NORTH CLARENDON- After pulling off a big win against the Arlington Eagles last Tuesday, the Twin Valley girls’ soccer team was faced with the daunting task of playing Mill River, the defending 2009 division III state champions. Even more frightening was the fact that the Wildcats were playing them on the road. But according to Twin Valley coach Chris Walling, records and titles only mean so much. While the Minutemen were dominant, they didn’t roll over the Wildcats In fact, Twin Valley showed Mill River they can play just as well as the state champions.
The Wildcats played tough from the get-go. They marked players from the start and rarely gave the Minutemen any scoring opportunities. But a Mill River player was tripped up early and they were awarded a penalty kick. Paige Carrara took the honors and faked out Wildcats’s goalie Bit Aekus to take the early lead.
At the six-minute mark, the Wildcats won a 50-50 ball and moved on the attack. Twin Valley’s Shannon Lozito took a shot but a Minutemen defender misplayed the ball and fell into her own net. Lozito was awarded the goal and the score was tied.
The Wildcats scored again six minutes later after a Mill River foul. Devin Logan teed up the ball and launched one past Mill River goalie Lauren Abdelnour. The Wildcats had a 2-1 lead on the defending state champions at halftime.
The Wildcats’ defense picked up the pace. They marked the Minutemen offense, broke up passes, cleared loose balls, and held onto the lead with 14 minutes to go. But then the Wildcats were called for tripping in the box. Once again, Mill River was awarded a penalty kick and this time it was Emily Osner who put one between the pipes to tie the score. Neither team scored in the final minutes and the game went to overtime. Could it be the Wildcats’s chance for an upset? Unfortunately not.
Thirty-six seconds into overtime, the Minutemen went on the attack. Aekus came out of the goal and made a great save. But then the ball went loose. Osmer possessed it and saw the open net. She took the wide-open shot and scored. The Minutemen survived the Wildcats, 3-2.
“I am totally pleased with everything we did. They came out from the start and played their hearts out against the number one team in the state,” said Twin Valley coach Chris Walling. “(Mill River) has a lot of firepower up front. Our marking up on defense was outstanding from midfield to the back. There were a lot of great things we can build on. That was nice.”
Twin Valley 3, Bellows Falls 0
BELLOWS FALLS- A win on the road is big, even when the Wildcats play a weaker opponent. That was the case on Tuesday as they traveled to Bellows Falls and beat the Terriers, 3-0.
Three minutes into the game, Abbi Molner booted a cornerkick and Lozito headed the ball in for the first goal.
At the six-minute mark, Sammie Cunningham-Darrah centered it to Savannah Nesbitt, who scored the Wildcats’ second goal.
It wasn’t until the second half that the Wildcats got the offense rolling again. At the 60-minute mark, Cunningham-Darrah moved the ball up the left-hand flank. She caught the Terriers’ defense off guard and left-footed the ball into the back of the net for Twin Valley’s third and final goal.
Aekus had a much easier time between the pipes and stopped only two Bellows Falls shots.
“The defense was stellar but we struggled a little bit on offense, especially with our passes,” said Walling. “They’re still a young group of kids but it was a good win against an inferior team. It’s great to get back to winning after Mill River.”
The Wildcats are 4-3-1 and on Thursday they play at Leland & Gray. Game time is 4 pm. On Tuesday, they play at Windsor. Game time is 4 pm.
Boys idle, restart Friday
WILMINGTON- The Twin Valley boys’ soccer team did not play last week. On Friday, the boys’ team play at Bellows Falls. Game time is 3:30 pm. On Saturday, they play at Green Mountain. Game time is 4 pm. On Wednesday, they play at Windsor. Game time is at 4 pm.