Craftsbury Drops Two as Defense Struggles

by Ken Brown
photo by Vanessa Fournier | Craftsbury Lady Chargers prepare to go back out onto the field after half time October 8 against Twinfield-Cabot. Pictured (from left) are Sophia Augsberger, Ade Gillespie, Felicia Flint, Maggie Royer and Haley Smith.

SWANTON – The Craftsbury Academy (CA) girls’ soccer team dropped their sixth straight match last week after falling to Missisquoi Valley and Twinfield-Cabot, putting their record at 2-9 on the season.

Alex Brouillette and Ava Hubbard combined to score four times to lead Missisquoi to a 6-0 home win over the Lady Chargers last Monday. The Lady Thunderbirds jumped out to a 4-0 first-half lead and never looked back on the way to their seventh win of the season. Madison Aiken made four saves to record her fourth shutout on the year. Missisquoi, an upper-level Division II program, has outscored its opposition 35-14 on the season.
“It is a large sports facility with a lot of different things going on at once. The junior varsity team they had cheering for them is bigger than our program all together and I think the girls were a little intimidated when they stepped off the bus,” said head coach Tom Silva. “I thought we settled in and played a much better second half and I’m really proud of how the girls adapted and continued to fight,” added Silva.

Annie Dunlop scored twice to erase a two-goal deficit in the first half to lead Twinfield/Cabot to a 5-2 road win over the Lady Chargers on Friday. Ida Eames converted on a free kick and a penalty kick in the first forty minutes to give Craftsbury a 2-0 advantage, but a red-hot Lady Trojan squad would answer back with five second-half goals for their fourth straight win. Ruby Wilson, Alice McLaine, and Caroline Mancini added a goal apiece in the final thirty minutes to pull away and Sophia Mancine made three stops on the day for Twinfield-Cabot. Rachel Bailey made 12 stops for CA in the loss. Eames’ tallies pushed her goal total to 13 on the season for the Lady Chargers.

“The girls came out on fire with a lot of energy, and we actually had a few more chances to extend the lead in the first half that we didn’t capitalize on. Their defense did a nice job of keeping them in the match and their offense came out with a lot of energy in the second half and we made a few too many defensive mistakes and started to press. The girls are really playing well, and this will be another learning experience for our young program. Teams like that were beating us by nine and ten scores not long ago and we are getting a lot of encouragement from opposing coaches on the direction our program is headed. It is important for the girls to stay positive and not let the results get them down. They’ve come a long way in a short period of time and will only continue to get better,” said Silva.

The Lady Chargers will travel to Hazen Union for the inaugural OSSU Derby on Wednesday. The game is the idea of Hazen Union’s head coach Harry Besett and Silva to celebrate the game of soccer and honor sportsmanship. It will be live-streamed on Hardwick Community Television. Craftsbury will end their week on Saturday as they welcome Blue Mountain to town for homecoming weekend.