by Ken Brown
STOWE – Stowe showed why they are the Division III state champions last weekend as they blanked the Craftsbury Academy (CA) girls’ soccer team in their season opener.
Orly Brant and Iris Cloutier combined to score five goals to lead Stowe to a resounding 9-0 home win over the Lady Chargers on Saturday. Ellie Ortiz also tallied a goal and three assists and Lucia Lovell added a goal and two assists for the Lady Raiders.
“They are just so good and on another level,” said head coach Tom Silva. “Their touches and passing were precise and exceptional and that is definitely the best team we’ve ever played. The girls started out with a lot of energy, but we let a couple soft goals in early and it was an uphill battle the rest of the way,” added Silva.
Stowe peppered Craftsbury’s defense with twenty-five shots on the day. They barreled through the Division III tournament last fall as a surprising #10 seed and appear to be picking up right where they left off. Emma McIntosh and Parker Reeves made a save apiece to record the shutout. Rachel Bailey was under the gun all afternoon for the Lady Chargers, making 15 stops in the loss.
“It was our first match against an extremely good team, but all in all the girls kept their head up and fought. Stowe did a great job of bracketing our best players and just shut us down. It is a learning experience and hopefully we can regroup this week and get back to work. The girls have high expectations this season, so they felt pretty down after this one, but Stowe is one of the better programs in Division III and we need to learn from playing teams like that so we can apply it going forward. We have some injuries to come back from, but we’ll get back to practice this week and get ready for some upcoming league matchups,” said Silva.
Craftsbury hosted Winooski on Tuesday and is scheduled to travel to Twinfield on Friday.