Hazen Union Hosts Inaugural OSSU Derby

by Ken Brown
photo by Vanessa Fournier | After Craftsbury’s 3-1 win over Hazen on October 13, the teams posed for a joint picture. Participating in the First Annual OSSU Derby, with Hazen players wearing red and Craftsbury players wearing white (front row, left to right): Natalie Michaud, Lily Castle, Savanah Boyce, Gabby Stanciu, Sophia Augsberger, Isabelle Gouin, Hazen Union goalie Madeline Kaiser, goalie Rachel Bailey, Bethany Conway, Ade Gillespie, Tessa Luther, Sadie Skorstad, Alexis Christensen, Haley Smith, Baylie Christensen. Back row (left to right): Sarah Collier, Aster Watkevich, Adelina Augsberger, Lisa Velten, Maggie Royer, Edie McKenzie, Amelia Eagan, Julia des Groseilliers, Ella Gillespie, Caitlyn Davison, Ida Eames, Zoey Burnor, Felicia Flint, Emma Badore, Verna Stoddard, Maverick Murphy, Craftsbury coach Tom Silva, Craftsbury assistant coach Mitch Hunt, Hazen coach Harry Besett.

HARDWICK – Head coach Harry Besett and his Hazen Union girls’ soccer team did their part in promoting sportsmanship in high school soccer last week as they hosted Craftsbury Academy (CA) in the first edition of the OSSU Derby.

Sophia Augsberger, Sadie Skorstad, and Ida Eames all found the back of the net, making the Lady Chargers reigning OSSU Derby champions last Wednesday with a 3-1 road win over Hazen Union. Caitlyn Davison scored the first goal of the match for the Lady Cats and Madeline Kaiser made five stops in the loss. Rachel Bailey made 14 saves for CA as they improved to 3-10 on the season. Captains from both teams spoke to the crowd before the match about what sportsmanship and community support means to them. It has been a hot topic this fall, with poor sportsmanship and behavior from players and fans affecting several teams around the state.

photo by Vanessa Fournier | Hazen Union 8th grader Julia des Groseilliers defends between Craftsbury players Ida Eames (left) and Sadie Skorstad (right) during play on Hudson Field October 13. Craftsbury won 3-1.

The match also featured CA graduate Tom Stames and Hazen Union graduate Mike Clark, who officiated the match and were recognized before kickoff for their storied careers and lifelong contributions to the game of soccer. After the match, both teams applauded each other’s efforts in a show of respect and finished the evening with a joint team picture.

“Both teams fought hard in the second half, and we pushed and pushed the last ten minutes but couldn’t break through their back line. Hopefully, people got a chance to watch the match and we’ll continue the tradition for years to come. We look forward to the opportunity of taking the trophy back next year at their place and we’ll continue to work hard towards getting our first win,” said Besett.

Kylie Taylor scored twice to lead Rivendell Academy past the Lady Cats at home on Saturday, 5-0. Ahaylee Carter, Olivia Parker, and Iris Fukushima all scored a goal apiece and Savannah Gray made two stops to earn the shutout. It was the third straight win for the Lady Raptors as they improved to 6-4-1 on the season. Madeline Kaiser continued her solid play in net for Hazen Union, recording 18 saves in the loss.

“This was one of our poorest performances as individuals and as a team. Players made uncharacteristic mistakes and had a hard time keeping up with play. We will look to bounce back this week in our last home game,” said Besett.

Hazen Union hosted Richford on Tuesday and will wrap up the regular season on Friday at Twinfield-Cabot.