“It was not the prettiest of games,” said Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford. “It was a tough match, scoreless at the half. Otter Valley didn’t have many opportunities, and we had some nice ones in the first half but couldn’t cash in.”
Twin Valley finally broke through in the second half with a pair of goals to seal the win. The first score came at the 54-minute mark. Colin McHale scored from just outside the 18-yard box, hitting a bouncing ball that found its way along the ground, past the goalie, and into the net. Tommy Therrien and Jack McHale were credited with assists on the play.
The Wildcats iced the game 16 minutes later. Logan Park took a long throw from James McGovern and was able to work through traffic in front of the goal for the score.
On defense, goalies Logan Boyd and Josh Carpenter-O’Hearn each turned in clean score sheets.
“Otter Valley’s a good squad,” said Hayford. “That was concerning. The game was huge for us. It was an upper division opponent with max index points riding on the game. I was happy to get out of town with the win.”
SMS 2, TV 1
STRATTON- On Saturday, the Twin Valley boys’ varsity soccer team suffered its first loss of the season, dropping a 2-1 decision to Stratton Mountain School.
“I knew this was going to be a difficult match,” said Wildcat coach Buddy Hayford. “It came at the end of a long week. It was at Stratton for their homecoming weekend. They’re a good team, they’re tough. They’ve been playing some really good soccer. Throw all that into the mixer and that was trouble.”
Following a scoreless first half, Twin Valley notched the initial score of the match, 20 minutes into the second half. The score came after the Wildcats were awarded a free kick at midfield. Izaak Park played the ball to Gunnar Nilsen, who passed it on to Jack McHale. He turned on it and toe-balled it into the upper 90 of the goal, where SMS keeper Michael Rose had no chance for the save.
Stratton was able to take advantage of a Twin Valley miscue five minutes later to tie the game. Stratton played a corner kick, and a miscommunication between Wildcat defender Hayden Reed and goalie Logan Boyd allowed the ball to squirt past Boyd for the score.
Stratton’s Lucas Wiacek then put an end to Twin Valley’s perfect season. The 6’ 4” striker was left unmarked on a corner, and headed a perfect kick past Boyd for the game winner. That score came with 10 minutes left in the match.
“Those two goals that sunk our ship clearly shouldn’t happen,” said Hayford. “We have to put an end to that stuff, especially on corners.”
Hayford missed the match because of a family commitment. Assistant coach Ryan Holton led the team.
“When you’re undefeated, everybody wants to knock you off,” said Hayford. “We’re the same way. Those are matches you want to win. All in all, we just have to put it in the rearview mirror and move forward.”
TV 7, Windsor 1
WINDSOR- The Twin Valley Wildcats were able to put Saturday’s close loss behind them, scoring early and often in a 7-1 win over the host Yellowjackets Tuesday afternoon.
Twin Valley had a difficult game against Windsor in the season opener, coming back from a two-goal deficit to win 3-2. Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford was expecting more of the same in the rematch.
“I knew going up there it was going to be tough,” said Hayford. “But the guys played out of their minds and took it right to Windsor.”
Took it to them, indeed. Twin Valley had three goals before the butter had melted on the snack bar popcorn.
Logan Park opened the scoring four minutes into the game, heading a long throw-in from James McGovern past Windsor goalie Eli Milligan. At 13 minutes, Jack McHale drilled a 12-yard strike to the far post. Brother Colin McHale had the assist. Then it was Colin’s turn three minutes later, taking a pass from McGovern and nailing a shot inside the far post again. McGovern closed out the first-half scoring, drilling a ball played from Dylan Howe past Milligan with a minute left.
Logan Park, Jack McHale, and Owen Grinold all scored in the second half. McGovern, Gunnar Nilsen, and Cooper Pell had assists on the scores.
Windsor’s Elijah Collier added a late goal for the host team to avoid the shutout.
Logan Boyd and Josh Carpenter-O’Hearn shared the goal-tending duties for Twin Valley. Each had two saves. Milligan turned away 15 Twin Valley shots.
Twin Valley is 10-1 on the season, good for second place in the statewide division 3 standings. They are a half point behind Winooski and five points ahead of Stowe in the race for the top seedings in the state tournament.
“We were looking at Windsor as a must win,” said Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford. “We want to stay in the number one or number two slot and solidify home-field advantage for the tournament. And just to play well and regain our confidence.”
The Wildcats are back in action on Friday, hosting Springfield at Hayford Field in Wilmington at 6 pm. They close out the regular season with a 4:30 pm road game at Green Mountain on Tuesday and host Arlington for senior night on Friday, October 20, at 6 pm.