Chargers Battle Hard Through Challenging Part of Schedule

by Ken Brown

CRAFTSBURY – The Craftsbury Academy (CA) boys’ soccer team continued to show vast improvement in dropping matches to a trio of powerhouse programs in Twinfield-Cabot, Winooski, and BFA-Fairfax last week, falling to 2-7 on the season.

Brody Moran and Sam McLane both scored a second-half goal to lead Twinfield-Cabot to a 2-0 road win last Monday. Neil Alexander made two stops to preserve the shutout for the Trojans as they improved to 6-2. Jas Zendik continued his stellar play in net for the Chargers, saving 10 shots in the loss.

“After conceding eight second-half goals to Blue Mountain earlier in the season, we’ve done a nice job of coming together as a team and addressing those issues,” said head coach Sam Jay. “We now have a solid foundation of defense. We’re not winning as much as we want to yet, but we’re not pushovers either and for a school our size that’s impressive,” added Jay.

Emmanuel Omar scored twice and Janvier Mufaume added a goal and an assist to lead Winooski to a 4-1 road win over the Chargers last Wednesday. Ahmad Abdillah made one save for the Spartans as they improved to 8-1 on the season. Jas Zendik transitioned to the field for the Chargers to score his first goal of the season and he and eighth-grader Grayson McNaughten combined to make seven saves on the day.

“We have been looking at transitioning Jas out of goal and onto the pitch to improve our attacking options and Grayson looks to be a good up and coming goalie with lots of potential,” said Jay.

BFA-Fairfax won their fourth match in five tries on Saturday, outlasting the Chargers for a 3-0 home win. The Bullets improved to 6-5 with the win and remain in the mix in the Division III standings. CA has played four matches in the last ten days against Division III and IV contenders that have a combined record of 29-9. 

“I’ve never been prouder of a group of guys for the work they’ve put in to improve. We conceded 20 goals our first three matches of the season and to compete and only give up nine against those three programs with a much larger pool of players is a massive improvement. We are developing a culture of soccer that should give our community here in Craftsbury a clear path forward. We are very happy with how we have performed the last three matches from a technical, tactical, and mental standpoint and hope we can use what we’ve learned to get another win before the end of the season,” said Jay.

The Chargers traveled to Blue Mountain on Tuesday and are scheduled to welcome Danville to town for homecoming weekend on Saturday.