by Ken Brown
ENOSBURG – Enosburg athletics has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons, but their boys’ soccer teams continues to win in dominant fashion and dealt the Twinfield-Cabot boys’ soccer team their first loss of the season last week.
Foster Hutchins scored twice to lead Enosburg to a 5-1 home win over Twinfield-Cabot last Friday. Peter Stiebris made it 2-0 early in the first half for the Hornets, but Lucas Roberts pulled the Trojans within a goal with a beautiful left foot misdirection off a corner kick. Hutchins would shift all the momentum to the home team with his first score of the match seconds before halftime and Twinfield-Cabot never recovered.
Neil Alexander was solid once again in net for Twinfield-Cabot, making eight stops on the day. Ethan Jackson recorded two saves for the Hornets as they improved to 7-1 on the season, outscoring their opponents 35-5 along the way.
The Trojans had almost a two-week layoff due to their matches against Danville and Christ Covenant being canceled for very different reasons. Danville wasn’t able to field a team due to COVID protocols and Twinfield administrators canceled the match versus Christ Covenant due to alleged homophobic slurs directed at Trojan players from Christ Covenant during their match on September 17.
“We knew they were one of the best teams in Division III going in and it would be a challenge, but we just didn’t play very well,” said head coach Peter Stratman. “They are strong and physical like we thought they would be, but I think the longer layoff and the circumstances surrounding their program effected our mental preparation and we were just a little flat. We make no excuses, they outplayed us, but I’d love to see our boys play them again,” added Stratman.
Enosburg has been in the spotlight after a match with Winooski two weeks ago that went very wrong. Winooski is one of the most diverse towns and athletic programs in the state and alleges that Enosburg players were directing racial slurs at Winooski players during their match on September 18. Enosburg played Richford five days later, but their next match versus Blue Mountain on September 24 was canceled as administrators investigated. Twinfield-Cabot is one of the more diverse programs in the Northeast Kingdom and following the unfortunate circumstances of the Christ Covenant match, Stratman and his team understandably went into the Enosburg road trip with some caution and uncertainty.
“We had a lot of open communication between players and families going into this match and we were very deliberate in making sure we knew what everyone was thinking and feeling, especially after the Christ Covenant incident. Like I said, Enosburg has a very good team and they outplayed us, but unfortunately I think there was a lot of uncertainty in the back of our players’ minds heading into this road trip and it effected how we prepared, focused, and performed mentally. I was very relieved that the match was played without incident, but there is a negative culture brewing around many aspects of high school athletics, unfortunately. It has made us as players, coaches, and as the Twinfield-Cabot boys’ soccer program as a whole take stock in what sportsmanship means to us and what we stand for when we take the pitch and perform representing ourselves and our school. I’m proud of how my boys compete and represent themselves and how they’ve handled the last two weeks. All of us will continue to be mindful to improve as individuals and as a program. We’re looking forward to continuing to get healthy and finish the season strong,” said Stratman.
The loss dropped the Trojans to 4-1 on the year, but they will have a chance to get right this week as they traveled to Craftsbury Academy on Monday before hosting Richford on Wednesday. Saturday they will lock horns with another Division III powerhouse as they travel to Winooski to end their week.