The Wildcats appeared tentative in their play, losing many 50-50 balls in the middle of the field. That was something Twin Valley coach Chris Walling said contributed to the loss.
“We were just flat. We did not go the ball,” said Walling. “We watched the other team get the first touch. Good things will happen if you touch the ball first.”
Good things happened mostly for Green Mountain. Emily Bar scored the game’s first goal 28 minutes into the first half. She lofted a shot from the right side of the penalty box, over the heads of the Twin Valley defenders and past the outstretched arms of goalie Tayler Courchesne. That was the only goal of the first half.
“We were struggling, but we were also only down by one against the number one team in D3,” said Walling. “I said at halftime that this is doable and here’s some things we need to do better.”
One of those things was to be better at reading the field and making good passes to open players. Unfortunately for the host, Green Mountain was better at that.
“Green Mountain is very good at reading the field, they have good field awareness,” said Walling. “They know where to go with the ball.”
Mostly, Green Mountain knew to put the ball on goal. Eight minutes into the second half, that attacking strategy paid off. Micah White scored to put the Chieftains up 2-0. Noell Gignoux closed out the scoring with a goal six minutes before the final buzzer.
SMS 2, TV 0
STRATTON- Despite playing with a small squad on Saturday, the Twin Valley girls’ varsity soccer team gave a game effort in a 2-0 loss at Stratton Mountain School.
“We were undermanned, mightily,” said Twin Valley coach Chris Walling. “We got on the bus with only 10 players. Two were taking the SATs, so we had to play the first half without subs.”
Senior goalkeeper Tayler Courchesne arrived just before the start of the match, allowing the Wildcats to field a full team. Senior sweeper Callie Dix took a little longer with her testing, and arrived midway through the first half.
Despite the small squad, Twin Valley played well throughout most of the game. It was two mistakes that cost them the match.
Stratton’s Nina Reichhelm scored the game’s first goal, taking a corner kick and blasting it past Courchesne for the score.
“Once again, it was a going-to-the-ball issue,” said Walling. “The ball got served to the box, the girl took it off her chest, got it on the ground, and boom, in the goal. We were watching the play.”
Stratton scored in similar fashion at the 32-minute mark. Lauren Abdow made a run up the field, was unmarked by the Twin Valley defense. She took a volley off her chest, settled it, and drove home Stratton’s second goal.
“We can’t let that happen” said Walling. “We played pretty well, we were physical. We just made two mistakes.
TV 3, BF 2
WILMINGTON- The Twin Valley girls got back home and back to playing winning soccer on Monday, beating Bellows Falls 3-2 on a rain-soaked, sloppy field. Along the way, freshman striker Sadie Boyd earned the first hat trick of her high school career, scoring all three of the Wildcats’ goals.
Twin Valley controlled the play for much of the game. Boyd scored her first goal 25 minutes into the match, Jarret Niles assisted on the play. Boyd scored her second goal midway through the second half, outrunning the Bellows Falls defense for an unassisted score.
“Then, the wheels came off the wagon,” said Twin Valley coach Chris Walling.
It started shortly after Boyd’s goal. Twin Valley missed on a clear, instead knocking the ball into their net for an own goal. Then Bellows Falls broke free and scored with eight minutes left in the match, knotting the score at two.
“It was one-sided up to that point,” said Walling. “I have to give Bellows Falls credit, they battled back. I’ll give my kids credit too, they also battled back.”
Boyd put an end to the Bellows Falls rally, scoring two minutes later to put the Wildcats on top to stay, 3-2.
“We desperately needed a win,” said Walling. “It wasn’t easy.”
TV 3, BF 1
BELLOWS FALLS- Playing for the second time in three days, the Twin Valley Wildcats and the Bellows Falls Terriers met on Wednesday evening. This time, it was the host Terriers jumping out to an early 1-0 lead. But Twin Valley rallied back, scoring three unanswered goals to come home with the road win.
Senior Tatyana Bowman was responsible for all three scores. Freshman Jayden Crawford played her first varsity game in goal, subbing in for Taylor Courchesne, who was moved to her normal midfield position.
Twin Valley’s record now stands at 4-6-1, good for sixth place in the statewide D4 standings.
On Saturday, Twin Valley will host Leland & Gray at Hayford Field. Game time is 11 am. On Wednesday, they host Windsor at 6 pm. That game will recognize the seniors on the team. On Saturday, October 21, they close out the season on the road at Otter Valley.