“Overall I was pleased with the way we played,” said Twin Valley coach Chris Walling. “We possessed the ball well, kept it under control, and showed signs we’re making progress in that direction.”
Twin Valley’s Sadie Boyd opened the scoring 30 minutes into the match. She took a pass from fellow freshman Jayden Crawford and knocked the ball in for the first varsity goal of her career.
Boyd’s goal was the only tally in the first half, but after the intermission the scoring picked up.
Windsor knotted the score at one. Evelyn Paige scored at the 54-minute mark. Twelve minutes later Tatyana Bowman gave Twin Valley back the lead, knocking a 30-yard direct kick over the defense and past the Windsor goalkeeper.
But Paige was up to the task, and three minutes later scored again off a corner kick.
Bowman completed the scoring, driving home a penalty kick after a Windsor foul at the 73-minute mark. That goal stood up as the game winner.
“It was slow going in the first half,” said Walling. “But after halftime it heated up. In the second half we were much more aggressive. The girls weren’t afraid to be physical.”
Walling had praise for sophomore goalkeeper Celia Betit and the team’s defense. “Celia played quite well in goal, she only made two mistakes. If she can eliminate those mistakes in goal, we’ll be pretty good.” He was also pleased with the back line of Jarret Niles, Callie Dix, Bowman, and Tiffany Speigel. “I like where we’re at defensively. They are doing quite well, limiting opponents’ opportunities.”
On the front lines, Walling was happy to see his freshman players realize they need to be more aggressive. “Kylie Reed started to assert herself more. She needed to get into the attack more. Jayden (Crawford) gave 110% when she was in. She’s slight, but proved she can hang in there.”
Walling noted that senior midfielder Tayler Courchesne played a strong game, making a number of good passes and just missing a shot that hit off the post.
“We had lots of opportunities to put the ball on net. As far as that goes, I’m happy we get them, but not happy we’re not scoring on those opportunities. We need to put shots on the frame.”
GM 4, TV 1
CHESTER- After playing well in their opening game of the season, the Twin Valley girls’ varsity soccer team had a flat game at Green Mountain on Tuesday. The Wildcats fell to the hosts 4-1.
“We just didn’t have the effort,” said Twin Valley coach Chris Walling. “We were out-hustled, out-muscled, tentative, slow, all of the above. It was disappointing to say the least.”
Green Mountain was first on the scoreboard. At the 8:38-minute mark Paige Carl put in a header off a corner kick from teammate Erin Otis. Eight minutes later, Otis scored after taking a corner kick from Carl.
But Twin Valley came back. Senior midfielder Tayler Courchesne scored an unassisted goal to cut the lead in half.
Walling said he was disappointed with the team’s play in the first half, but also optimistic. “Our pace was slow, we were in our defensive half most of the time. We didn’t go to the ball very hard. We only took two shots, luckily one of them went in. At halftime, I told them they were only down 2-1 against a top-four team. I said ‘If we play our game, and hustle, you can win this game.’”
But, that was not to be the case. Shortly after halftime, Carl swiped a poor Wildcat throw-in and sped down the sideline uncontested. She was able to beat goalie Celia Betit with a hard short-side shot that found its way past Betit and into the back of the net.
“That was four minutes in,” said Walling. “It took the wind out of our sails.”
Otis added a second goal later in the second half to close out the scoring.
“They won every ball,” said Walling of the team’s lackluster effort. “It’s the frustrating part of that particular game. There was no effort, it was not there.”
Walling was pleased with the play of the Wildcats’ two senior defenders, Tatyana Bowman and Callie Dix. “Tatyana and Callie played out of their minds to keep it somewhat respectable.”
The veteran coach also knows he has a young, inexperienced squad with five freshmen and two sophomores who need time on the pitch to improve their game.
“It’s a really young squad,” said Walling. “They have to change their mindset. They’re finding out they can’t do it like they did in middle school. They can’t just dribble the ball from one end to the other, and can’t rely on just one other person. Their pace needs to be quicker, they can’t just go through the motions. The players at the varsity level are faster, stronger, and more physical.”
Walling cited freshman Sadie Boyd as an example. “Sadie played pretty well, but she got thrashed. She was on the turf a lot. That’s part of the deal, playing in the middle. I told her, ‘You’ve got to do the punishing instead of taking the punishment.’ It’s a learning curve.”
The Wildcats are back in action Saturday. It will be a challenging game, as they host a veteran Stratton Mountain School squad that plays a physical style of soccer. Kickoff is at 5 pm at Hayford Field.
On Tuesday, September 19, they host Otter Valley. Game time is 6 pm.