Crafts and Ella Martinez, and junior Chloe Joyce showed a lot of promise. It's just going to take some time to fulfill it.

In this game, Arlington had a 21-2 advantage in shots on goal, and a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks. But Bevilacqua challenged the Arlington attackers, and ranged far outside the goal area to stop shots.

Taylor Wilkins and Sidney Herrington scored for Arlington in the first half. Herrington added another goal in the first two minutes of the second half and set up another goal by Wilkins a minute later. Wilkins later got her third goal of the night with 90 seconds left in the game.

The Wildcats had little time to dwell upon the Arlington game for the next afternoon they had to head north to Poultney to take on the Blue Devils. That game ended up as a 6-0 loss for Twin Valley as Emily McFadden, Emily Handley, Courtney Ezzo, Kait DeBonis, Eme Silverman, and Bella Mack all scored for Poultney.

This week is the final week of the regular season for girls' soccer in Vermont, and time is running out for the Wildcats to end their status of being both winless and scoreless. But even if they end the season without a win or a goal, Lawrence says she believes a foundation is being laid for improvement in 2023.

“The only time you can really lose is if you quit,” said Lawrence. “And these girls aren't quitters.”


• The Bellows Falls Terriers and the Springfield Cosmos met for the 109th time on Oct. 14 at Brown Field in Springfield, the latest installment of one of the oldest high school football rivalries in Vermont.

The series, which began in 1894, has been rather lopsided in BF's favor in the past decade or so. This year's 49-15 victory marked the 12th straight year that the Terriers have won the game for “The Trophy.” BF leads the series, 61-45-3.

Unbeaten BF won the game in their usual dominant fashion as junior running back Walker James scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Jamison Nystrom and running backs Caden Haskell and Jesse Darrell also found the end zone, and freshman Connor Perry scored his first career touchdown. Nystrom also went 7-for-7 on his extra point attempts.

Illnesses and injuries whittled the Springfield roster down to 16 players for this game, but the Cosmos put up a good fight. Springfield got both of its touchdowns via the air as quarterback Carson Clark connected with James Gultekin for two scores.

The 7-0 Terriers will wrap up the regular season and clinch the top seed in the Division II playoffs this Friday night when they host Mount Mansfield at Hadley Field.

• Brattleboro took care of business on Oct. 14 with a 40-13 win over the Spaulding Crimson Tide in Barre.

Senior Tristan Evans made big plays on both sides of the ball, catching a touchdown pass from quarterback Devin Speno and snagging an interception on defense in the first half. Cam Frost reeled in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Speno and returned a kick 89 yards for another touchdown.

The Colonels' ground game continues to improve as Charlie Clark ran for two touchdowns and Noah Perusse added another TD. Kicker Jordy Allembert converted four of his extra point attempts, and the defense contributed with a pair of fumble recoveries.

It was the fourth straight win for the 5-2 Colonels. They can clinch the No. 2 seed in the Division II playoffs with a win over Mount Anthony in the regular season finale this Friday night at Natowich Field.

Field hockey

• In a battle of undefeated southern Vermont teams, Bellows Falls held off the Hartford Hurricanes, 2-1, on Oct. 11 in Westminster.

The two teams played to a tie earlier in the season in White River Junction, and the rematch was eagerly anticipated by both teams. Hartford scored first, just 3:23 into the opening quarter, with a goal from Madi Barwood. The Terriers tied the game in the second quarter when Sadie Scott tapped in a crossing pass from Ava LaRoss.

Ashlin Mayfield then got the go-ahead goal off a penalty corner late in the third quarter. Scott and Nola Sciacca assisted on the game-winner. The BF defense did the rest. Mary Wallace had seven saves in goal for the Terriers and Sciacca was credited with four steals.

That effort may have taken something out of the Terriers, as visiting Woodstock battled and defeated BF, 3-2, in overtime on Oct. 13.

Maxfield scored first for the Terriers off a LaRoss pass, but Woodstock's Lily Gubbins tied the game with a goal off a penalty corner later in the first quarter. LaRoss put BF back in front with a goal in the second quarter, but Gubbins again tied the score that ultimately forced overtime. Gubbins then came through in the extra period, setting up Fleur Smeyers to score the game-winner. The Terriers ended the week with a 9-1-1 record.

• Brattleboro and Springfield battled to a 2-2 draw on Oct. 12. Maddie Clark and Marthe Fiolka were the goal scorers for the Cosmos, and goalie Zada Grant withstood a determined attack by the visiting Colonels in the overtime.

The Colonels hosted Windsor on Oct. 14 at Sawyer Field and held their own against the defending Division III champs in a 2-0 loss. Gabby Gilbert had a goal and an assist and Mackenzie Kleefisch also scored for the Yellowjackets as they put 14 shots on goal and had 12 penalty corners.

Brattleboro goalies Erika Fletcher and Maren Sawyer combined for 12 saves, while Windsor goalie Sidney Perry turned aside a number of tough shots by the Colonels, who ended the week with a 1-8-1 record.


• The Brattleboro teams had a rare meet under the lights with the “Moonlight Madness” races at the Cheshire Fairgrounds in Swanzey, New Hampshire on Oct. 7.

The Colonel girls finished fifth in the team standings as Ava Whitney finished fifth overall in a time of 19 minutes, 52 seconds, followed by teammates Tillie Farwell (21st), Katherine Normandeau (24th), Anna Cummings (52nd), Meredith Lewis (54th), Addison Devault (61st), and Evie Kiele (63rd).

In the boys' meet, Brattleboro finished seventh, with Michael Slade leading the Colonels with a 26th place finish.

Brattleboro's lone home meet of the season came on Oct. 11 at Fort Dummer Park and, once again, Ava Whitney turned in a solid performance in winning the girls' event. Normandeau (eighth), Cummings (18th), Lewis (25th) and Fleur Van Gelder (26th) rounded out the top five for the Colonels.

In the boys' race, Slade led the Colonels with a fifth place finish, with teammates Rin Woodcock (12th), Miles Ackerman-Hovis (15th), James Burke (20th), and Makailo Coursen (21st) rounding out the top five.

Next up for the Colonels is the Southern Vermont League Championships this Saturday in Rutland.

Boys' soccer

• Brattleboro avenged a 2-0 loss earlier this season to the Burr & Burton Bulldogs with a 1-0 victory at Natowich Field on Oct. 13.

The game's only goal came in the 15th minute, as Ozzie VanHendrick converted a penalty kick. The Colonels' defense made it stand up as Brattleboro improved to 6-5 on the season.

• Rivendell got a rare win in Wilmington on Oct. 11 as the Raptors defeated Twin Valley, 2-1. Cody Magnant scored in the first half to tie the game at 1-1, but Josiak Welch came through with the game-winning goal with five minutes left in the second half.

Fair Haven was the next team to ambush the Wildcats on their home field with a 5-4 win in double overtime on Oct. 13. The Slaters rallied from a 4-3 deficit late in the second half to force overtime.

Twin Valley then shut out West Rutland, 4-0, on Oct. 15. The visiting Wildcats got a goal and an assist from Magnant. Caleb Dupuis, Niko Gerding, and Steve Oyer also scored and Noah Dornburgh was credited with two assists. Goalkeeper Liam Wendell made four saves as Twin Valley ended the week with a 7-4-1 record.

• Otter Valley shut out Bellows Falls, 5-0, on Oct. 11 in Westminster. The Terriers then lost their Senior Day game on Oct. 13 against White River Valley, 3-1. Caleb Ghia scored for the Terriers, who was honored along with Gavin Joy and Noah Aukema.

• Leland & Gray has hit a rough patch, as they have lost seven games in a row. Last week, the Rebels lost to White River Valley, 2-1, in Townshend on Oct. 11 and lost to Rivendell, 2-0, on Oct. 14 to fall to 3-10 on the season.

Girls' soccer

• Leland & Gray was off last week, but they still are the top-ranked team in Division IV with an 11-1-1 record.

• Brattleboro lost to Champlain Valley, 9-1, on Oct. 10, and fell to Rutland, 7-2, on Oct. 15. The Colonels are 2-9 heading into the final week of the regular season.

• Like Twin Valley, Bellows Falls is also searching for its first win of the season. Last week, they were beaten by Windsor, 10-0, on Oct. 11 and by White River Valley, 11-1, on Oct. 15 to fall to 0-12 on the season.

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 7 of the fall/winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League on Oct. 13 saw first place Keglers 4 (27-8) have a 5-0 week to extend their lead, while Trash-O-Matic (21-14) also had a 5-0 week to move into sole possession of second place. Split Happens (18-17) is now in third place, followed by Lucky 7, Good Times, and The Strikers (all 17-18), Old Farts (13-22) and Slow Movers (10-25).

Carol Gloski had the women's high handicap game (241), while Josie Rigby had the high handicap series (638). Al Dascomb had the men's high handicap game (279), while Duane Schillemat had the high handicap series (653). Trash-O-Matic had the high team handicap game (913) and series (2,572).

In scratch scoring, Robert Rigby led the men with a 613 series that featured games of 226 and 209. Schillemat had a 576 series with a 199. Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 565 series that featured games of 193 and 191, while Gary Montgomery had a 560 series with games of 198 and 191, and Marty Adams had a 559 series with games of 194 and 193. Other notable games included Dascomb (210), Stan Kolpa (202), Pete Cross (200), and Eric Brown (196).

Josie Rigby had the women's high scratch series (512) and game (190), while Gloski rolled a 187.

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