by Harry Besett
HARDWICK – Hardwick FC kicked off its first game of the Central Vermont Soccer League season against Cabot Soccer Club on Sunday at their home field at Hazen Union.
Comprised of people from multiple leagues and pickup games from around the area, players were still learning each other’s names as they walked onto the field to get ready for kickoff.
For the first ten minutes Cabot dominated possession and forced Hardwick to get to know each other quickly as they formed a solid defensive wall in the back. Hardwick slowly clawed into the game and found a few chances going forward, keeping most of the game in the middle third of the pitch.
As Cabot pressed on with pressure going forward, it ended up being Hardwick that broke through first on a counter-attack when forward Walker McAllister was put through and ended up one-on-one with the keeper. He drove a hard shot to the bottom left corner that the Cabot goalie was able to get a hand to and deflect only to find Hardwick attacker Jacob Baesemann, who smashed the ball into the back of the net.
Spurred on by the momentum of going ahead, Hardwick fought hard for the rest of the half. Cabot came out in the second half firing and after five minutes midfielder Miguel Alvarez controlled the ball above the 18-yard line and tucked it into the same bottom corner McAllister had eyed in the first half. Both teams would fight on for the remaining half hour with neither able to find a match-winning goal.
Hardwick FC will look to build on the chemistry they formed in attack when they face Craftsbury United next Sunday at 10 a.m., in Craftsbury.