Twin Valley defense leading the way
WILMINGTON- It was the Wildcats versus the Wildcats at Hayford Field, as the Twin Valley girls’ varsity soccer team squared off with visiting White River Valley on Thursday, September 15. As has been the case for Twin Valley’s games in this early part of the season, the young Wildcat squad was stout on the defensive end of the field. But White River fielded a veteran team of juniors and seniors and that experience eventually won out, as the visitors pulled away for a 10-0 win.
Twin Valley coach Taryn Lawrence knew they were in for a tough match. Despite the score, she said the team was up for the challenge. “I was very proud of the fight I saw on the field out of our girls.”
Twin Valley’s defense has been anchored all season by sophomore goalie Alanna Bevilacqua, and she was spectacular between the pipes on Thursday. White River peppered her with shots. Bevilacqua repeatedly was up to the challenge, snagging lofted shots, diving on ground balls, and pushing hard shots wide of the mark. “That girl had the game of her life,” said Lawrence. “Cool, calm, collected, fast reflexes.”
White River was eventually able to solve Bevilacqua when senior forward Jillian Berry lofted a left-footed ball to the far post.Anna Stratton doubled up the score a couple of minutes later when she was able to body a corner kick through a crowd of players.
Twin Valley rallied and was able to make a couple of runs into White River’s end of the field. The Wildcats’ best chance was when Jayden Denny broke free for a through ball from Bianca Place at the 18-yard line, but she wasn’t able to finish.
“Tactically, we decided to play five on our back line” said Lawrence. “In some ways this was effective, in others not so much. Soccer is about scoring goals after all. So to stack our back led to little counterattack potential. Bianca had some really nice forward momentum at times but we just got caught too far back to get our numbers up.”
Late in the half Berry struck again, as she beat Bevilacqua one-on-one from the left side. Tanner Drury closed out the first-half scoring with a shot from the right side with two minutes left, giving White River a 4-0 lead at the intermission.
White River added six more goals in the second half to run away with the match. Despite the score, Lawrence was happy with the back line play, including Leann Crafts, Hali Howe, Lillian Barber, Ella Martinez, Taylor Smart, and Alejandra Bevilacqua.
“It was like a ‘sister show’ out there,” said Lawrence. “Alejandra saved two goals when Alanna got caught off line. One was a chest ball onto her foot and a clear. The crowd went wild! You could see the sisters celebrating from a mile away. Those are the moments we all come back for. These girls will have many of those moments this season.”
LT 7, TV 0
ARLINGTON- The Twin Valley Wildcats played Long Trail School in the first round of the John Werner Memorial Tournament on Wednesday. The Wildcats played some of their best soccer so far this season, holding the Mountain Lions to a single goal in the first half. But the tide turned midway through the second half, and the Lions roared to a 7-0 win and a spot in Friday’s finals.
“I thought the girls looked strong,” said Twin Valley coach Taryn Lawrence. “They were making the right runs, supporting each other, playing great defense. We just couldn’t hold them the second half.”
Twin Valley is back in action Friday in the consolation match. They will play the host Eagles at 5 pm. Long Trail will play Stratton Mountain School in the finals. On Monday, September 26, Twin Valley hosts Leland & Gray at 6 pm.