Under the lights of Baker Field Thursday night, October 3, the Wildcats turned in another dominant defensive performance against Bellows Falls, with goalie Sam Molner only needing two saves over 80 minutes of play. Four different Wildcats got in on the scoring, with Nick Nilsen drawing blood first,on a pass from Colin Lozito in the 16th minute.
Bellows Falls kept the scoring low in the first half, and keeper Avery Perry made 18 saves on the day, preserving a 1-0 deficit going into the second half. Cade Nesbitt served up a ball to his brother Dal, who buried the insurance goal in the 53rd minute, while Keegan Reed sealed the game four minutes later, hammering a loose ball from the top right corner of the box for the 3-0 lead. Sweeper Eli Park added a goal with 10 to go for the 4-0 final.
The key to Park’s score, as well as the stingy play of the Wildcats’ defense, is having each others’ backs. “Everyone’s motivated to play hard,” said Park. “If I step up, I know I have a few guys dropping back for me.”
The Wildcats tied a school record with the victory, going eight straight games with a shutout. “Everyone wanted the shutout,” said Park. “They’re (Park’s fellow defenders) all great. We’ve been able to contain people well. There are definitely some sketchy moments in there, but our biggest goal is communication, and to make sure everyone knows where they’re going, and make sure no one’s letting the ball free.”
TV 4 Stratton 0
WILMINGTON-The biggest test of the season came Saturday afternoon, with a crowd of families and fellow students at Baker Field wanting to see the Wildcats topple Stratton Mountain School on Homecoming Day. But they also wanted to see their boys in white and red set a record: nine shutouts in a row to begin a season, something that none of coach Buddy Hayford’s teams have done in his over 30 years of coaching. The Wildcats refused to disappoint, shutting out Stratton with a 4-0 win.
“This one was for Coach,” said captain Colin Lozito after the game. “(It was great) setting another record for him, he’s got an outstanding career and this one was for him.”
Lozito made sure that Twin Valley had the momentum early, scoring two quick goals in the first six minutes. Lozito began with a shot on a pass from Troy Felisko, turning on a dime to juke a defender and rip a shot into the back of the net. Two minutes later, his partner in crime, Dal Nesbitt, served a pass to Lozito on the right side, where he put his team up 2-0.
Sam Molner had another day made easy by his defense, touching the ball four times for two saves, the ball rarely making it past Twin Valley’s defensive backs. Rookie TJ Felisko found himself a goal on a pass from Lozito at the 15-minute mark, before Stratton settled in and played better defense, allowing no goals for the next 35 minutes. But with 15 to go, Felisko got his second assist of the night, hitting Nick Nilsen, who has been hitting his stride in the midpoint of the season, burying a left foot shot for the 4-0 lead.
“They took it, they wanted it, and played with a lot of passion,” said Hayford. “It’s outstanding. I’m quite proud of this group of players, and when I stop, take a breather, I can wrap my head around 9 –0, but not giving up a single goal is phenomenal.”
“The expectation was high this year,” said Lozito. “So to do it with this group is an opportunity of a lifetime. I think we’re one more year in, so we have the experience. We know what it takes and hopefully we can finish the goal and win it all this year.”
TV 5 GM 0
CHESTER- TJ Felisko knocked in a hat trick and Colin Lozito added two assists and a goal to power Twin Valley to a 5-0 victory over Green Mountain.
The Wildcats were defensively dominant once again, but coach Buddy Hayford expressed relief that goalie Sam Molner had to leave his line to make a few plays instead of having to “pull up a lawn chair and watch.”
Dal Nesbitt got the Wildcats going with a goal four minutes into the game, lofting a shot from 30 yards over Green Mountain’s charging goalie Kyle Kemp. Often, Kemp will roam around the goalie box, and Hayford’s squad took advantage, including the next score by Felisko, coming on a pass from Lozito. At the 35th minute, Felisko found his second goal on a cross into the box from the corner from Nesbitt. In the second half, Felisko completed his hat trick on a pass from Cade Nesbitt, and Lozito finished off the day with a rebound shot.
Hayford had high praise for Felisko after the game. “He played outstanding,” said Hayford. “He’s all energy, effort, and heart, and he’s stepping up big time. That’s the way he’s been all season. He’s a hustler and can play anywhere in the middle.”
Twin Valley improved to 10-0 and plays at Stratton on Saturday at 3 pm.